26 October 2020


Supreme Court

State of Uttarakhand Vs. Jairnail Singh




Unless there is any kind of illegality in the impugned judgment of acquittal, Supreme Court cannot interfere in such judgment

Present appeal is filed by the State against the final judgment and order passed by the High Court of whereby the High Court allowed the appeal filed by the Respondent (Accused) and set aside the order of conviction and sentence passed by the trial Court by which the Respondent (Accused) was convicted under Section 307 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 ("IPC") and Section 25(1-A) of the Arms Act, 1959. Felt aggrieved, the State has filed this appeal by way of special leave before this Court.

The reasoning and the conclusion of the High Court in acquitting the Respondent of the charges under Section 307of Indian Penal Code and Section 25(1-A) appears to be just and proper. The parties involved in the case namely, the victim, his brother, who was one of the eye-witnesses with other two eye-witnesses and the Accused were known to each other then why the Complainant-brother of victim in his application made immediately after the incident to the Chief Medical Superintendent, did not mention the name of the Accused and instead mentioned therein "some sardars". According to the prosecution, the weapon used in commission of offence was recovered from the pocket of the Accused the next day, it looked improbable as to why would the Accused keep the pistol all along in his pocket after the incident for such a long time and roam all over.

The weapon (pistol) alleged to have been used in the commission of the offence was not sent for forensic examination with a view to find out as to whether it was capable of being used to open fire and, if so, whether the bullet/palate used could be fired from such gun. Similarly, other seized articles such as blood-stained shirt and soil were also not sent for forensic examination. Weapon (Pistol) was not produced before the concerned Magistrate, as was admitted by the Investigating Officer. If, according to the prosecution case, the shot was hit from a very short distance as the Accused and the victim were standing very near to each other, then as per the medical evidence of the Doctor a particular type of mark where the bullet was hit should have been there but no such mark was noticed on the body. This also raised some doubt in the prosecution case.

The aforesaid infirmities were, therefore, rightly noticed and relied on by the High Court for reversing judgment of the Session Court after appreciating the evidence, which the High Court was entitled to do in its appellate jurisdiction. It cannot be said that, infirmities were either irrelevant or in any way insignificant or technical in nature as compared only to the ocular version of the witnesses. The prosecution, should have taken care of some of the infirmities noticed by the High Court and appropriate steps should have been taken before filing of the charge-sheet to overcome them. It was, however, not done. The benefit of such infirmities was, accordingly, rightly given to the Respondent by the High Court.

Since the State has challenged the order of acquittal in instant appeal, unless there is kind of illegality in the impugned judgment, Supreme Court cannot interfere in such judgment. It is only when impugned judgment is based on no evidence or/and it contains no reasoning or when it is noticed that the reasoning given are wholly perverse, this Court may consider it proper in appropriate case to interfere and reverse the decision of the High Court.

But, when the High Court while reversing the decision of the Session Court acquits the Accused and assigns the reasons by appreciating the entire evidence in support of the acquittal, then this Court would not be inclined to interfere in the order of acquittal. It is necessary for the High Court while hearing the appeal arising out of the order of conviction to appreciate the entire evidence and then come to its conclusion to affirm or reverse the order. In a case of later, which results in reversal, it is necessary for the High Court to assign cogent reasons as to why it does not consider it proper to agree with the reasoning of the Sessions Judge by pointing out material contradiction in evidence and infirmities in the prosecution case. There is no merit in the appeal. The appeal fails and is accordingly dismissed.

Tags : Acquittal Validity Evidence Contradiction

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