17 June 2024


Supreme Court

Kooli Saseendran and Ors. Vs. State of Kerala and Ors.




In a criminal case, remand is not to be ordered as a matter of course

Present appeals are directed against the judgment passed by the High Court whereby it allowed the appeal filed by the State, set aside the acquittal of the Appellants recorded by the trial Court and remanded the matter to the trial court for fresh consideration. Accused were charged with having committed offences punishable under Sections 143, 147, 148, 302 read with Section 149 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) and Sections 3 and 5 of the Explosive Substances Act, 1908.

The trial Court rightly held that, there were so many contradictions in the statement of PW-1 and PW-3 that, no reliance could be placed on the same. In view of various contradictions and deficiencies in the prosecution case and also the fact that, both PW-1 and PW-3 are political rivals of the Accused and are also alleged to have committed various offences on that very day prior to the occurrence in question and even earlier, no reliance can be placed on their testimony. The trial Court was justified in acquitting the accused.

The High Court set aside the well-reasoned judgment of the trial Court in a casual manner. The evidence has not been discussed in detail and it is surprising to note that after discussing the entire case and observing that the scope of interference in an appeal against acquittal is very limited, the appellate court set aside the judgment of the trial court. The High Court also did not find material evidence to convict the Accused and, therefore, set aside the judgment and remitted the matter to the trial Court.

In a criminal case, remand is not to be ordered as a matter of course. It is only if there is a mis-trial or some technical issues have arisen that such an order may be made but in very rare circumstances. This should not have been done especially in the facts of the case. The judgment of the High Court is set aside and judgment of the trial court is restored. Appeals allowed.

Tags : Conviction Remand Legality

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