17 June 2024


Judgments

Supreme Court

Central Bureau of Investigation Vs. Shyam Bihari and Ors.

MANU/SC/0774/2023

17.07.2023

Criminal

In an appeal against acquittal, the power of the appellate court to reappreciate evidence and come to its own conclusion is not circumscribed by any limitation

Present appeal assails the judgment and order of the High Court. By the said order, though the delay in preferring the appeal against the judgment and order of acquittal passed by the trial court was condoned, the application seeking leave to appeal under Section 378(3) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (CrPC) was rejected and in consequence the Government Appeal was dismissed.

It is trite law that, in an appeal against acquittal, the power of the appellate court to reappreciate evidence and come to its own conclusion is not circumscribed by any limitation. But it is equally settled that the appellate court must not interfere with an order of acquittal merely because a contrary view is permissible, particularly, where the view taken by the trial court is a plausible view based on proper appreciation of evidence and is not vitiated by ignorance/misreading of relevant evidence on record.

In the instant case, the prosecution case rested on ocular account as well as on certain circumstances. Neither PW3 nor PW6 could identify any of the three Accused. They did not depose that the three policemen involved in the crime were those who were facing trial. Thus, there is no infirmity, much less perversity, in the view taken by the trial court that the testimony of PW-3 and PW-6 is not of much help to the prosecution qua the three Accused facing trial.

The circumstances found proved do not constitute a chain so far complete as to indicate that in all human probability it were the Accused persons and no one else who committed the crime. In such a situation, there was no option for the trial court but to extend the benefit of doubt to the Accused. Present Court do not find it to be a fit case to interfere with the order passed by the High Court and remit the matter only for the High Court to rewrite the judgment as the same, would be an exercise in futility. Appeal dismissed.

Tags : Evidence Acquittal Legality

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