24 June 2024


Judgments

Supreme Court

Ballu and Ors. Vs. The State of Madhya Pradesh (Neutral Citation: 2024 INSC 258)

MANU/SC/0255/2024

02.04.2024

Criminal

Unless the finding of acquittal is found to be perverse or impossible, interference with the same would not be warranted

The present appeal challenges the judgment passed by the High Court, thereby allowing the appeal of the Respondent-State. The High Court, reversing the judgment of the learned Trial Judge, had convicted the Appellants.

It is necessary for the prosecution that, the circumstances from which the conclusion of the guilt is to be drawn should be fully established. It is a primary principle that the Accused 'must be' and not merely 'may be' proved guilty before a court can convict the Accused. The facts so established should be consistent only with the guilt of the Accused, that is to say, they should not be explainable on any other hypothesis except that the Accused is guilty. It has further been held that, the circumstances should be such that they exclude every possible hypothesis except the one to be proved. There must be a chain of evidence so complete as not to leave any reasonable ground for the conclusion consistent with the innocence of the Accused and must show that, in all human probabilities the act must have been done by the Accused.

It is settled law that, the suspicion, however strong it may be, cannot take the place of proof beyond reasonable doubt. An Accused cannot be convicted on the ground of suspicion, no matter how strong it is. An Accused is presumed to be innocent unless proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

The present case is a case of reversal of acquittal. The law with regard to interference by the Appellate Court is very well crystallized. Unless the finding of acquittal is found to be perverse or impossible, interference with the same would not be warranted. It is not in dispute that, the death of the deceased is a homicidal death and as such, it will not be necessary to refer to the medical evidence.

The High Court could have interfered in the criminal appeal only if it came to the conclusion that, the findings of the trial Judge were either perverse or impossible. No perversity or impossibility could be found in the approach adopted by the learned Trial Judge.

In any case, even if two views are possible and the trial Judge found the other view to be more probable, interference would not have been warranted by the High Court, unless the view taken by the learned Trial Judge was a perverse or impossible view. In that view of the matter, the judgment passed by the High Court is totally unsustainable in law. The impugned judgment passed by the High Court is quashed. Appeal allowed.

Tags : Acquittal Reversal Legality

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