HC is required to re-appreciate entire evidence in case of acquittal: SC | Business Standard News

Clipped from: https://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/hc-is-required-to-re-appreciate-entire-evidence-in-case-of-acquittal-sc-122011801345_1.html

The Supreme Court on Tuesday held that in case of acquittal in a criminal matter, being the first appellate court, the High Court is required to re-appreciate the entire evidence on record

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday held that in case of acquittal in a criminal matter, being the first appellate court, the High Court is required to re-appreciate the entire evidence on record and also the reasoning given by the Trial Court.

A bench of Justices MR Shah and BV Nagarathna which set aside the order of Allahabad High Court said that the decision is totally erroneous as it has ignored the settled legal position.

As observed, the High Court has not at all discussed and/or re-appreciated the entire evidence on record. In fact, the High Court has only made the general observations on the deposition of the witnesses examined. However, there is no re-appreciation of the entire evidence on record in detail, which ought to have been done by the High Court, being a first appellate court, the bench said.

It said, Under the circumstances on the aforesaid ground alone, impugned judgement and order passed by the High Court deserves to be quashed and set aside and the same is to be remanded back to the High Court to decide the appeal afresh in accordance with law and on its own merits being mindful of the observations made hereinabove.

The top court passed its verdict on an appeal filed by a woman from Uttar Pradesh against the High Court order by which it has upheld the decision of the trial court acquitting accused of offenses of assaulting a woman under the Indian Penal Code and the SC/ST Act.

The bench said, We are constrained to observe that this is not the manner in which the High Court should have dealt with the appeal against an order of acquittal which as such is a first appeal against the order of acquittal. The High Court has only made general observations on the deposition of the witness examined. However, there is no re-appreciation of the entire evidence in detail which exercise ought to have been made by the High Court while dealing with the judgment and order of acquittal.

It added that the High Court ought to have re-appreciated the entire evidence on the record as it was dealing with a first appeal.

Being the first appellate court, the High Court was required to re-appreciate the entire evidence on record and also the reasoning given by the Trial Court, it said.

The top court said that ordinarily, the High Court would give due importance to the opinion of the Sessions Judge if the same were arrived at after a proper appreciation of the evidence.

Against an order of acquittal passed by the Trial Court the High Court would be justified on re-appreciation of the entire evidence independently and come to its own conclusion that acquittal is perverse and manifestly erroneous, it said.

The bench, after setting aside the judgement, restored the appeal before the High Court and asked it to decide and dispose of the appeal in accordance with law and on its own merits, bearing in mind the observations made.

The High Court is requested to decide and dispose of the appeal on merits at the earliest, it said.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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