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Batuk Nath Pathak vs Triloki Narayan Pandey on 31 October, 2019

HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT ALLAHABAD

Court No. – 34

Case :- CRIMINAL REVISION No. – 762 of 2000

Revisionist :- Batuk Nath Pathak

Opposite Party :- Triloki Narayan Pandey

Counsel for Revisionist :- V.S. Singh

Counsel for Opposite Party :- Govt. Advocate,Ankit Kapoor

Hon’ble Sudhir Agarwal,J.

1. Heard Sri V.S. Singh, learned counsel of revisionist, Sri Ankit Kapoor, learned counsel for respondents and learned AGA for State of U.P.

2. This criminal revision under Section 397/401 Cr.P.C., has been filed assailing judgment and order dated 10.02.2000 passed by Sri Sant Ram, Additonal Chief Judicial Magistrate XIth, Varanasi, in Criminal Case No. 1810 of 1999, State Vs. Triloki Narayan Pandey and Others, acquitting accused-respondent from offence under Sections 498A, 323, 504, 506 IPC and Section 3/4 of Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961, Police Station Mahila Mahanagar, District Varanasi. Being aggrieved, revisionist preferred present revision.

3. Learned counsel for revisionist contended that Court below has not properly appreciated evidence in acquitting opposite party. He tried to take this Court to the judgment of Court below and made his endeavor to show that view taken by Court below in appreciating the evidence is not correct.

4. However, I find difficult in accepting above submission for the reason that in revisional jurisdiction this Court cannot sit in appeal and re-appreciate the evidence. It is not shown that any findings of Court below is contrary to record or perverse or that any material evidence has been ignored or misread. In the assessment of evidence, if Court below has taken a view, unless it is shown that such view is impermissible, no interference is called for.

5. The judicial review in exercise of revisional jurisdiction is not like an appeal. It is a supervisory jurisdiction which is exercised by the Court to correct the manifest error in the orders of subordinate courts but should not be exercised in a manner so as to turn the Revisional court in a Court of Appeal. The legislature has differently made provisions for appeal and revision and the distinction of two jurisdictions has to be maintained.

6. Construing old Section 439 of Criminal Procedure Code, 1898, pertaining to revisional jurisdiction, Court in D. Stephens Vs. Nosibolla, AIR 1951 Sc 196 said that revisional jurisdiction under Section 439 of Code ought not to be exercised lightly particularly when it is invoked by private complainant against an order of acquittal which could have been appealed against by Government under Section 417. It could be exercised only in exceptional cases where the interests of public justice require interference for correction of a manifest illegality, or prevention of a gross miscarriage of justice. In other words, revisional jurisdiction of the High Court cannot be invoked merely because the lower court has taken a wrong view of law or misappreciated the evidence on record.

7. In K. Chinnaswamy Reddy Vs. State of Andhra Pradesh, AIR 1962 SC 1788 it was held that revisional jurisdiction should be exercised by High Court in exceptional cases only when there is some glaring defect in the procedure or a manifest error on a point of law resulting in flagrant miscarriage of justice. However, this was also a case in which revisional jurisdiction was invoked against an order of acquittal. If Court lacks jurisdiction or has excluded evidence which was admissible or relied on inadmissible evidence or material evidence has been overlooked etc., then only this Court would be justified in exercising revisional power and not otherwise.

8. The above view has been reiterated in Mahendra Pratap Singh Vs. Sarju Singh, AIR 1968 SC 707; Khetrabasi Samal Vs. State of Orissa, AIR 1970 SC 272; Satyendra Nath Dutta and another Vs. Ram Narain, AIR 1975 SC 580; Jagannath Choudhary and others Vs. Ramayan Singh and another, 2002(5) SCC 659; and, Johar and others Vs. Mandal Prasad and another, 2008 Cr.L.J. 1627 (S.C.).

9. In Duli Chand Vs. Delhi Administration, 1975(4) SCC 649, Court reminded that jurisdiction of High Court in criminal revision is severely restricted and it cannot embark upon a re-appreciation of evidence. While exercising supervisory jurisdiction in revision, Court would be justified in refusing to re-appreciate evidence for determining whether concurrent findings of fact reached by learned Magistrate and Sessions Judge was correct.

10. In Pathumma and another Vs. Muhammad, 1986(2) SCC 585, Court reiterating the above view and said that in revisional jurisdiction High Court would not be justified in substituting its own view for that of a Magistrate on a question of fact.

11. In Munna Devi Vs. State of Rajasthan and another, 2001(9) SCC 631, Court said:

“The revision power under the Code of Criminal procedure cannot be exercised in a routine and casual manner. While exercising such powers the High Court has no authority to appreciate the evidence in the manner as the trial and the appellate courts are required to do. Revisional powers could be exercised only when it is shown that there is a legal bar against the continuance of the criminal proceedings or the framing of charge or the facts as stated in the First Information Report even if they are taken at the face value and accepted in their entirety do not constitute the offence for which the accused has been charged.”

12. In Ram Briksh Singh and others Vs. Ambika Yadav and another, 2004(7) SCC 665, in a matter again arising from the judgment of acquittal, revisional power of High Court was examined and Court said:

“4. Sections 397 to 401 of the Code are group of sections conferring higher and superior courts a sort of supervisory jurisdiction. These powers are required to be exercised sparingly. Though the jurisdiction under Section 401 cannot be invoked to only correct wrong appreciation of evidence and the High Court is not required to act as a court of appeal but at the same time, it is the duty of the court to correct manifest illegality resulting in gross miscarriage of justice.”

13. Moreso, if an appeal is filed against acquittal despite the fact that plenary power of Appellate Court to review the whole evidence on which order of acquittal is founded has been recognized by a Three Judge Bench of Supreme Court in Shivaji Sahebrao Bobade and another vs. State of Maharashtra, AIR 1973 SC 2622 and it has been followed in Girija Prasad (Dead) by L.Rs. vs. State of Madhya Pradesh, 2007(7) SCC 625 and State of Goa vs. Sanjay Thakran, 2007(3) SCC 755, still Court has held that in the matter of acquittal there are certain other principles which are to be kept in mind.

14. In Chandrappa vs. State of Karnataka, 2007(4) SCC 415, Court said that an Appellate Court, however, must bear in mind that in case of acquittal, there is double presumption in favour of the accused. Firstly, the presumption of innocence is available to him under the fundamental principle of criminal jurisprudence that every person shall be presumed to be innocent unless he is proved guilty by a competent court of law. Secondly, the accused having secured his acquittal, presumption of his innocence is further reinforced, reaffirmed and strengthened by Trial Court.

15. Further in State of Rajasthan vs. Shera Ram alias Vishnu Dutta, 2012(1) SCC 602, Court said that High Court is required to see that unless there are substantial and compelling circumstances, the order of acquittal is not required to be reversed in appeal. All these authorities have been referred and followed in Shivasharanappa and others vs. State of Karnatapa and others, 2013(5) SCC 705.

16. In the present case above principles are not only applicable in entirety but makes the jurisdiction of this Court further narrower for the reason that here the judgment of acquittal has been challenged in revision where the scope of judicial review is further limited as already discussed above and not as wide as that of Appellate Court. Therefore, unless there is a patent and culpable illegality justifying interference in judgment of acquittal, this Court shall not and should not interfere in criminal revision.

17. The revision is dismissed. Interim order, if any, stands vacated.

18. Certify this judgment to the lower Court immediately.

Order Date :- 31.10.2019

Siddhant Sahu

 

 

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