The Apex Court has emphasised the requirement of the Court addressing First Appeal in criminal cases, to consider the evidence put on record and the opinion given by the Trial Court, and give its opinion on the basis of these factors.
The Supreme Court bench, comprising of Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Justices Dinesh Maheshwari and Hrishikesh Roy, was addressing a Special Leave Petition filed against the High Court of Rajasthan, opposing the order passed by the Court dismissing an appeal. This appeal challenged the Trial Court’s verdict of conviction.
It was brought to the Supreme Court’s attention that the order passed by the High Court mere recited the evidence and did not fully analyse and appreciate it with the purpose of confirming the conviction against which the appeal had been filed.
The Court reiterated the need to form informed opinions based on all the evidence at hand and the opinion of the Trial Court in a First Appeal in cases of criminal offences.
Facts of the case and the testimonies of the witness were examined by the Rajasthan High Court, the prosecution was found successful and the guilt of the accused was concluded.
However, in the case in question, the Supreme Court stated that the Rajasthan High Court’s efforts were unsatisfactory for considering the First Appeal in criminal matters and did not meet the requirements of law. Hence, they set aside the High Court’s order and passed an order remitting the appeal for revaluation by the High Court. The case was allowed and is to be considered in accordance with law, on merits as a First Appeal in a Section 302 case of the Indian Penal Code.
The accused had already been subjected to around eight and a half years of custodial imprisonment, hence, he was granted bail by the court, in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Trial Court.