Gujarat High Court Case Information System Print CR.A/677/2003 6/ 8 JUDGMENT IN THE HIGH COURT OF GUJARAT AT AHMEDABAD CRIMINAL APPEAL No. 677 of 2003 For Approval and Signature: HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE Z.K.SAIYED ========================================================= 1 Whether Reporters of Local Papers may be allowed to see the judgment ? 2 To be referred to the Reporter or not ? 3 Whether their Lordships wish to see the fair copy of the judgment ? 4 Whether this case involves a substantial question of law as to the interpretation of the constitution of India, 1950 or any order made thereunder ? 5 Whether it is to be circulated to the civil judge ? ========================================================= THE STATE OF GUJARAT - Appellant(s) Versus MAGANBHAI RAMJIBHAI PATEL & 5 - Opponent(s) ========================================================= Appearance : MR HH PARIKH Ld. APP for Appellant(s) : 1, MR PM DAVE for Opponent(s) : 1, MR ASIT B JOSHI for Opponent(s) : 1, MR UTPAL M PANCHAL for Opponent(s) : 2, 5, UNSERVED-EXPIRED (N) for Opponent(s) : 3, MR NL PATEL for Opponent(s) : 4, 6, MR KAUSHAL D PANDYA for Opponent(s) : 4, 6, ========================================================= CORAM : HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE Z.K.SAIYED Date : 01/12/2010 ORAL JUDGMENT
The present appeal, under section 378 of the Code of Criminal
Procedure, 1973, is directed against the judgment and order of
acquittal dated 24.2.2003 passed by the learned JMFC, Surat, in
Criminal Case No.2153/1994, whereby the accused have been acquitted
of the charges under sec. 120-B, 420, 467, 468 and 471 of IPC,
leveled against them.
The brief facts of the prosecution case are as under:
That during 2.7.1975 to 2.8.1984, accused no. 3 had without following
any due procedure, in collusion with accused no.1, 4, 5 converted his
agricultural land bearing survey no. 51/1-2 of village Vesu and the
accused no. 3 has made revenue entry in village form No. 6 vide entry
no. 719 on 27.10.1983 after a period of seven years, and the said
entry has been certified by accused no. 6 on 5.12.1983 without
verifying the record.
Therefore, a complaint with respect to the aforesaid offence was
filed against the respondents. Thereafter, necessary investigation
was carried out and statements of several witnesses were recorded.
During the course of investigation, respondents were arrested and,
ultimately, charge-sheet was filed against them before the court of
learned JMFC, Surat, which was numbered as Criminal Case No.
2153/1994. The trial was initiated against the respondents.
To prove the case against the present accused, the prosecution has
examined witnesses and also produced documentary evidence.
At the end of trial, after recording the statement of the accused
under section 313 of Cr.P.C., and hearing arguments on behalf of
prosecution and the defence, the learned trial Judge acquitted the
respondent of all the charges leveled against them by judgment and
order dated 24.2.2003.
Being aggrieved by and dissatisfied with the aforesaid judgment and
order passed by the trial Court the appellant State has preferred the
It was contended by learned APP that the judgment and order of the
trial Court is against the provisions of law; the trial Court has not
properly considered the evidence led by the prosecution and looking
to the provisions of law itself it is established that the
prosecution has proved the whole ingredients of the evidence against
the present respondent. Learned APP has also taken this court through
the oral as well as the entire documentary evidence.
At the outset it is required to be noted that the principles which
would govern and regulate the hearing of appeal by this Court against
an order of acquittal passed by the trial Court have been very
succinctly explained by the Apex Court in a catena of decisions. In
the case of
M.S. Narayana Menon @ Mani Vs. State of Kerala & Anr, reported in
(2006)6 SCC, 39,
the Apex Court has narrated about the powers of the High Court in
appeal against the order of acquittal. In para 54 of the decision,
the Apex Court has observed as under:
In any event the High Court entertained an appeal treating to be an
appeal against acquittal, it was in fact exercising the revisional
jurisdiction. Even while exercising an appellate power against a
judgment of acquittal, the High Court should have borne in mind the
well-settled principles of law that where two view are possible, the
court should not interfere with the finding of acquittal recorded by
the court below.
Further, in the case of Chandrappa
Vs. State of Karnataka, reported in (2007)4 SCC 415
Apex Court laid down the following principles:
From the above decisions, in our considered view, the following
general principles regarding powers of the appellate court while
with an appeal against an order of acquittal emerge:
An appellate court has full power to review, reappreciate and
reconsider the evidence upon which the order of acquittal is founded.
The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 puts no limitation, restriction
or condition on exercise of such power and an appellate court on the
evidence before it may reach its own conclusion, both on questions of
fact and of law.
Various expressions, such as, substantial and compelling reasons ,
good and sufficient grounds , very strong circumstances ,
distorted conclusions , glaring mistakes , etc. are not
intended to curtain extensive powers of an appellate court in an
appeal against acquittal. Such phraseologies are more in the nature
of flourishes of language to emphasis the reluctance of an
appellate court to interfere with acquittal than to curtail the power
of the court to review the evidence and to come to its own
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, the presumption of his innocence is further reinforced,
reaffirmed and strengthened by the trial court.
If two reasonable conclusions are possible on the basis of the
evidence on record, the appellate court should not disturb the
finding of acquittal recorded by the trial court.
Thus, it is a settled principle that while exercising appellate
power, even if two reasonable conclusions are possible on the basis
of the evidence on record, the appellate court should not disturb the
finding of acquittal recorded by the trial court.
Even in a recent decision of the Apex Court in the case of State
of Goa V. Sanjay Thakran & Anr. Reported in (2007)3 SCC 75,
the Court has reiterated the powers of the High Court in such cases.
In para 16 of the said decision the Court has observed as under:
From the aforesaid decisions, it is apparent that while exercising
the powers in appeal against the order of acquittal the Court of
appeal would not ordinarily interfere with the order of acquittal
unless the approach of the lower Court is vitiated by some manifest
illegality and the conclusion arrived at would not be arrived at by
any reasonable person and, therefore, the decision is to be
characterized as perverse. Merely because two views are possible, the
Court of appeal would not take the view which would upset the
judgment delivered by the Court below. However, the appellate court
has a power to review the evidence if it is of the view that the
conclusion arrived at by the Court below is perverse and the Court
has committed a manifest error of law and ignored the material
evidence on record. A duty is cast upon the appellate court, in such
circumstances, to re-appreciate the evidence to arrive to a just
decision on the basis of material placed on record to find out
whether any of the accused is connected with the commission of the
crime he is charged with.
Similar principle has been laid down by the Apex Court in the cases
Uttar Pradesh Vs. Ram Veer Singh & Ors, reported in 2007 AIR SCW
Prasad (Dead) by LRs Vs. state of MP, reported in 2007 AIR SCW 5589.
Thus, the powers which this Court may exercise against an order of
acquittal are well settled.
It is also a settled legal position that in acquittal appeal, the
appellate court is not
required to re-write the judgment or to give fresh reasonings, when
the reasons assigned by the Court below are found to be just and
proper. Such principle
is laid down by the Apex Court in the case of State
of Karnataka Vs. Hemareddy, reported in AIR 1981 SC 1417,
it is held as under:
has observed in Girija
Nandini Devi V. Bigendra Nandini Chaudhary (1967)1 SCR 93: (AIR 1967
SC 1124) that
it is not the duty of the appellate court when it agrees with the
view of the trial court on the evidence to repeat the narration of
the evidence or to reiterate the reasons given by the trial court
expression of general agreement with the reasons given by the Court
the decision of which is under appeal, will ordinarily suffice.
Thus, in case the appellate court agrees with the reasons and the
opinion given by the lower court, then the discussion of evidence is
I have gone through the judgment and order passed by the trial court.
I have also perused the oral as well as documentary evidence led by
the trial court and also considered the submissions made by learned
APP for the appellant-State. The trial court while considering the
oral as well as documentary evidence has clearly observed that the
prosecution has miserably failed to prove the case against the
accused beyond any reasonable doubt. Even no direct or indirect
evidence is produced by the prosecution to prove the criminal
conspiracy. So far as the forged document is concerned, the
prosecution has also failed to prove the same to the effect that who
has prepared the said forged document. Even in the present appeal,
nothing is produced or pointed out to rebut the conclusion of the
trial Court. Thus, from the evidence itself it is established that
the prosecution has not proved its case beyond reasonable doubt.
Mr. HH Parikh learned APP is not in a position to show any evidence
to take a contrary view of the matter or that the approach of the
trial court is vitiated by some manifest illegality or that the
decision is perverse or that the trial court has ignored the material
evidence on record.
In the above view of the matter, I am of the considered opinion that
the trial court was completely justified in acquitting the respondent
of the charges leveled against him.
I find that the findings recorded by the trial court are absolutely
just and proper and in recording the said findings, no illegality or
infirmity has been committed by it.
I am, therefore, in complete agreement with the findings, ultimate
conclusion and the resultant order of acquittal recorded by the court
below and hence find no reasons to interfere with the same. Hence the
appeal is hereby dismissed. R & P to be sent back to the trial
Court, forthwith. Bail bond, if any, stands cancelled.