The Finesse of a Trial Judge

Arvind Kumar Mishra J.

Justice Arvind Kumar Mishra of Allahabad High Court commenting on (Retd.) Justice Shyam Lal, in Nupur Talwar v. State of U.P., [Criminal Appeal No. 293 of 2014]:

Learned Trial Judge has prejudged things in his own fashion, drawn conclusions by embarking on erroneous analogy conjecturing to the brim on apparent facts telling a different story propelled by vitriolic reasoning. Thus, basing the finding of conviction without caring to see that it being a case based on circumstantial evidence things cannot be presumed and stuffed in a manner like the present one by adhering to self-created postulates then to roam inside the circle with all fanciful whim. Learned Trial Judge took evidence and the circumstances of the case for granted and tried to solve it like a mathematical puzzle when one solves a given question and then takes something for granted in order to solve that puzzle and question.

But the point is, Learned Trial Judge cannot act like a maths teacher who is solving a mathematical question by analogy after taking certain figures for granted. In all criminal trials, analogies must be drawn and confined within the domain and realm of the evidence, facts and circumstances on record and any analogy which brings facts, circumstances and evidence so placed in certain domain outside the periphery of that domain then that would be a case of certain aberration deviating from the main path.

It can by no means be denied, Trial Judge, perhaps out of extra zeal and enthusiasm and on the basis of self-perception adopted partial and parochial approach in giving vent to his own emotional belief and conviction and thus tried to give concrete shape to his own imagination stripped of just evaluation of evidence and facts of this case.

Trial Judge is supposed to be fair and transparent and should act as a man of ordinary prudence and he should not stretch his imagination to infinity – rendering the whole exercise mockery of law.

It appears that Trial Judge was unaware of the solemn duty cast by the law as the Judge has dealt with the entire case in style – a finesse.”

(Retd.) Justice Shyam Lal had also handed out the Death Sentence to Surender Koli in the Nithari case, saying the accused had “crossed all lines of human decency and would cut open dead bodies and commit acts of cannibalism on them“.