Setting Aside, Acquittal Orders I

There is no limitation placed on power to review evidence in an Appeal against Acquittal.

It is relevant to refer to Lord Russell in Sheo Swarup, (1934) 36 BOM LR 1185; Surajpal Singh, (1952) 3 SCR 193; Muralidhar @ Gidda, (2014) 5 SCC 730 and Ghurey Lal, (2008) 10 SCC 450.

Interference with Judgment of Trial Court, in this case by High Court, is on a re-appreciation of evidence which is undoubtedly permissible. Though High Court was aware of well-settled principles of law in matters relating to Appeals against Acquittals, it failed to apply same in proper perspective. Interference with an Order of Acquittal is not permissible on the ground, a different view is possible.

On thorough examination of the entire evidence on record and Judgment of Trial Court, we are of considered view, Judgment of Acquittal by Trial Court is justified which ought not to have been interfered with. High Court could not have reversed a Judgment of Acquittal merely because another view is possible. No perversity in Judgment of Trial Court has been demonstrated by High Court for interfering with Judgment of Trial Court. Judgment of High Court is set aside and Judgment of Trial Court is restored.”

–  Hon’ble Justice L. Nageswara Rao, Mohd. Akhtar v. State of Bihar, [Criminal Appeal Nos. 407-408 of 2009].