Setting Aside, Acquittal Orders I

There is no limitation placed on the power to review the 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 the Judgment of the Trial Court, in this case by the High Court, is on a re-appreciation of evidence which is undoubtedly permissible. Though the High Court was aware of the well-settled principles of law in matters relating to Appeals against Acquittals, it failed to apply the same in their proper perspective. Interference with an Order of Acquittal is not permissible on the ground that a different view is possible.

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

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