Supreme Court: Reminding the Courts of the scope of their powers, the bench of Abhay Manohar Sapre and Dinesh Maheshwari, JJ has said:
“While considering the case of discharge sought immediately after the chargesheet is filed, the Court cannot become an Appellate Court and start appreciating the evidence by finding out inconsistency in the statements of the witnesses.”
Background of the case:
- An Inspector of Police and Sub-inspector of Police were prosecuted for commission of the offences punishable under Section 7 read with Section 13(1)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
- On chargesheet being filed by the State Prosecuting Agency against the respondents after obtaining necessary sanction as required in law, both of them filed applications under Section 227 of the Cr.P.C. in the Court of Special Judge and Chief Judicial Magistrate.
- The Chief Judicial Magistrate allowed the applications and discharged them from the case.
- State approached the High Court and the High Court dismissed the revisions and affirmed the order of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, giving rise to filing of these appeals by the State by way of special leave in this Court.
When the matter reached Supreme Court, it had to decide whether the Courts below were justified in allowing the discharge applications filed by the respondents under Section 227 of the Cr. P.C. Stating that the Court the High Court acted like an Appellate Court than as a Revisionary Court as if it was hearing the appeal against the final verdict of the Special Court, the Court said:
“consideration of the record for discharge purpose is one thing and the consideration of the record while deciding the appeal by the Appellate Court is another thing.”
The Court, hence, set aside the impugned order, dismissed the applications filed by the respondents under Section 227 of the Cr.P.C. and remanded the case to the Special Judge/CJM for its trial on merits in accordance with law.
[State v. J. Doraiswamy, 2019 SCC OnLine SC 338, decided on 07.03.2019]