Patna High Court: Birendra Kumar, J., while addressing the matter stated that the present judgment as well as the Trial Court’s Judgment against which the appeal was filed required to be forwarded to the Director, Bihar Judicial Academy to ensure proper academic training to the judicial officers to make them conversant with the correct legal proposition.
Adding to the above, Bench expressed that Chief Justice may deem it proper that the trial judge who passed the impugned judgment needs special training at the Judicial Academy.
Appellant was charged under Section 376 of Penal Code, 1860 and Section 6 of the POCSO Act.
Trial Judge convicted the appellant for offence under Section 18 of the POCSO Act for the reason that no case of aggravated penetrative sexual assault was made out rather a case of attempt to commit penetrative sexual assault was proved against the appellant.
In the present appeal, Trial Court’s decision was challenged.
As per the facts of the case, appellant forcefully established a sexual relationship with a 13-year-old girl. The further allegation is that the appellant lifted her and was carrying her to commit her murder, but the family members came, and the appellant was apprehended and was handed over to the police.
Bench noted that none of the doctors who had occasion to examine the victim were produced as witness during the trial.
Prosecution’s report was not a substantive piece of evidence unless the expert appeared before the Court and supported the medical performance done by them. Therefore, no evidence was present in the case. Hence the impugned judgment of conviction was fit to be set aside.
High Court noted that the Trial Court Judge referred to Sanskrit shloka and Ghazals of Late Jagjit Singh while awarding the sentence against the appellant.
Bench expressed that Trial Judge especially a Judge having power to award death sentence must have correct knowledge of legal principles and zeal to its proper application while exercising the most onerous responsibility of taking decision on the life and liberty of the person before him.
Further adding to the above, Court stated that lack of knowledge of legal principles leads to miscarriage of justice and unnecessary harassment to the parties to the litigation. Bias and prejudices, conjectures and surmises and personal views contrary to the material on the record have no place in the court of law.
Court held that the trial Judge accepted the conflicting prosecution case as disclosed in the statement of the prosecutrix under Sections 154 and 164 CrPC for recording conviction without appreciating the fact that the aforesaid were not a substantive piece of pieces of evidence and the evidence brought during the trial did not disclose the commission of any offence or identity of the perpetrator of the offence.
Hence the impugned judgment and sentence was set aside. [Deepak Mahto v. State of Bihar, 2021 SCC OnLine Pat 770, decided on 12-04-2021]
Advocates before the Court:
For the Appellant/s: Mr N. K. Agrawal, Sr. Advocate. Mr Vijay Anand, Advocate.
For the Respondent/s: Mr Zeyaul Hoda, APP