Case BriefsHigh Courts

Karnataka High Court: John Michael Cunha J., while rejecting the present criminal revision petition, elaborated on scope and ambit of Section 397 Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 and further rejected the argument of the petitioner that the lower courts have erred in appreciating the evidence.

Brief Facts

The present Revision Petition is filed under Section 397 CrPC, read with Section 401 CrPC, praying to set aside the judgment/order of conviction dated 27-01-2018 passed in Criminal Case No. 52506 of 2013 and the judgment dated 12-08-2020 passed in Criminal application No. 2507 of 2018. Challenging the concurrent judgments and sentence for payment of Rs 10,00,000 rendered by the Courts below convicting the petitioner under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881, the petitioner prays for acquittal on the ground that the lower Courts have erred in appreciating the evidences placed on record in addition with according to the adequate opportunity of hearing to the petitioner/accused.

Issue

Whether the present petition under Section 397 CrPC maintainable?

Observation

The Court while redefining the scope and ambit of Section 397 noted,

“This Court in exercise of its power under Section 397CrPC cannot re-appreciate the evidence and arrive at a different conclusion, even if different view is possible from the evidence. The jurisdiction under Section 397 CrPC could be exercised only when the decision under challenge is grossly erroneous; non-compliance with the provisions of law; finding of fact affecting the decision is not based on evidence; non-consideration of the material evidence and that the lower court has exercised the discretion arbitrarily or perversely and acted in excess of its jurisdiction or abused its power resulting in failure of justice.”

The Court further said that no errors or illegality can be traced in the orders made by the lower court in the instant case. The argument made on the ground of inadequate hearing stands rejected as the records prove procedural compliance and stage of evidence.

Decision

Rejecting the present criminal revision petition at the admission stage itself, the Court found no reasons to interfere with the findings of the trial court, on both sentence and conviction.[K. Kuppuraj v. J. Thrilokamurthy,  Crl. Revision petition No. 606 of 2020, decided on 05-10-2020]


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Case BriefsHigh Courts

Rajasthan High Court: Vijay Bishnoi, J., allowed a criminal revision petition seeking to set aside judgments convicting the petitioner with regard to offences under the Negotiable Instruments Act. 

In the present case, the petitioner being aggrieved by the orders of the trial court and the appellate court wherein he was convicted for an offence under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 (“NI Act”) has filed this criminal revision petition. 

Learned counsel representing the petitioner, Umesh Shrimali submitted that in view of the fact that the parties have entered into a compromise, the impugned orders under challenge may be set aside and the petitioner may be acquitted from the charges.

The public prosecutor representing the respondent, Laxman Solanki submitted that the respondent has agreed to the compromise entered into and it does not want to press any charges for the offence punishable under the NI Act.

The Court perused Section 147 of the NI Act and stated that every offence punishable under the Act is compoundable hence the impugned orders are set aside and the criminal revision petition is set aside. However, the Court upon placing reliance on the Supreme Court judgment Damodar S. Prabhu v Sayed Babalal H, (2010) 5 SCC 663 and directed the petitioner to submit 15% of the cheque amount by way of the cost before the Legal Services Authority. [Jasmel Singh v. State of Rajasthan,2020 SCC OnLine Raj 334, decided on 03-03-2020]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Allahabad High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of Rajeev Misra, J., dealt with this petition which was filed under Article 227 of the Constitution of India where a summoning order under Sections 323, 504, 379, 427 and 452 IPC, criminal revision petition and any proceedings arising out of them were prayed to be quashed.

Petitioner had made contentions on factual basis pleading that he had been falsely implicated. Various cases were referred before the Court which elucidated in length the legal aspects evolved with regard to matters where proceedings can be quashed. Cases, where allegations made against accused or investigation was done by investigating officer, do not show any offence committed by accused or the allegations seems absurd, or extremely improbable, or where prosecution is legally barred, or the criminal proceeding is found to be made maliciously with motive of grudge can be quashed.

The Court observed that as per the submissions of petitioner, adjudication was required on the question of facts and even the question of law coming therein can be adjudicated by the trial court itself. Court found no reason to quash the summoning order, complaint or any other proceedings arising out of them. Therefore, the writ petition was dismissed. [Vivek Kumar v. State of U.P.,2018 SCC OnLine All 1166, order dated 23-08-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Himachal Pradesh High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of Tarlok Singh Chauhan, J., decided a criminal revision petition filed under Sections 397 and 401 IPC, wherein the order of conviction and sentence passed by the trial court against the petitioners was upheld.

The petitioners were convicted and sentenced by the trial court under Sections 323, 325 and 342 IPC. Having failed in an appeal before the appellate court against the order of the trial court, the petitioners filed the instant revision petition. The petitioners raised threefold contention before the High Court; and the Court based its decision of upholding the order of trial court on discussing the following three points-

1. Delay in lodging FIR: The Court referring to various Supreme Court decisions observed that it is more than settled that delay in lodging of FIR by itself cannot be a ground to doubt the prosecution case and discarding the delay in lodging FIR would put the Court on its guard to search if any plausible explanation has been offered for the delay and if offered whether it is satisfactory or not. There can be no hard and fast rule that any delay in lodging FIR would automatically render the prosecution case doubtful.

2. No independent witness: On this point, the Court observed that it is more than settled that a witness is normally to be considered as independent unless he springs from sources which are likely to be tainted and that usually means unless the witness has cause, such as enmity against the accused, to implicate him falsely. Ordinarily a close relative would be the last to screen the real culprits and falsely implicate an innocent person.

3. Contradictions in witnesses’ statement: The Court held it to be well settled that in every case there was bound to be some exaggerations, embellishments or improvements, which at time could even be deliberate. There was bound to be slight exaggeration but then the Court is required to sift the chaff from the grain and find out the truth from the testimonies of the witnesses. Total repulsion of evidence is unnecessary. The evidence is to be considered from the point of view of trustworthiness.

In light of the above discussion, and considering the fact finding by the courts below, the High Court concluded that the judgment and order passed by the courts below could not be termed as perverse so as to require any interference of the High Court in the instant revision petition. Accordingly, the petition was dismissed. [Madan Kumar v. State of Himachal Pradesh,  2018 SCC OnLine HP 256, decided on 19.3.2018]