Topics Covered in this article
The present article deals with the criminal case and the power off t he Appellate court under section 391 of the Criminal procedure Code, 1973.
Facts of the Case
These statutory appeals are filed under Section 2(a) of the Supreme Court (Enlargement of Criminal Appellate Jurisdiction) Act, 1970 and under Section 379 of the Criminal Procedure Code against the final judgment and order dated 2006 passed by the High Court of Delhi in whereby the High Court reversed the order of acquittal passed by the Additional Sessions Judge, Delhi, and convicted Sidhartha Vashisht under Section 302, 201/120B IPC and Section 27 of the Arms Act and sentenced him to undergo imprisonment for life for the offence under Section 302 IPC together with a fine of Rs.50,000/- to be paid to the family of the victim and in default of payment of fine, to undergo further imprisonment for three years and also sentenced him to undergo imprisonment for four years for the offence under Section 27 of the Arms Act with a fine of Rs.2000/- and in default to further undergo imprisonment for three months.
He was further sentenced to undergo imprisonment for four years for the offence under Section 201/120B IPC together with a fine of Rs. 2,000 and, in default, to further undergo imprisonment for three months. The High Court also sentenced Amardeep Singh Gill @ Tony Gill and Vikas Yadav undergo rigorous imprisonment for four years and a fine of Rs.2000/- each and, in default of payment of fine, to further undergo imprisonment for three months under Section 201/120B IPC.
The brief facts of the case are that on the night intervening 29/30.04.1999 at 2.20 a.m., DD Entry No. 41 A (Ex. PW-13/A) was recorded at Police Station Mehrauli which disclosed a shooting incident at H- 5/6 Qutub Colonnade. A copy of the said DD entry was handed over to SI Sharad Kumar who along with Ct. Meenu Mathew left for the spot. Near about the same time, copy of the said DD entry was also given to SI Sunil Kumar who along with Ct. Subhash also left for the spot. On reaching the spot, it found that the injured had been removed to Ashlok Hospital and the floor of the Restaurant was found to be wet. SI Sunil Kumar (PW-100) then left SI Sharad Kumar (PW-78) at the spot to guard the same and proceeded to Ashlok Hospital along with Ct. Subhash.
The SHO Police Station Mehrauli, Inspector S.K. Sharma (PW-101) along with his team also left the Police Station vide DD Entry No. 43 A and reached the spot and deputed one Home Guard Shravan Kumar (PW 30) at the entrance of `Qutub Colonnade’ to guard the vehicles. On reaching Ashlok Hospital, PW-100 met Beena Ramani (PW-20), who is the owner of the Restaurant, and enquired about the incident but she asked him to talk to Shyan Munshi (PW-2) saying that he was inside and he knew everything. PW-100 then recorded the statement of Shyan Munshi and made an endorsement on the same for the registration of the case under Section 307 IPC and handed over it to Ct. Subhash to be carried to the police station, Mehrauli.
At about 4.00 a.m., FIR was registered at the police station, Mehrauli. In the meantime, Jessica Lal had been shifted to Apollo Hospital. When SI Sunil Kumar came back to the spot along with PW-2, Guard Shravan Kumar informed them about the lifting of one black Tata Safari from the spot. On inspection of the site, two empty cartridges were seized and, in the meantime, a supplementary statement of Shyan Munshi was also recorded. At about 5.45 a.m., received an information by Ct. Satyavan intimating him about the death of Jessica Lal at Apollo Hospital. Charge under Section 302 IPC/201/120 B IPC and under Section 27 of the Arms Act has been framed against the accused Sidhartha Vashisht @ Manu Sharma, charge under Section 201/120B IPC has been framed against accused Vikas Yadav, Amardeep Singh Gill @ Tony Gill and Alok Khanna, charge under Section 212 IPC has been framed against Harvinder Chopra, Raja Chopra, Vikas Gill @ Ruby Gill and Yograj Singh and charge under Section 201/212 IPC against Shyam Sunder Sharma. At about 7.00 a.m. PW 100 recorded the statement of the Manager (PW-47), Waiter (PW-46) and Beena Ramani (PW-20)- the owner of the Restaurant.
The post mortem was conducted at about 11.30 a.m. at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences on the same day. In the meantime, at about 11.00 a.m., SI Pankaj Malik had been sent to Chandigarh to secure the black Tata Safari and to arrest the appellant. PW-100 recorded the statements of the witnesses. On 30.04.1999 at about 4.15 p.m., an FIR was registered against Malini Ramani (PW-6), Beena Ramani (PW-20) and George Mailhot (PW-24) under Sections 61/68/1/14 of the Punjab Excise Act. At about 8.30 p.m., PW-100 handed over the investigation to SHO S.K. Sharma (PW-101). On the night intervening 30.04.1999/01.05.1999, at about 2 a.m., the police raided the farm house of the appellant and on search being conducted seized a photograph of the appellant. On 02.05.1999, a list of invited guests was prepared by PW-
On the same day, around 10.00 p.m., PW-101, got an information that a black Tata Safari has been found by the U.P. Police and on the next day PW-101 went to Noida Police Station and seized the said black Tata Safari. On 05.05.1999 at about 2.30 a.m., Amardeep Singh Gill @ Tony Gill and Alok Khanna were arrested and from their alleged disclosure statements, the involvement of Sidhartha Vashisht @ Manu Sharma was confirmed. On the same day, Inspector Raman Lamba (PW 87) who was in Chandigarh with his team intimated the lawyer of the accused- appellant that Manu Sharma is required in the case. On receipt of the information, , the appellant surrendered before PW-87 and was later arrested at about 2.20 p.m. and brought to Delhi. On 07.05.1999, the police produced the appellant before the Metropolitan Magistrate and sought police remand for effecting recovery of the alleged weapon of offence. An application for conducting Test Identification Parade (TIP) of the appellant was also moved. Thereafter, the appellant was remanded to five days police custody till 12.05.1999 and thereafter on 12.05.1999 extended till 17.05.1999 on the application of the I.O., but on 15.05.1999, the appellant’s remand was preponed from 17.05.1999 to 15.05.1999. On 16.05.99, the appellant was sent to judicial custody. On 30.05.1999, the accused-Vikas Yadav was also arrested. After the completion of investigation, the other accused persons were also arrested.
On 03.08.1999, charge sheet was filed against ten accused persons. On 23.11.2000, the Additional Sessions Judge framed charges against the appellant/Manu Sharma under Sections 302, 201 read with 120 B IPC and Section 27 of the Arms Act, accused Amardeep Singh Gill was charged under Section 120 read with Section 201 IPC, accused Vikas Yadav was charged under Section 120 read with 201 IPC as also Section 201 read with 34 IPC, accused Harvinder Chopra, Vikas Gill, Yograj Singh and Raja Chopra under Section 212 IPC and accused Alok Khanna, Shyam Sunder Sharma and Amit Jhingan were discharged of all the offences. In 2000/2001, Revision Petition No. 596 of 2000 was preferred by the prosecution before the High Court of Delhi praying for the framing of charge against the accused persons and setting aside the discharge of Alok Khanna, Shyam Sunder Sharma and Amit Jhingan. Revision Petitions were also preferred by the accused persons against the framing of the charges against them. The High Court disposed of all the revision petitions filed by the accused persons by a common order dated 13.03.2001. On 12.04.2001, charges as per the orders of the High Court were framed and some of the charges as framed earlier were maintained. Charges under Section 120B/201 IPC were framed against accused Vikas Yadav, Amardeep Singh Gill @ Tony Gill and Alok Khanna and charges under Sections 201 and 212 IPC were framed against accused Shyam Sunder Sharma. Against the rest of the accused, the charges as framed on 23.11.2000 by the trial Court were maintained. Trial began in May, 2001 against nine accused. In all, 101 witnesses were examined by the prosecution and two court witnesses were also examined.
(e) On 12.12.2001, the case registered against Malini Ramani, Beena Ramani and George Mailhot under the Punjab Excise Act was disposed of with a direction to pay a fine of Rs.200/- each. On 28.01.2002, the appellant was released on interim bail for a period of six weeks by the order of the High Court dated 25.01.2002 with a direction to surrender after the expiry of the same. In compliance with the conditions of interim bail, the appellant surrendered on 11.3.2002 but again sought for and granted interim bail for a period of ten weeks starting from 20.03.2002. During the period from March 2002 to February 2006, the appellant was enlarged on bail on different occasions by various orders of the High Court. On one occasion, against the dismissal of the bail application by the High Court on 11.11.2003, the appellant filed a special leave petition before this Court which was dismissed by this Court on 02.12.2003. On 21.02.2006, after trial, the Additional Sessions Judge acquitted all the nine accused including the appellant- Manu Sharma.
The issues that were framed by the court are follows;
a) Whether the prosecution has established its case beyond reasonable doubt against all the three accused?
b) Whether the trial Court is justified in acquitting all the accused in respect of charges leveled against them?
c) Whether the impugned order of the High Court imposing punishment when the trial Court acquitted all the accused in respect of the charges leveled against them is sustainable?
Decision of Court
The court Upheld the decision of the High Court which reversed that orders of t he lower court acquitting the accused.
Scope of the Appellate Court in reversing the order of acquittal by the Trial Court is a significant What becomes important to understand is that the evidence can be introduced in the appellate court in an appeal so as to prove the case and the appellate court has full authority to review such an evidence so as to come to a fair conclusion. As it becomes the duty of the court to observe the entire evidence on record. The question of fact as well as the question of law can be looked into in the case of review by the appellate court. The review court shall state the substantial reasons for the said decision. Further the court should also point out the mistake that was committee by the earlier court.
Further, on the examination of the disputes of the case, it is important to comprehend that the Police specialists ought to severely acclimate to decency in the path of a denounced in a Sessions Court. A Public Prosecutor isn’t needed to show a yearn to show up at the case in the conviction of the charged here and there or another or the other in any case for the affirmed real factors drew in with the case. The typical air of the Public Prosecutor while coordinating arraignment ought to be outlined in decency not only to the Court and to the exploring workplaces anyway to the blamed as well.
In the event that a accused is qualified for any authentic advantage during trail the Public Prosecutor ought not leave/cover it. In actuality, it is the obligation of the Public Prosecutor to winch it to the power and make it accessible to the charged. Regardless of whether the protection counsel ignored it, Public Prosecutor has the additional duty to carry it to the notification of the Court in the event that it goes as far as anyone is concerned, A private counsel, whenever permitted liberates hand to lead arraignment would concentrate on carrying the case to conviction regardless of whether it’s anything but a fit case to be so sentenced. That is the inspiration driving why Parliament applied a saddle on him and abused his work thoroughly to the rules given by the Public Prosecutor.
Moreover, the public prosecutor has more extensive arrangement of obligations than to only guarantee that the charged is punished, the obligations of guaranteeing reasonable play in the procedures, all applicable realities are brought under the steady gaze of the court all together for the assurance of truth and equity for every one of the gatherings including the people in question. It should be noticed that these obligations don’t permit the prosecutor to be careless in any of his obligations as against the charged.
The court observed that the endlessly the obligation of the Court is to show up at reality and support the closures of equity. Note that Section 311 of the Code doesn’t give any choice to review, meeting and reconsider any observer. This is a power given to the Court not to be just polished at the contribution of any one gathering/individual anyway the powers introduced and politeness vested are to hinder any unrecoverable or limitless mischief to the justification society, public interest and unsuccessful labor of equity. Force of the Courts to control under this part is simply to discover applicable realities or securing real confirmation of such real factors as are imperative to appear at a value decision for the circumstance.
On breaking down the language of Section 391, plainly regardless of the way that Section 386 envisions the regular and typical way and procedure for evacuation of an allure, yet it doesn’t and can’t be said to altogether check the modes by which alone the Court can deal with an allure. segment 391 is one such unique case for the standard guideline and if the re-evaluating Court accepts additional confirmation to be fundamental, the arrangements in Section 386 and Section 391 should be pleasantly considered to enable the appeal to be considered and discarded in the light of the extra proof also. Along these lines, the current case has been appropriately seen in the light of legitimate understandings and administrative aim.
In the Indian Criminal law, the blamed is set in a to fairly beneficial situation than under various statute of a portion of the nations on the planet. The criminal equity framework, in India places essential freedoms and pride for human life at significantly higher stage. In our resolution a charged is set out to be exemplary till shown liable, the alleged reprimanded is equipped for sensibility and reasonable assessment and sensible path and the discipline is needed to expect changed part in the path of the wrongdoings.
The governing body object in building up Section 391 emits an impression of being the fortifying of the redrafting court to see that value is done between the investigator and individuals arraigned and if the re-appraising Court finds that particular confirmation is imperative to enable it to give a privilege and authentic disclosures, it would be guarded in taking an action under Section 391. Subsequently, in the current case the Hon’ble properly maintained the choice of the High Court.