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The appellate court has to consider the entire evidence on record before declining a leave to appeal: High Court of Delhi

If upon careful consideration of the evidentiary basis and reasoning of the trial court, the High Court finds no infirmity as would warrant interference with the judgment of acquittal, leave to appeal should be declined. The appellate court has to consider the entire evidence on record, so as to arrive at a finding as to whether the views of the trial court were perverse or otherwise unsustainable. An appellate court has full power to review, re-appreciate and reconsider the evidence upon which the order of acquittal is founded and Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 puts no limitation, restriction or condition on exercise of such power and the same was upheld by High Court of Delhi through the learned bench led by Justice Siddharth Mridul in the case of STATE vs. SAMEER @ ALLAUDIN on 18.02.2022.

The facts of the case that the medical evidence brought on record of the post-mortem examination of the deceased showed that the death was a consequence of haemorrhagic shock as a result of antemortem injury to chest produced by projectile from a firearm. The firearm, which was stated to be a country-made pistol, was alleged to have been recovered at the instance of the accused.

The present petition has been filed by the State (NCT of Delhi) seeking grant of leave to appeal against judgment rendered by the learned Additional Sessions Judge. By way of the impugned judgment, the learned trial court acquitted the accused/respondent of all charges, being of the opinion that the prosecution failed to prove its case against the accused beyond reasonable doubt.

The counsel appearing on behalf of the State submitted that the impugned judgment was based on evidence. The evidence, both oral and documentary, that has come on record during the course of the trial shows the accused respondent shot Firoz in a factory, and the latter subsequently died.

In the view of facts and circumstances of the case, the Court was inclined to agree with the conclusions reached by the learned trial court in acquitting the respondent as the Court did not find any ground to grant of leave to appeal in the present case. Therefore, the petition seeking leave to appeal was dismissed.

The Court observed that, “If upon careful consideration of the evidentiary basis and reasoning of the trial court, the High Court finds no infirmity as would warrant interference with the judgment of acquittal, leave to appeal should be declined. The appellate court has to consider the entire evidence on record, so as to arrive at a finding as to whether the views of the trial court were perverse or otherwise unsustainable. An appellate court has full power to review, re-appreciate and reconsider the evidence upon which the order of acquittal is founded and Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 puts no limitation, restriction or condition on exercise of such power. The circumstances from which the conclusion of guilt is to be drawn should be fully established. The circumstances concerned “must” or “should” and not “may be” established.”

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Judgment reviewed by – Shristi Suman

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