CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 356 OF 2008
(Arising out of SLP (CRL) No. 2006/2007)
Arijit Pasayat, J.-
Challenge in this appeal is to the
order passed by a learned Single Judge of Jharkhand High Court setting
aside the order of acquittal recorded by the trial Court in favour of
the present appellants by allowing the revision filed by respondent
No.1-Rajesh (hereinafter referred to as the 'informant'). Learned
counsel for the appellants submitted that the approach of the High Court
is clearly erroneous. No reasons have been indicated to show that there
was any infirmity in the trial Court's judgment. In fact, according to
him, the trial Court's judgment was a very detailed one and ample
reasons were indicated. The High Court without even pointing out as to
what infirmity existed, in a mechanical manner directed the matter the
matter to be re-heard. Abrupt conclusion was arrived at that the trial
Court had not appreciated the evidence on record in its right
perspective and by mis-appropriation of evidence, directed acquittal.
It is submitted that it has not been
indicated as to how the evidence has not been appreciated in the right
perspective and/or how there was mis-appropriation of evidence. It is
pointed out that the revision was not maintainable at the instance of
the complainant. The exercise of revisional jurisdiction has to be
within limited parameters. Unless there are glaring defects in the
procedure or manifest errors of law leading to great mis-carriage of
justice, there is no scope for interference. It is pointed out that the
alleged occurrence took place on 20.11.1994 and a complaint was filed
after about 13 months i.e. on 11.12.1995.
3. Learned counsel for respondent
No.1 submitted that though the High Court has not referred to the
evidence in detail, the conclusions of the trial Court are sufficient to
show that the appellants were guilty of alleged offence.
4. The impugned order of the High
Court reads as follows:
"Heard. This revision has been filed by the informant against the
impugned Judgment by which, the accused persons were acquitted from the
charges under Section 364, 366A, 368 and 120B of the Indian Penal Code.
It appears from the impugned
Judgment that though the trial Court held that the minor girl Sarita
Kumari was kidnapped from the lawful guardianship of her father but by
discarding the evidence of P.Ws. on the ground that they are hearsay and
further rejecting the evidence of the prosecutrix Sarita Kumari on the
ground that the same was contradictory to her statement made under
Section 164 Cr.P.C., acquitted the accused persons holding that the
prosecution failed to produce any reliable evidence.
In my view, the trial Court has not
appreciated the evidence on record in its right perspective and by
misappreciation of evidence has acquitted the accused persons.
Accordingly, without giving any
specific finding on the evidence on record, the matter is being remitted
to the Trial Court by setting aside the impugned order with a direction
to the Trial Court to consider the materials and evidence on record
afresh in its right perspective and pass a fresh Judgment in accordance
with law after hearing the parties on the basis of the materials already
on record within a period of eight weeks from the date of receipt of a
copy of this order."
5. A bare reading of the impugned
order shows that no reason has been indicated and/or there has been no
analysis of the evidence recorded. The abrupt conclusions arrived at
show non application of mind.
6. Reasons introduce clarity in an
order. On plainest consideration of justice, the High Court ought to
have set forth its reasons, howsoever brief, in its order indicative of
an application of its mind. The absence of reasons has rendered the High
Court's judgment not sustainable.
7. Even in respect of administrative
orders Lord Denning M.R. in Breen v. Amalgamated Engineering Union
(1971 (1) All E.R. 1148) observed "The giving of reasons is one of
the fundamentals of good administration". In Alexander Machinery
(Dudley) Ltd. v. Crabtree (1974 LCR 120) it was observed: "Failure
to give reasons amounts to denial of justice". Reasons are live links
between the mind of the decision taker to the controversy in question
and the decision or conclusion arrived at". Reasons substitute
subjectivity by objectivity.
The emphasis on recording reasons is
that if the decision reveals the "inscrutable face of the sphinx", it
can, by its silence, render it virtually impossible for the Courts to
perform their appellate function or exercise the power of judicial
review in adjudging the validity of the decision. Right to reason is an
indispensable part of a sound judicial system, reasons at least
sufficient to indicate an application of mind to the matter before
Court. Another rationale is that the affected party can know why the
decision has gone against him. One of the salutary requirements of
natural justice is spelling out reasons for the order made, in other
words, a speaking order. The "inscrutable face of a sphinx" is
ordinarily incongruous with a judicial or quasi-judicial performance.
8. Above being the position, the
impugned order is clearly unsustainable and is set aside. The matter is
remitted to the High Court to dispose of the revision petition afresh in
accordance with law.
9. The appeal is allowed.
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