A two Judge Bench of the Supreme Court has held that the Supreme Court cannot appreciate the entire evidence de novo in a routine manner while hearing Criminal Appeals, and that too when the conviction is based on concurrent findings of two courts.
The Two Judge Bench of Justices Abhay Manohar Sapre and Ashok Bhushan has further held that It is only when the Court comes to a conclusion that the impugned finding though concurrent in nature is wholly arbitrary, unreasonable or/and perverse to the extent that no judicial mind of average capacity can ever record such conclusion, the Court may in appropriate case undertake the exercise of appreciating the evidence to the extent necessary to find out the error.
The Bench has dismissed the Appeal filed by the Accused against the final judgment passed by the High Court of Punjab and Haryana at Chandigarh by which the High Court dismissed the appeal filed by the him and upheld the judgment of Trial Court convicting him for the offences punishable under Section 304 Part II and Section 323 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and sentenced him to undergo rigorous imprisonment for five years with a fine of Rs.2000/- under Section 304 Part II of IPC and for a term of one year for the commission of the offence punishable under Section 323 of IPC.
Dismissing the Appeal the Bench held that the Court not notice any arbitrariness or/and unreasonableness in the concurrent finding of the two courts below inasmuch as counsel for the appellant was not able to point out any kind of illegality in the finding, which would persuade us to re-appreciate the entire evidence. The Bench said that the Courts below were justified in holding that the prosecution was able to prove the case beyond reasonable doubt against the Accused. The Court also said that since the State has not come up in appeal against the sentence awarded to the appellant and nor the appellant has challenged the award of sentence to him, it need not examine the adequacy or inadequacy of the sentence awarded to the Accused.
Read the Judgment here.