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Merely Because Second View Is Possible, Appellate Court Can’t Substitute View In Appeal Against Acquittal: Bombay HC [Read JT]

nitish kashyap
15 July 2017 7:25 AM GMT
Merely Because Second View Is Possible, Appellate Court Can’t Substitute View In Appeal Against Acquittal: Bombay HC [Read JT]
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Dismissing Maharashtra State’s appeal against the acquittal of an accused, the Bombay High Court has held that merely because a second view may be possible, the court, in its appellate jurisdiction dealing with an appeal against acquittal, cannot substitute its view and therefore, the view taken by the trial court needs to be confirmed.A bench of Justice Vibha Kankanwadi was hearing an...

Dismissing Maharashtra State’s appeal against the acquittal of an accused, the Bombay High Court has held that merely because a second view may be possible, the court, in its appellate jurisdiction dealing with an appeal against acquittal, cannot substitute its view and therefore, the view taken by the trial court needs to be confirmed.

A bench of Justice Vibha Kankanwadi was hearing an appeal filed by the State against the order of acquittal dated January 4, 2001, wherein accused Satish Kumar Tiwari was acquitted of charges under Sections 420 (cheating), 494 (marrying again during lifetime of husband or wife), 498 A (husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty) and 506 (2) (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code by the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Pune.

An FIR was registered against the accused on July 1, 1994, on the basis of complaint filed by his wife.

According to the complainant, they got married on July 7, 1974, in Nagpur. It was a registered marriage. After the marriage, the accused was transferred to Pune. He would visit his wife in Nagpur once or twice in a month.

After feeling that her husband was avoiding taking her to Pune, she went to his house in Pune where she found a lady named Manorama, who was actually his first wife. The accused had four children with his first wife and one with his second wife (complainant).

Thereafter, from January 1981 to March 28, 1994, the complainant lived with the accused and his first wife in the same house in Pune.

According to the complainant, the accused threatened to kill her unless she signed on a stamp paper in order to transfer property in his name. She left the house with her daughter and lodged the FIR.

Upon examination of all the facts, the court noted that the complainant has not mentioned in her testimony whether she knew about his (accused) first marriage before they got married. Unless deception is from the beginning, offence under S.420 will not be made out, the court said.

Also, the only two people to be able to prove the complainant’s marriage to the accused were her brother and mother. Strangely, the prosecution had not examined them.

In letters written by the complainant, it is indicated that she knew about the accused’s first marriage before marrying him. This, the court said, would mean that her claim of being a legally wedded wife would be nullified.

Thus, offence under 498 A would also not be made out.

Dismissing the appeal, the court observed-

“Taking into consideration the evidence that was adduced before the Trial Court, in my considered opinion, the view taken by the Trial Court, on appreciation of the said evidence is a probable and plausible view. Merely because, the second view may be possible, this Court in its appellate jurisdiction dealing with the Appeal against acquittal cannot substitute its view and therefore, the view taken by the Trial Court needs to be confirmed.”

Read the Judgment Here


                      
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