1 April 2023 5:00 AM GMT
The Bombay High Court recently criticized a sessions judge for giving a single line reasoning to set aside a well-reasoned order passed by the judicial magistrate.Justice SG Mehare of the Aurangabad bench said that while writing a judgement in appeal, the court has to appreciate the case as if it is a trial before it.“…the learned Additional Sessions Judge has recorded a single-line...
The Bombay High Court recently criticized a sessions judge for giving a single line reasoning to set aside a well-reasoned order passed by the judicial magistrate.
Justice SG Mehare of the Aurangabad bench said that while writing a judgement in appeal, the court has to appreciate the case as if it is a trial before it.
“…the learned Additional Sessions Judge has recorded a single-line reason that there is sufficient evidence to establish the domestic violence caused to the appellant. Again, such a single-line reason is not expected from senior judges like District judges. He appears to have ignored the rules of writing judgment in appeal”, the court remarked.
The court set aside the finding of Additional Sessions Judge, Aurangabad that the petitioner was liable to pay maintenance to his wife under the Protection of Women From Domestic Violence Act, 2005.
The petitioner’s wife filed a domestic violence case against him in 2016. Before this, the couple had been involved in various court proceedings for divorce, maintenance and custody of children since 2005.
The Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC) dismissed the wife’s case for compensation. The Additional Sessions Judge observed that the JMFC did not consider the evidence and facts in proper perspective and granted her maintenance as well as house rent.
Hence the present revision application.
The petitioner contended that the appellate court cannot disagree with the trial court’s well-reasoned judgment in a single line of reasoning. The Civil Court’s finding of no cruelty and desertion in the divorce petition are binding on the criminal court, he argued.
Petitioner’s wife claimed that he is living with a second wife and children and has deserted her.
The court said that the appellate court has to write a judgement as if the case is a trial before it. The judgement has to contain all points for determination, the decision, and the reasons the court added. The appellate court has to re-appreciate the evidence on a sign the reason that she said.
“The appellate Court has to write a Judgment as if it is a trial before it. It has to record the reasons. Writing a Judgment in appeal is rewriting the judgment. The appellate Courts are also governed under rules including standard of reviewing the Judgment and order of the trial Court. It has to reappreciate the evidence and assign the reason for its conclusions. The appellate Court has to assign reasons if it disagrees with the findings of the trial Court. Merely writing a single line about failing to consider the evidence, material placed on record, and the facts elicited in proper perspective is incorrect in law”, the court observed.
The court noted that the Judge did not assign any reason for disagreeing with the reasoned order passed by the JMFC except a single line reason that there is sufficient evidence to established domestic violence.
The court said that domestic violence is a pre-requisite for considering maintenance application under the DV Act.
The court noted that the petitioner’s wife did not reside with him since 2005 and never complained of domestic violence when she was living in the shared household.
The court found that the JMFC discussed the facts, evidence and law regarding domestic violence in detail. The JMFC’s order is well-reasoned and the respondent-wife failed to prove domestic violence, the court concluded.
Case no. – Criminal Revision Application No. 36 of 2020
Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (Bom) 177
Case Title – A v. B
Click Here To Read/Download Judgment