13 Feb 2023 7:14 AM GMT
The Madhya Pradesh High Court recently set aside the conviction of a person under Section 302 IPC due to non-compliance of Section 313 CrPC in the trial court proceedings. The division bench comprising Justices Sujoy Paul and A.N. Kesharwani observed that the court below had not complied with the requirements of Section 313 CrPC in its spirit and therefore, the conviction of the...
The Madhya Pradesh High Court recently set aside the conviction of a person under Section 302 IPC due to non-compliance of Section 313 CrPC in the trial court proceedings.
The division bench comprising Justices Sujoy Paul and A.N. Kesharwani observed that the court below had not complied with the requirements of Section 313 CrPC in its spirit and therefore, the conviction of the Appellant was untenable-
Since the Trial Court has not complied with the requirements of Section 313 of Cr.P.C. in its spirit and has not afforded sufficient opportunity for explanation to the appellant against the incriminating evidence which was used to base his conviction, therefore, such conviction and sentence passed by Trial Court cannot be affirmed by this Court. Resultantly, conviction and sentence passed by the Trial Court is hereby set aside. Looking at the statement of Deepchand (P.W.-9), FSL report (Ex.P-22), and other evidence on record, this Court is of the view that the case should be remitted to the Sessions Court for proper examination under Section 313 of Cr.P.C. after giving proper opportunity to produce defence evidence to the appellant and pass fresh judgment after hearing both the parties expeditiously, preferably within 45 days from the receipt of the record.
Facts of the case were that the Appellant was convicted for offences punishable under Section 302, 201 IPC for burning a man to death. Aggrieved, he preferred an appeal before the Court against his conviction.
The Appellant submitted that there were multiple omissions and contradictions in the case of the Prosecution. In addition to that, it was argued that the trial court did not comply with the mandate under Section 313 CrPC. It was pointed out by the Appellant that while recording his statement under Section 313 CrPC, the trial court did not put forth any question to him regarding the findings recorded in the FSL report that were used against him. Thus, it was asserted that the contents of the FSL report could not be used against him and accordingly, his conviction was liable to be set aside.
Per contra, the State supported the findings of the trial court and thus, argued that no interference was called for in the conviction of the Appellant.
Examining the submissions of parties and trial court record, the Court observed that the trial court had indeed not complied with the provisions under Section 313 CrPC. It noted that while the lower court relied upon the findings in the FSL report to hold the Appellant guilty, it had failed to grant him an opportunity to provide an explanation for the same. Therefore, the Court held that the findings in the FSL report could not be used against the Appellant.
With the aforesaid observations, the Court found it fit to remit the matter to trial court. It further directed the lower court to provide a proper opportunity to the Appellant to produce defence evidence under Section 313 CrPC and thereafter, pass a fresh judgment after hearing both the parties expeditiously.
On a parting note, the Court lamented at the number cases wherein it was found that the trial court had failed to frame questions under Section 313 CrPC to confront the accused with all the incriminating material against them. It noted that Section 313 CrPC is not an empty formality but is part and parcel of principles of natural justice-
Before parting with the matter, we are inclined to observe that we have seen certain number of appeals wherein we found that the trial Court has not taken sufficient pains while framing questions under Section 313 of Cr.P.C. and did not confront the accused with incriminating material with necessary accuracy and precision. Since, exercise under Section 313 of Cr.P.C. is not an empty formality and is part and parcel of principles of natural justice, we deem it proper to direct the M.P. State Judicial Academy to take this aspect into account and do the needful for all category of judges.
Accordingly, the appeal was disposed of.
Case title: Sunil v. State of Madhya Pradesh
Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (MP) 26
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