Sen Gupta, C.J.
1. This is an application for a certificate under Article 134(1)(c) of the Constitution of India that the applicant's case was a fit one for appeal to the Supreme Court.
2. The petitioner was convicted on a charge under Section 302, I.P.C. by the Sessions Judge of Agartala, agreeing with the opinion of two of the three Assessors who aided him in the trial, sentencing him to transportation for life. The petitioner appealed against his conviction and the appeal was dismissed and on revision by this Court, in exercise of the powers under Section 439, Criminal P.C. the sentence was enhanced to one of death. The present petition is aimed against the dismissal of the appeal as well as the enhancement of the sentence.
3. The grounds on which the certificate is prayed for are practically the following:
1. That this Court was wrong in admitting in evidence under Section 428, Criminal P.C. the statement of the petitioner which was not tendered, under Section 287, Criminal P.C. by the prosecution and read as evidence before the Sessions Judge.
2. That the Court was wrong in not drawing an adverse conclusion against the prosecution case on account of the non-production of some witnesses, under the provision of Section 114 of the Indian Evidence Act, and
3. That both the Sessions Court as well as this. Court were wrong in believing the evidence of the witnesses which led to the conviction of the petitioner.
4. With regard to point (1) this Court had already discussed the matter in its Order No. 7 dated 16.3.51 in the record of the appeal (Criminal Appeal No. 1 of 1951) where this Court had already noticed that the procedure followed by the Court would not prejudice the petitioner in any way.
5. The only statements made by the petitioner before the Committing Magistrate and before the Sessions Court were that he was not guilty. Both the Sessions Court and the Court of appeal, were bound to consider this point in order to come to the conclusion that the charge against the accused was proved beyond reasonable doubt. Even assuming therefore that the order of this Court was wrong the ultimate effect could not have been different.
6. The second point was also thoroughly discussed in the appellate judgment of this Court where it was held that no adverse inference was possible under the circumstances of the case. Here also this Court is clearly of the opinion that the finding of the Court has not resulted in any miscarriage of justice, as the actual evidence before the Courts was found to be reliable and otherwise sufficient for the conclusion that the charge against the petitioner was proved beyond reasonable doubt.
7. Regarding the third point this Court is of the opinion that the evidence on the material facts, relied on by the learned Sessions Judge and two of the three Assessors, as also by this Court is not really a matter for the Supreme Court to consider, as that Hon'ble Court is not a third Court of appeal on facts and would not therefore be prepared to re-weigh the evidence.
8. That the deceased died as a result of a stab-wound was not disputed. That the fatal stab was inflicted by the petitioner was proved by one eye witness, who saw the actual infliction of the injury. Two witnesses swore that they saw the petitioner run away from near the place of occurrence immediately after the infliction of the injury on the deceased. Four other witnesses proved the dying declaration of the deceased, almost immediately after the infliction of the injury, naming the petitioner as having stabbed him. All these witnesses were relied on by two of the Assessors5 the learned Sessions Judge, and this Court after due consideration. There are thus no material facts which should go to the Supreme Court for further consideration.
9. The principles followed in granting leave to appeal to the highest Tribunals, the Privy Council, the Federal Court, and the Supreme Court have been laid down by their Lordships from time to time.
10. In the case of - Ibrahim v King-Emperor AIR 1914 PC 155, their Lordships observed:
'Leave to appeal is not granted except where some clear departure from the requirements of justice exists', and also
There must be something which deprives the accused of the substance of a fair trial or diverts the administration of law into a course which may be drawn into an evil precedent.
11. In the case of - Mohinder Singh v. Emperor AIR 1932 PC 234 their Lordships observed:
'Their Lordships do not sit as a Court of Criminal Appeal,' and
The grounds that a wrong view had been taken of the meaning or effect of a Section of the Evidence Act or that upon a proper reading of the Section there was insufficiency of evidence to warrant the conviction, were merely points for a Court of Criminal Appeal and not for the Board.
12. In the case of - 'Dr. Hari Ram Singh v. Emperor AIR 1939 FC 43, their Lordships observed:
That the Privy Council may not grant special leave to appeal unless it be shown that by a disregard to forms of legal process or by some violation of the principles of natural justice, or otherwise, substantial and grave injustice has been done.
13. In the case of - Mahomed Nawaz v. Emperor AIR 1941 PC 132, their Lordships observed:
The Judicial Committee is not a revising Court of Criminal Appeal, that is to say, it is not prepared to or required to re-try a criminal case, and does not concern itself with the weight of evidence or the conflict of evidence or with the inferences drawn from evidence or with questions as to corroboration or contradiction of testimony or as to1 whether there was sufficient evidence to satisfy the burden of proof.
The Judicial Committee cannot be asked to review the facts of criminal cases or set aside conclusions of facts at which the tribunal has arrived.
14. Similar principles were accepted by their Lordships in the cases of - Otto George Gfeller v. The King AIR 1943 PC 211; - Ernest Prempeh v. The King AIR 1948 PC 216.
15. In the case of Malak Khan v. Emperor AIR 1946 PC 16 their Lordships observed:
The Privy Council will not review or interfere with the course of criminal proceedings, unless it is shown that, by disregard of the forms of legal process or otherwise, substantial and grave injustice has been done. Where neither of these two things are present the Privy Council will not interfere on the ground that evidence was wrongly evaluated or was not sufficient to justify the conclusion reached. It requires more than an allegation or even proof that a Court might take a different view of the compelling force of the evidence given.
16. In the Supreme Court case of - Pritam Singh v. The State AIR 1950 SC 169, their Lordships held that
though the Supreme Court was not bound to follow the decisions of the Privy Council too rigidly, since the reasons, constitutional and administrative, which sometimes weighed with the Privy Council need not weigh with the Supreme Court, yet some of those principles arc useful as furnishing in many cases a sound basis for invoking the discretion of the Court in granting special leave.
and it was further held that
Generally speaking Supreme Court will not grant special leave to appeal in criminal cases unless it is shown that exceptional and special circumstances exist, that substantial and grave injustice has been done and that the case in question presents features of sufficient gravity to warrant a review of the decision appealed against
and also that:
It would be opposed to all principles and precedents if the Supreme Court were to constitute itself into a third Court of fact and after re-weighing the evidence, come to conclusion different from that arrived at by the trial Judge and the High Court.
17. It has been laid down by their Lordships in the case of - Mohinder Singh v. Emperor AIR 1932 PC 234, that:
For them to interfere with the criminal sentence there must be something so irregular, or so outrageous as to shock the very basis of jurisdiction.
18. The principles which apply in granting leave in any case to appeal to the Supreme Court have also to be considered by this Court in issuing a certificate that the case is a fit one for appeal to that Court.
19. On a careful consideration of the materials in the present case this Court is clearly of the opinion that neither the Privy Council nor the Federal Court nor the Supreme Court would entertain an appeal in this case on application of the principles enunciated above.
20. This Court is not, under the circumstances of the case, in a position to certify that the case is a fit one for appeal to the Supreme Court.
21. The application is therefore rejected.