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Queen-empress Vs. Pandeh Bhat - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in(1897)ILR19All506
AppellantQueen-empress
RespondentPandeh Bhat
Excerpt:
criminal procedure code, sections 367, 424 - judgment of appellate court--what such judgment must contain. - - one must trust to the honour of sessions judges, and trust that they would not make such statements in their judgments unless they were true, in the same way as one must trust to the honour of a sessions judge and believe that he would not dismiss a criminal appeal unless he were satisfied that the appellant had been properly convicted of the offence and properly sentenced. the case against the appellant was a perfectly clear one;.....indian penal code. the magistrate was a magistrate having special powers under section 34 of the code of criminal procedure. he sentenced pandeh bhat to four years' rigorous imprisonment in all. pandeh bhat appealed to the sessions judge of kumaun. the sessions judge dismissed his appeal in the following judgment: 'i have perused the record and see no cause for interference with the finding of the district magistrate. as regards the sentence, it is not excessive, but, having regard to the great age of the appellant, i will reduce it to three years' rigorous imprisonment with three months' solitary confinement.' pandeh bhat has applied in revision to this court. the only ground in revision which we need consider, and indeed which is open to him in revision, is that the judgment of the.....
Judgment:

John Edge, Kt., C.J.

1. Pandeh Bhat was convicted by a Magistrate of the offences punishable under Sections 471 and 476 of the Indian Penal Code. The Magistrate was a Magistrate having special powers under Section 34 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. He sentenced Pandeh Bhat to four years' rigorous imprisonment in all. Pandeh Bhat appealed to the Sessions Judge of Kumaun. The Sessions Judge dismissed his appeal in the following judgment: 'I have perused the record and see no cause for interference with the finding of the District Magistrate. As regards the sentence, it is not excessive, but, having regard to the great age of the appellant, I will reduce it to three years' rigorous imprisonment with three months' solitary confinement.' Pandeh Bhat has applied in revision to this Court. The only ground in revision which we need consider, and indeed which is open to him in revision, is that the judgment of the Sessions Judge does not comply with the requirements of Section 367 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. By Section 424 of that Code Section 367 is made applicable, so far as may be practicable, to the judgment of any appellate Court other than a High Court.

2. Our attention has been drawn by the Public Prosecutor to the decisions in Kamruddin Dai v. Sonatun Mandal I.L.R. 11 Cal. 449; In the matter of the petition of Ram Das Maghi I.L.R. 13 Cal. 110; Farkan v. Somsher Mahomed I.L.R. 22 Cal. 241; Girish Myte v. Queen-Empress I.L.R. 23 Cal. 420; Queen-Empress v. Ram Narain Weekly Notes 1886, p. 177; Queen-Empress v. Bhujpal Weekly Notes 1886, p. 289; Queen-Empress v. Sameshar Weekly Notes 1888, p. 280, and Queen-Empress v. Nannhu I.L.R. 17 All. 241.

3. It is difficult to lay down any rule with precision as to what judgment of an appellate Court complies and what judgment does not comply with the requirements of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The object, no doubt, of the Legislature in formulating rules as to judgments was partly to insure that a Criminal Court should consider the case before it in its different bearings and should on such consideration arrive at definite conclusions, and also one object may have been that the judgment should show that in fact the Criminal Court had considered the evidence in a case of first instance or in a case of appeal, and had found in case of a conviction that the fact proved to the satisfaction of the Court brought an offence home to the accused person whom the Court convicted.

4. Now, to take the case of a criminal appeal, in those cases in which an appeal is summarily rejected under Section 421 of the Code, this Court has expressed its opinion as to what the judgment should be in the case of Queen-Empress v. Nannhu I.L.R. 17 All. 241. We are not dealing here with the case of a judgment of a Court of First Instance. We are not dealing with a case in which as a matter of fact the pleader for the appellant in the Court of Session had been heard fully. In our opinion if the Sessions Judge had simply said in his judgment: 'I dismiss this appeal'--that would not have been a judgment: that would have been, so to speak, merely the order which resulted from the conclusions at which the Judge had arrived. A judgment must contain something more than that. It must contain something to justify the order dealing with the appeal. One way to arrive at a conclusion as to what the Legislature contemplated when enacting Sections 367 and 424 of the Code is to take a case, for example, which might occur and which in the experience of some of us has occurred before now. A Magistrate has written a judgment in a criminal case which has resulted in a conviction and a sentence. That judgment shows that the Magistrate had before his mind what were the ingredients in law of the offence of which ho convicted the accused. It shows that he had considered the evidence; that he had come to definite conclusions on that evidence; that he had given reasons for those conclusions, and that acting on those conclusions he had found the man before him guilty of a particular offence. The case comes in appeal before a Court of Session. The Sessions Judge after a most careful consideration agrees with every word which the Magistrate has written and can add nothing to what appears in the Magistrate's judgment. What is he to do? Is he to sit down and copy out the Magistrate's judgment, making the necessary alterations to show that it is a judgment in appeal, and not a judgment in first instance, and having done so is he to deliver it as his judgment and sign it? Such a process might appear rather ludicrous, or, to throw the only variety which the Sessions Judge is capable of throwing into the case, agreeing with everything the Magistrate has written and having nothing, material to add', is the Sessions Judge to sit down and paraphrase the judgment of the Magistrate in order to produce a semblance of variety? It appears to us that the most reasonable course for the Sessions Judge to take, and one which the Legislature would probably have considered sufficient, and which it has not forbidden, would be for the Sessions Judge in such a case to write such a judgment as the following: 'I have considered the evidence in this case, and I agree with the Magistrate in his conclusions and in the reasons given for them, and in my opinion the sentence which he passed was a proper sentence.' It appears to us that such a judgment would be in compliance with the law and not in violation of the law. One must trust to the honour of Sessions Judges, and trust that they would not make such statements in their judgments unless they were true, in the same way as one must trust to the honour of a Sessions Judge and believe that he would not dismiss a criminal appeal unless he were satisfied that the appellant had been properly convicted of the offence and properly sentenced.

5. Although we say this, we know that Sessions Judges in these Provinces do, and will, in criminal appeals which raise complicated questions of fact or law write full judgments dealing with the questions of fact or law. Such judgments are very useful in case of applications being made to this Court in revision. In the present case there was absolutely no necessity from any point of view for writing one word more than what has been written by the Sessions Judge. The case against the appellant was a perfectly clear one; there could be no two different conclusions arrived at; and if the Sessions Judge had sat down and written a longer judgment dealing with the evidence and the facts, we doubt if he could have improved on the judgment of the Magistrate, in fact he would probably have taken it as his model.

6. We dismiss this application in revision.


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