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Queen-empress Vs. Babu Lal - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in(1899)ILR21All106
AppellantQueen-empress
RespondentBabu Lal
Excerpt:
criminal procedure code, section 285 - assessors--effect of incapacity of assessors to understand the proceedings. - .....case, that another assessor was so deaf as to be incapable of understanding the proceedings. the learned judge, however, proceeded with the trial, being of opinion that by the analogy of section 285 of the code of criminal procedure the trial would be a valid one, one assessor having been present throughout and having understood the proceedings. i am unable to agree with the learned sessions judge. section 285 contemplates the case of a trial which had commenced with the aid of two or more assessors, who at the commencement of the trial were capable of acting as assessors. such was not the case here. the assessor who has been discovered to be deaf and incapable of understanding the proceedings was not a fit person to be selected as an assessor; therefore the trial was really held with.....
Judgment:

Banerji, J.

1. This case has been reported to this Court by the learned Sessions Judge of Azamgarh. It appears that before the trial began it was discovered that, of the three assessors who attended, one was deaf, so that the trial began with two assessors. It was discovered, after the Public Prosecutor had closed his case, that another assessor was so deaf as to be incapable of understanding the proceedings. The learned Judge, however, proceeded with the trial, being of opinion that by the analogy of Section 285 of the Code of Criminal Procedure the trial would be a valid one, one assessor having been present throughout and having understood the proceedings. I am unable to agree with the learned Sessions Judge. Section 285 contemplates the case of a trial which had commenced with the aid of two or more assessors, who at the commencement of the trial were capable of acting as assessors. Such was not the case here. The assessor who has been discovered to be deaf and incapable of understanding the proceedings was not a fit person to be selected as an assessor; therefore the trial was really held with the help of one assessor only. Section 268 requires that all trials before a Court of Session should be either by jury or with the aid of assessors, and under Section 284 two or more assessors should be chosen to aid the Judge. Where, as in this case, the trial was held with the aid of only one assessor who was capable of acting as such, the Court holding the trial was not properly constituted, and all the proceedings were null and void. The same view appears to have been taken by the Madras High Court--see the case cited at p. 270 of Henderson's edition of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898. I set aside the proceedings held by the learned Sessions Judge of Azamgarh, and direct that the accused be tried again with the aid of assessors chosen according to law.


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