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Pahelwan Singh Vs. Sahib Singh - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtAllahabad
Decided On
Judge
Reported inAIR1921All76; 62Ind.Cas.869
AppellantPahelwan Singh
RespondentSahib Singh
Cases ReferredQueen Empress v. Balwant
Excerpt:
criminal procedure code (act v of 1898) section 439 - acquittal--revision--practice. - - the acquittal is a good order of acquittal in so far that it contains no inherent defects. while this high court has laid down that an order of acquittal cannot be changed into an order of conviction in revision, it is to be noted that in so far as the accused person is concerned, it is difficult to see how he is better off if at the instance of a private prosecutor his order of acquittal is quashed, a re-trial is ordered, and he is subsequently convicted......appeal against his acquittal. but it has always been held, and it always should be held, that this power to appeal is a power vested in the local government and that no right to appeal is possessed by a private person. while this high court has laid down that an order of acquittal cannot be changed into an order of conviction in revision, it is to be noted that in so far as the accused person is concerned, it is difficult to see how he is better off if at the instance of a private prosecutor his order of acquittal is quashed, a re-trial is ordered, and he is subsequently convicted. when this procedure is adopted, and a roan who has been legally acquitted is re-tried by an order in revision and then convicted, the private individual has gained by another method the privilege to which he.....
Judgment:

Stuart, J.

1. This is an application in revision against an order of acquittal passed by an Appellate Court. The acquittal is a good order of acquittal in so far that it contains no inherent defects. Whether the Appellate Court did or did not arrive at a correct conclusion is a question into which I do not propose to go for the following reasons. There can be no doubt as to the fast that a High Court has power under Section 439 of the Criminal Procedure Code to revise an order of acquittal, though not to convert a finding of acquittal into one of conviction. In reference to orders of acquittal passed by a Court of Session or any other Appellate Court in appeal the High Court may under Section 439 reverse such an order and direst a re-trial of the appeal. This is the interpretation of the law which prevails in this Court, for this is the pronouncement of a Full Bench of this Court in the case of Queen Empress v. Balwant 9 A. 134 : A.W.N. (1886) : 322 : 6 Ind. Dec. (N.S.) 521. But on many occasions it has since been laid down in this and other Courts that this power of interference with acquittals in revision is a power that should be used very sparingly. The principle that should underlie the matter is this. Criminal Procedure in India is founded on Criminal Procedure in England. One of the elementary principles in the English Law is that once a man is acquitted he cannot be re-tried, much less convicted. In India (presumably owing to special reasons) the immunity from re-trial and conviction has been somewhat modified and it is open to the Local Government to present an appeal against an acquittal. So in India a man's immunity from re-trial and conviction is subject to the fact that the Local Government can institute an appeal against his acquittal. But it has always been held, and it always should be held, that this power to appeal is a power vested in the Local Government and that no right to appeal is possessed by a private person. While this High Court has laid down that an order of acquittal cannot be changed into an order of conviction in revision, it is to be noted that in so far as the accused person is concerned, it is difficult to see how he is better off if at the instance of a private prosecutor his order of acquittal is quashed, a re-trial is ordered, and he is subsequently convicted. When this procedure is adopted, and a roan who has been legally acquitted is re-tried by an order in revision and then convicted, the private individual has gained by another method the privilege to which he is not entitled under the law. He has appealed against the acquittal and appealed against it successfully. He undoubtedly can do so under the authority of the Full Bench ruling, but in subsequent cases the effect of the Full Bench ruling has been greatly diminished owing to the circumstance that it is laid down as a general rule, and a binding rule, that except in the most serious cases and in the event of grave miscarriages of justice, no High Court shall interfere in revision in such matters. The case before me is of the most trivial. Whether the decision was right or wrong, it is idle to suggest that there has been a miscarrige of justice. As far as law and order are concerned, as far as the peace of the district is concerned and as far as the interests of the people are concerned, it is absolutely immaterial whether the accused person was convicted or acquitted. If he had been convicted he would presumably have been sentenced to a nominal fine. He has already been punished excessively by having to undergo the expense of appearance in this Court in a matter of such a nature. Because I find tie case trivial to a degree and because I think that an order of re-trial would infringe the privileges of the subjects, possessed by the accused, I reject this application.


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