Skip to content


Akshaya Kumar Padhi Vs. State of Orissa - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtOrissa High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1973CriLJ555
AppellantAkshaya Kumar Padhi
RespondentState of Orissa
Excerpt:
.....it does not become a penalty nor the action become punitive, but it remains as a reward to the accused of forest offence. such a concept is totally not conceivable from any provision in the act, 1972 or the act, 1951. [air 2002 orissa 130 overruled]. - it is of cardinal importance that in the administration of justice, judicial officers of all classes must be given proper freedom and independence to express their mind in the best possible manner. but those remarks and observations which are absolutely not called for or not justified on the evidence on record, or on the facts of the case, nor are necessary for the decision or disposal of the case and/or of a sweeping and general nature must always be avoided, for it is well recognised. that judicial pronouncements must be judicial..........the aforesaid amount of rs. 1000/- which was previously handed over to him on 19.12.63. the aforesaid money was with the accused from 19.12.63 to 29.1.64 and he did not deposit the same in the b.d.o.'s office and did not show the same in the cash book of that office. the accused in that case pleaded not guilty and asserted that he acted all through on the advice and direction of p.w. 4 who was then the b.d.o. incharge of that office. the court, on a consideration of the evidence and materials on record and facts and circumstances of the case acquitted the accused of the aforesaid charge. while discussing the evidence on record in the said judgment of acquittal, the court has recorded certain findings and observations, the relevant portions of which, are as follows:p.w. 4 was the.....
Judgment:
ORDER

S. Acharya, J.

1. This is a petition under Section 561-A, Cr.P.C. for expunging certain remarks made against the petitioner in the judgment passed in G.R. Case No. 840 of 1965. The petitioner was examined as P.W. 4 in the said case.

2. The abovementioned G.R. Case was one under Section 409, I.P.C. for temporary misappropriation of Government money to the tune of Rs. 1000/- by one Ramchhod Misra, who at the relevant time was working as the Cashier in the Sadar Block Development Office No. I at Sambalpur. The material facts, relevant for the consideration of this case, are that on 19.12.1963 the Sarpanch of Sankarma Gram Panchayat (P.W. 2) met the B.D.O. Incharge and requested him to take back Rs. 1000/- which he (the Sarpanch) had earlier taken from the aforesaid B.D.O.s' office for the construction of a road. The petitioner (P.W. 4) who was then the B.D.O. Incharge directed the above-named Ramchod Misra, the accused in that case, to receive that amount. The accused accordingly received the amount of Rs. 1000/- and granted P.W. 2 a receipt to that effect. Because of certain eventualities, with which we are not concerned in this case, the aforesaid Sarpanch (P W 2) again approached P.W. 4 on 29.1.64 for Rs. 4000/- which had been sanctioned for the road construction work. The accused above-named on that date returnned the aforesaid amount of Rs. 1000/- which was previously handed over to him on 19.12.63. The aforesaid money was with the accused from 19.12.63 to 29.1.64 and he did not deposit the same in the B.D.O.'s office and did not show the same in the Cash Book of that office. The accused in that case pleaded not guilty and asserted that he acted all through on the advice and direction of P.W. 4 who was then the B.D.O. Incharge of that office. The court, on a consideration of the evidence and materials on record and facts and circumstances of the case acquitted the accused of the aforesaid charge. While discussing the evidence on record in the said judgment of acquittal, the court has recorded certain findings and observations, the relevant portions of which, are as follows:

P.W. 4 was the B.D.O. Incharge of Sadar Block No. I. Sambalpur between 3.12.1963 and 13.2.1964 as the B.D.O. was on training. This shows that the entire transaction of P.W. 2 first taking the money from the Block and again refunding it and finally taking it back again took place during the tenure of P.W. 4 who however, deposed in the court that he knew nothing of the transaction. He denied any knowledge of any road to connect Pardhiapali to Sambalpur Jharsuguda Road or any advance of money for that purpose. He denied that P.W. 2 paid Rs. 1000/- to the accused and the accused refunded the same to P.W. 2 and in his presence and on his direction. He has been rightly asked if he had any enmity or ill-feeling with P.W. 2 and he says he had no enmity or ill-feeling with the said Sarpanch. In contracts to the evidence of P.W. 4, the real B.D.O., who joined his duties after his training says that a road to join Pardhiapali with Sambalpur-Jharsuguda line was to be constructed. The work was entrusted to P.W. 2 and an advance of Rs. 1000/- was paid to him. All these things took place before he joined his duties.

On the above findings of fact the court below observed and found:

This shows, P.W. 4 must have known all these, he deliberately suppresses them most probably apprehending that liability may fall on him.

On further consideration of the evidence on record, the court later has also arrived at the findings that the accused, on 19.12.1963, received the money and granted Ext. I all in the presence of P.W. 4. the B.D.O. Incharge, and on his direction, and that the accused on 29.1.1964 refunded the aforesaid amount in the presence and on the direction of P.W. 4. Subsequently again the court, on further discussion and consideration of the evidence on record, found as follows:

Mr. Padhi shirks his responsibility of false apprehension of his own liability, and so he suppresses the real facts.

3. Judges while considering, discussing; appreciating and weighing the evidence on record in the judgments passed by them have to express their opinion regarding the veracity, conduct and character of witnesses examined in the case. If they are not given the liberty or freedom to make necessary remarks and observation in that regard, it would be difficult, and at times it may be impossible for them to properly express their reasonings for discarding the evidence of some witnesses or for preferring one set to another. It is of cardinal importance that in the administration of justice, judicial officers of all classes must be given proper freedom and independence to express their mind in the best possible manner. They must be allowed to perform their functions freely, fearlessly and without undue interference by anybody howsoever high in the administration of justice. Unnecessary fetters should not be placed on their language and expression in assessing the merits and demerits of witnesses. They should also be free to express their inherent reaction to falsehood and/or the suspicious conduct, if any, of a witness in the affair in question, or else it would not be possible for them to correctly or properly assess and weigh the evidence on record, and give a proper account of the same in their judgment. Moreover, the phraseology used by a judge in expressing his reaction or opinion about such matters depends very much on his command over the language.

4. On the above considerations, such remarks and observations which are made by a judge for the purpose of weighing the evidence on record or for discussing the merits of the case or for arriving at a decision, and are necessary for the due disposal of the case, should not and cannot be expunged merely because they hurt the witness or injure his reputation, causing consequential humility, difficulty and/or embarrassment, to him. But those remarks and observations which are absolutely not called for or not justified on the evidence on record, or on the facts of the case, nor are necessary for the decision or disposal of the case and/or of a sweeping and general nature must always be avoided, for it is well recognised.

that judicial pronouncements must be judicial in nature and should not normally depart from sobriety, moderation and reserve : [1964]2SCR363 .

5. On a perusal of the judgment of the court below I am satisfied that the abovementioned remarks and observations with regard to P.W. 4, quoted in parapgraph 2 above, were all made in course of the discussion and consideration of the evidence on record, and for the purpose of properly appreciating and assessing the same. They also are an integral Dart of the decision of the case and indicate the reasons on which the court below acquitted the accused. Accordingly, the abovementioned remarks and observations cannot be expunged.

6. In the last sentence of paragraph 5 of the judgment, the court below, however, observed:

It is dangerous to keep a man like Mr. Padhi in any responsible job.

The abovequoted remarks, in my view, is somewhat sweeping in nature and was not necessary for the appreciation or assessment of the evidence on record or for the decision of the case. That also does not form an integral part of the findings and conclusions arrived at in that case. Accordingly, the Magistrate was not justified in making the above sweeping observations in his judgment. On the aforesaid consideration, the abovequoted sentence in paragraph 5 of the impugned judgment is liable to be expunged.

7. In conclusion, therefore, it is hereby ordered that the last sentence in paragraph 5 of the impugned judgment, viz. 'It is dangerous to keep a man like Mr. Padhi in any responsible job' be expunged from the judgment in G.R. Case No. 840 of 1965.

The petition is allowed to the extent stated above.


Save Judgments// Add Notes // Store Search Result sets // Organizer Client Files //