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Shivaji Narayan Bachhav Vs. State of Maharashtra - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtSupreme Court of India
Decided On
Case NumberCriminal Appeal No. 386 of 1983
Reported inAIR1983SC1014; 1983CriLJ1497; 1983(2)Crimes588(SC); 1983(2)SCALE117; (1983)4SCC129; [1983]3SCR651
ActsCode of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) , - Sections 384
AppellantShivaji Narayan Bachhav
RespondentState of Maharashtra
Appellant Advocate S.N. Jha,; Amicus Curiae, Adv
Respondent Advocate M.N. Shroff, Adv.
Cases ReferredDagadu v. State of Maharashtra
Prior historyFrom the Judgment and Order dated 23rd June, 1981 of the High Court of the Bombay in Criminal Appeal No. 1138 and 1144 of 1980
.....of delay. moreso, when according to departmental instructions chairman, huda was required to deal with matter as delay was more than 150 days and not estate officer. - such summary rejection of appeals by the high court has been disapproved by this court more than thirty years ago in mushtaq hussain v......from the same high court: ramayya v. state of bombay : 1955crilj857 , vishwanath shankar beldar v. state of maharashtra : (1969)3scc883 , siddanna appa rao v. state of maharashtra : 1970crilj891 . narayan nathu naik v. state of maharashtra : [1971]1scr133 , govinda kadutji kadam v. state of maharashtra : 1970crilj995 , shaik mohamed ali v. state of maharashtra : 1973crilj166 , k. k. jain v. state of maharashtra : 1973crilj284 , jeewan prakash v. state of maharashtra : 1973crilj307 ., mushtaq ahmed v. state of maharashtra a.i.r. 1973 s.c. 1122., krishna vithu suroshe v. state of maharashtra : 1974crilj330 , sampata talyada shinde v. state of maharashtra : 1974crilj674 ., dagadu v. state of maharashtra [1981] crl. l.j. 724. we are pained, and not a little perturbed, that despite the long.....

O. Chinnappa Reddy, J.

1. Special Leave Granted.

2. The appeal of the accused to the High Court was dismissed summarily with the one word 'dismissed', placing this Court in a most embarrassing position in dealing with the special leave petition under Article 136 of the Constitution. Such summary rejection of appeals by the High Court has been disapproved by this Court more than thirty years ago in Mushtaq Hussain v. State of Bombay : [1953]4SCR809 and thereafter, over the years, in a series of cases from the same High Court: Ramayya v. State of Bombay : 1955CriLJ857 , Vishwanath Shankar Beldar v. State of Maharashtra : (1969)3SCC883 , Siddanna Appa Rao v. State of Maharashtra : 1970CriLJ891 . Narayan Nathu Naik v. State of Maharashtra : [1971]1SCR133 , Govinda Kadutji Kadam v. State of Maharashtra : 1970CriLJ995 , Shaik Mohamed Ali v. State of Maharashtra : 1973CriLJ166 , K. K. Jain v. State of Maharashtra : 1973CriLJ284 , Jeewan Prakash v. State of Maharashtra : 1973CriLJ307 ., Mushtaq Ahmed v. State of Maharashtra A.I.R. 1973 S.C. 1122., Krishna Vithu Suroshe v. State of Maharashtra : 1974CriLJ330 , Sampata Talyada Shinde v. State of Maharashtra : 1974CriLJ674 ., Dagadu v. State of Maharashtra [1981] Crl. L.J. 724. We are pained, and not a little perturbed, that despite the long series of judgments all arising from cases from the same High Court, the High Court has not chosen to correct itself and continues in the error of its ways. Except in certain cases when an accused person has pleaded guilty and in petty cases, every person convicted of an offence has a right of appeal under the Criminal Procedure Code. An appeal may be both against conviction and sentence and on facts and law. A convicted person is entitled to ask an appellate Court to reappraise the evidence and come to its own conclusion. An appellate Court has the undoubted power to dismiss an appeal in limine. Section 384 of the Criminal Procedure Code provides for it. But, it is a power which must be exercised sparingly and with great circumspection. One would think a conviction for murder and a sentence of imprisonment for life, as in the case before us, were serious enough matters for the High Court to warrant 'admission' of the appeal and fair and independent consideration of the evidence by the High Court. Summary rejection of the appeal with the laconic expression 'dismisssed' seems to be a drastic step in such cases. To so reject an appeal is to practically deny the right of appeal. We cannot also over emphasise the importance of the High Court making a speaking order when dismissing a Criminal Appeal in limine. 'The requirement of recording reasons for summary dismissal, however concise, serves to ensure proper functioning of the judicial process'. There must be some indication that the High Court addressed itself to the questions at issue and had the record before it. In the present case there is not even an indication whether the record had been called for and whether it was before the Court. We have little option but to set aside the order of the High Court. The High Court may now 'admit' the appeal and deal with it according to law.

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