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Mohini Mohan Ghose Vs. Emperor - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtKolkata
Decided On
Judge
Reported in(1919)ILR46Cal635,54Ind.Cas.56
AppellantMohini Mohan Ghose
RespondentEmperor
Excerpt:
criminal procedure code (act v of 1898,), sections 306, 423(c) - trial by jury--appeal--appellate court, powers of--appellate court, whether can interfere in absence of misdirection where jury have acted on mere circumstantial evidence--misdirection.;jury, trial by - appeal from unanimous verdict of conviction--power of high court to interfere in the absence of misdirection when there is circumstantial evidence--finger impression--criminal proceduse code (act v of 1898) section 423(2). - .....been the rule to interfere with a trial by jury provided that there is no misdirection by the learned judge to the jury. in this case the conviction clearly rests upon circumstantial evidence. in many cases circumstantial evidence is the only evidence and, in many cases, it is stronger even than direct evidence. now, in the present case, the circumstantial evidence is a finger print left on a cash box that was broken open at a burglary in the house of a gentleman named haridas pain, on the 17th january 1916. it is alleged that four young men armed went into the house at 7 p.m. and broke open the cash box. the present accused was subsequently arrested and interned. he was confined in the rajshahi jail, and there his finger print impression was taken and, on a comparison by the.....
Judgment:

Fletcher, J.

1. This appeal is preferred by the accused against the conviction and sentence passed on him by the learned Additional Sessions Judge of Howrah. The accused was tried before the learned Sessions Judge and a jury. The jury by their verdict unanimously found the accused guilty. The learned Sessions Judge, agreeing with the unanimous verdict of the jury, has sentenced him to undergo seven years' rigorous imprisonment. In a trial by jury, of course, the questions that can be gone into in the Appellate Court lie within an extremely narrow compass. It would never do to have the Appellate Court interfere with the verdict of the jury where they are unanimous, because the value of a trial by jury is that it should be a trial by fellow countrymen, and it has never been the rule to interfere with a trial by jury provided that there is no misdirection by the learned Judge to the jury. In this case the conviction clearly rests upon circumstantial evidence. In many cases circumstantial evidence is the only evidence and, in many cases, it is stronger even than direct evidence. Now, in the present case, the circumstantial evidence is a finger print left on a cash box that was broken open at a burglary in the house of a gentleman named Haridas Pain, on the 17th January 1916. It is alleged that four young men armed went into the house at 7 p.m. and broke open the cash box. The present accused was subsequently arrested and interned. He was confined in the Rajshahi jail, and there his finger print impression was taken and, on a comparison by the officers controlling the special bureau attached to the Criminal Investigation Department for making comparison of finger prints, it was ascertained or believed to be ascertained, that the linger print found on the cash box at the burglary at the house of Hari Das Pain, on the 17th January 1916, was the linger print of the present accused. Thereupon the accused was placed on his trial. As I have already said, the jury, after the conclusion of the trial, unanimously found the accused guilty and the learned Judge agreed with that view. There has been an attempt by Mr. Sanyal in the present appeal to show that there was a misdirection, and the only misdirection that is suggested is that the jury have acted on this circumstantial evidence with reference to the finger print.

2. The learned Judge warned the jury and told them that it was a matter purely for them to consider whether that evidence was sufficient to convict the accused or not, and the jury having been properly warned and properly directed deliberately by their verdict came to the conclusion that the circumstantial evidence connected the accused with the crime, and unanimously convicted him. That was a verdict which we are forbidden by the express terms of the law from interfering with. In that view of the case, the present appeal fails and must be dismissed.

Walmsley, J.

3. I agree.


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