The Hon’ble Supreme Court, on 1st October 2019, in the matter of Sudam @ Rahul Kaniram Jadhav v. The State of Maharashtra pronounced that the Supreme Court can re-appreciate evidence in its entirety in the exercise of its review jurisdiction.
The Hon’ble Supreme Court observed that:
Review proceedings cannot be treated as an appeal in disguise. Particularly, in criminal proceedings, the scope of review jurisdiction of this Court is guided by Article 137 of the Indian Constitution as well as Order XL Rule 10 of the Supreme Court Rules, 1966, which permit the Court to correct miscarriage of justice caused by an error apparent on the face of the record. (Para 6.2)
Suffice it to say that there can be no argument that the Supreme Court cannot re-appreciate evidence in its entirety in the exercise of its review jurisdiction. (Para 6.3)
Though it may be a relevant consideration in sentencing that the evidence in a given case is circumstantial in nature, there is no bar on the award of the death sentence in cases based upon such evidence (Para 18.1)
The Court must keep in mind while awarding the punishment of death that the alternative option, i.e. imposition of life imprisonment, must be unquestionably foreclosed. (Para 18.9)
Copy of judgement: Judgement_01st-Oct-2019
-Adv. Tushar Kaushik