SC: There are no fetters on the power u/s 391 Cr.P.C. of the Appellate Court

The Hon’ble Supreme Court, on 24thJanuary 2019, in the matter of Brig. Sukhjeet Singh (Retd.) MVC v. The State of Uttar Pradesh & Ors.observed that there are no fetters on the power under Section 391 Cr.P.C. of the Appellate Court and a party cannot be allowed to make any capital of a mistake, which is neither deliberate nor with any intent to mislead the Court.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court observed that:

Power to take additional evidence under Section 391 is, thus, with an object to appropriately decide the appeal by the Appellate Court to secure ends of justice. (Para 14)

There are no fetters on the power under Section 391 Cr.P.C. of the Appellate Court. All powers are conferred on the Court to secure ends of justice. The ultimate object of judicial administration is to secure ends of justice. Court exists for rendering justice to the people. (Para 16)

Filing of an application before the High Court to accept the certified copy of a document and permit the appellant to lead evidence can in no manner be said to be malafide motive of the accused, who had been convicted in the appeal, has right to take all the grounds and also lead additional evidence, which in accordance with the Appellate Court is necessary in deciding the appeal. (Para 19)

When does it become necessary to take additional evidence, cannot be enlisted or enumerated in any fixed formula. It depends on facts of each and every case to come to a conclusion as to whether it is necessary to take additional evidence or not. (Para 19)

When Statute grants right to appeal to an accused, he has right to take all steps and take benefit of all powers of the Appellate Court in the ends of the justice.  (Para 20)

A party cannot be allowed to make any capital of a mistake, which is neither deliberate nor with any intent to mislead the Court. (This inference has been drawn on the basis of Para 23)

Copy of judgement: Judgement_24th-Jan-2019

-Tushar Kaushik

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