SC: Ordinarily, the Supreme Court ought not to re­-appreciate evidence

The Hon’ble Supreme Court, on 28th July 2020, in the matter of Parminder Kaur @ P.P. Kaur @ Soni v. State of Punjab pronounced that ordinarily, the Supreme Court ought not to re­appreciate evidence. Where the courts below have dealt with the material­-on­record in a cavalier or mechanical manner which is likely to cause gross injustice, then the Supreme Court in such exceptional circumstances may justifiably re­appraise the evidence to advance the cause of justice.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court observed that:

It is indisputable that parents would not ordinarily endanger the reputation of their minor daughter merely to falsely implicate their opponents, but such clichés ought not to be the sole basis of dismissing reasonable doubts created and/or defences set out by the accused. (Para 10)

It is difficult to appreciate that a father would await a second incident to happen before moving the law into motion. Sweeping assumptions concerning delays in registration of FIRs for sexual offences, send a problematic signal to society and create opportunities for abuse by miscreants. Instead, the facts of each individual case and the behaviour of the parties involved ought to be analysed by courts before reaching a conclusion on the reason and effect of delay in registration of FIR. (Para 11)

Ordinarily, the Supreme Court ought not to re­appreciate evidence. However, where the courts below have dealt with the material­on­record in a cavalier or mechanical manner which is likely to cause gross injustice, then the Supreme Court in such exceptional circumstances may justifiably re­appraise the evidence to advance the cause of justice. There is no gainsaying that such re­assessment ought not to take place routinely and ought not to become substitution of an otherwise plausible view taken by the Courts below. (Para 16)

Proving the intention of the appellant to cause alarm or compel doing/abstaining from some act, and not mere utterances of words, is a pre­requisite of successful conviction under Section 506 of IPC. (Para 25)

Copy of judgement: Judgement_28-Jul-2020

-Adv. Tushar Kaushik

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