Prasad @ Hari Prasad
Acharya Vs. State of Karnataka  INSC 257 (9 February 2009)
IN THE SUPREME COURT
OF INDIA CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. OF 2009 (Arising
out of SLP (Crl.) No. 5271 of 2008) Prasad @ Hari Prasad Acharya ...Appellant
Versus State of Karnataka ...Respondent
Dr. ARIJIT PASAYAT,
in this appeal is to the judgment of a learned Single Judge of the Karnataka
High Court upholding the conviction of the appellant for offence punishable
under Sections 447, 376(2)(g) and 506 read with Section 34 of the Indian Penal
Code, 1860 (in short the `IPC'). Various custodial sentences were imposed on
the appellant and one Sathish.
is not necessary to refer to the factual aspects in detail in view of the order
proposed to be passed.
was the prosecution case that on 30.4.2003 around midnight both the accused
persons went to the house of the victim, the prosecutrix (PW-1).
They called out her
husband. He came out after lighting the kerosene lamp and found the accused
persons. The prosecutrix was compelled by the accused persons to follow them to
the jungle and she was threatened that if she did not do so her hut would be
set on fire. When she refused, they forcibly took her about 100 ft. away from
the hut and forcibly committed rape on her and threatened not to disclose to
anybody. Thereafter, they fled away. PW-2 and PW-3 are the husband and the
daughter of PW-1 respectively. After the incident PWs 1 and 2 went and informed
one Santosh Hegde (PW-7) who told them to give a police complaint. On 1.5.2003
at about 9.00 p.m. First Information Report was lodged. The prosecutrix was
subjected to medical examination and the same indicated that she was subjected
to sexual intercourse around 12 hours prior to the time of examination. The
trial Court found that the evidence of the prosecutrix and the husband is
sufficient to fasten guilt on the accused persons and accordingly convicted
them. In appeal, the High court by the impugned judgment upheld the conviction.
support of the appeal, learned counsel for the appellants submitted that the
High Court's judgment is practically non-reasoned. The evidence has not been
discussed and abrupt conclusions have been arrived at about the guilt of the
counsel for the respondent-State on the other hand supported the judgments of
the trial Court and the High Court.
bare perusal of the High Court's impugned judgment shows that the same is
non-reasoned and no basis or reasons have been indicated by the High Court and
there is not even analysis of the evidence. Various infirmities pointed out by
the accused to throw doubt on the authenticity of the prosecution evidence are
not even referred to.
introduce clarity in an order. On plainest consideration of justice, the High
Court ought to have set forth its reasons, howsoever brief, in its order
indicative of an application of its mind. The absence of reasons has rendered
the High Court's judgment not sustainable.
in respect of administrative orders Lord Denning, M.R. in Breen v. Amalgamated
Engg. Union (1971) 1 All ER 1148, observed: "The giving of reasons is one
of the fundamentals of good administration." In Alexander Machinery
(Dudley) Ltd. v. Crabtree 1974 ICR 120 (NIRC) it was observed: "Failure to
give reasons amounts to denial of justice." "Reasons are live links
between the mind of the decision-taker to the controversy in question and the
decision or conclusion arrived at." Reasons substitute subjectivity by
objectivity. The emphasis on recording reasons is that if the decision reveals
the "inscrutable face of the sphinx", it can, by its silence, render
it virtually impossible for the courts to perform their appellate function or
exercise the power of judicial review in adjudging the validity of the
decision. Right to reason is an indispensable part of a sound judicial system;
reasons at least sufficient to indicate an application of mind to the matter
before court. Another rationale is that the affected party can know why the
decision has gone against him. One of the salutary requirements of natural
justice is spelling out reasons for the order made; in other words, a
speaking-out. The "inscrutable face of the sphinx" is ordinarily
incongruous with a judicial or quasi-judicial performance.
are dismayed at the casual manner in which the criminal appeal has been
disposed of. In the circumstances, we set aside the impugned judgment and remit
the matter to the High Court for fresh consideration in accordance with law. As
the matter is pending since long we request the High Court to explore the
possibility of early disposal of Criminal Appeal No.693 of 2005.
appeal is allowed to the aforesaid extent.
(Dr. ARIJIT PASAYAT)