Lal Singh Vs. Naresh Singh & Ors  INSC 39 (10 February 1987)
G.L. (J) Oza, G.L. (J) Dutt, M.M. (J)
1987 AIR 724 1987 SCR (2) 220 1987 SCC (2) 222 JT 1987 (1) 388 1987 SCALE
Procedure Code, 1973: s.378(1) & (3)--Petition by State for leave to appeal
against acquittal of accused charged under s.396 IPC dismissed in limine by
High Court without a reasoned order--Case remitted to High Court for disposal
in accordance with law.
number of persons were tried on the allegation of committing a decoity with
murder and charged for offence under s.396 of the Indian Penal Code. Eye
witnesses claimed to have identified the accused persons in the light of a
lantern. The evidence also attributed different parts to different accused
persons. The trial court after considering the evidence discarded it and
acquitted all the accused persons of the charge.
High Court dismissed the petition for leave to appeal against acquittal filed
by the State Government under s.378(1) and (3) of the Code of Criminal
Procedure in limine with the words "Prayer for leave to appeal is refused.
is dismissed." Without examining the reasons on the basis of which the
trial court had discarded the evidence.
appellant appealed to this Court.
The High Court should have considered the matter and passed a reasoned order.
The incident was such wherein a number of persons were involved. There were a
number of witnesses examined in the case. A perusal of the record shows that
all the reasons on the basis of which the whole of the prosecution evidence had
been discarded by the trial court were not so simple or so good that they did
not require examination. [222B-C] The appeal alongwith the petition filed by
the State for leave to appeal is restored to the file of the High Court, and
directed to be disposed of after hearing the parties, giving reasons for
APPELLATE JURISDICTION: Criminal Appeal No. 150 of 1986.
From the Judgment and Order dated 14.7.83 of the Patna High Court in Govt.
Appeal No. 29/83.
M.M.P. Sinha and P.C. Kapur for the Petitioner.
and, Mrs. Gian Sudha Misra for the Respondents.
Judgment of the Court was delivered by OZA, J. This appeal has been filed in
this Court against the dismissal in limine of a petition filed by the State of
Bihar in the High Court of Judicature at Patna wherein learned Judges of the
High Court rejected a petition for leave to appeal against acquittal filed by
the State Government under Sec.378(1) and (3) of the Code of Criminal Procedure
in limine by any saying "Prayer for leave to appeal is refused. Appeal is
dismissed." Before the trial Court 25 accused persons were tried on the
allegation that they committed dacoity and in the commission of the said dacoity
murder of one A jab Lal Singh was committed. Consequently all of them were
charged for offence under Section 396 of the Indian Penal Code. It is alleged
that in the night intervening between 5th and 6th day of June, 1980 at Village Nandial
Patti situated within P.S. Amarpur in the District of Bhagalpur, occurrence
took place in the house of one Jawahar Lal Singh P .W. 21 who lodged the First
Information Report, his house is situated in Nandial Patti and in the course of
dacoity his brother Ajab Lal Singh was killed. The incident is said to have
taken place at 12
O'clock at midnight, and the information was lodged on 6th of June 1980
at 8.45 A.M., at Bhagalpur Medical College Hospital as the informant was lying injured
in the surgical ward of the Hospital. At the trial there were number of eye
witnesses examined who claimed to have identified the accused persons in the
light of a lentern burning at that time. The evidence also attributed different
parts to different accused persons. The learned Sessions Judge after
considering the evidence discarded the evidence and acquitted all the accused
persons from the charge levelled against them and unfortunately Hon'ble the
High Court without examining the reasons on the basis on which the learned
Sessions Judge discarded evidence dismissed the leave petition and appeal as
mentioned above and therefore we are at a disadvantage as we have not before us
the examination of the reasons by the High Court on the basis of which the
learned trial Court discarded the testimony and acquitted all the accused
persons. Although learned counsel for the respondent refer222 red to portions
of the evidence to justify the order of acquittal but also contended that in
case this Court feels that the High Court should have considered the matter and
pass a reasoned order it would be proper that we may not refer to any part of
the evidence on merits nor express any opinion.
counsel for both the sides did not dispute that the incident was such wherein
number of persons were involved. They also frankly accepted that there are
number of witnesses examined in the case. A perusal of the judgment of the
learned trial Court also shows that all the reasons on the basis of which the
whole of the prosecution evidence has been discarded is not so simple or
reasons so good that they do not require examination. Under these circumstances
therefore without going into the merits we feel that it would be better that
the matter be examined by the learned Judges of the High Court so that we may
have the advantage of considering the considered opinion of the High Court on
the reasons which weighed with the learned trial Court in discarding the
prosecution evidence and acquitting the respondents.
view of the facts of the case and the circumstances indicated above we feel
that it would be better if the High Court considers the matter and dispose it
of after giving reasons and in view of this we think it proper not to express
any opinion on any of the matters that may deserve consideration. The appeal is
therefore allowed. The order passed by the High Court on 14th July 1983 is set
aside and the appeal alongwith petition for leave filed by the State of Bihar
is restored to the file of the High Court and it is directed that Hon'ble the
High Court after hearing the parties shall dispose of the matter giving reasons
for the conclusions in accordance with law.