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Report No. 95

31. To what extent is the criticism that the Supreme Court is reversing the High Courts in matters falling within latter's discretion justified?

A judge of the Supreme Court expressed displeasure over the manner in which the Supreme Court interferes in small matters and thus arrogates to itself the jurisdiction of all subordinate courts and try to do everything itself. In U.K. the Privy Council in a 31/2 page judgment dismissed an appeal in a murder case after refusing the counsel to make a new point [Ragho Prasad v. The Queen, (1981) 1 WLR 469] though in another murder case when an injustice of substantial character was brought to their notice, the Privy Council permitted a new point to be canvassed. [Ajodha v. The State, (1981) 2 All ER 193 (202)].

While interfering with a conviction in a Magistrate's court for a driving offence the High Court in England observed that it was the first case in which the sentence by the Crown Court had been challenged on the ground that it was harsh and oppressive. [R. v. Crown Court at St. Albans, 1981 1 All ER 802 (804)]. American Law Professors are dismayed at the tendency of the Appellate courts in allowing appeals and quote the admonition of a famous judge 'Never unnecessarily make a monkey out of a trial judge. Remember, he may be as good as a lawyer as you are. (Appellate Review of Trial Court Discretion 79 Federal Rules Decisions, p. 173 at 174). Sometimes strictures have been passed on the trial judge by the House of Lords describing his decision as 'astonishing' [B. v. W., (1979) 3 All ER 83].

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