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Report No. 58

Well settled questions of law not to be certified

3.17. If, on the other hand, the appeal involves a question of law on which there is no divergence of opinion, in the view expressed by other High Courts, then, such well-settled points of law need not be brought to the Supreme Court. That is one implication of the formula which have adopted.

3.18. The other implication of the formula is that findings of fact recorded by the High Court while exercising its appellate jurisdiction should, except in cases covered by Article 134(1)(a) and (b), or the Act of 1970, ordinarily be treated as final, and their propriety or correctness should not be liable to be challenged by way of appeal unless the Supreme Court is persuaded to grant special leave in such matters. It is well-known that there are no uniform or mathematical yardsticks which judicial approach can adopt mechanically in appreciating oral evidence, and it is generally on oral evidence that the decision in the criminal trials depends. Experience shows that two judicial minds, appreciating the same evidence, may not always reach the same conclusion.

But that is no reason why the test of finality should not be applied in dealing with criminal matters at the stage where the High Court, in exercise of its appellate jurisdiction, has considered the evidence, weighed the pros and cons urged in respect of it, and pronounced its verdict. From this point of view, the fact that the verdict of the High Court affirms the decision of the trial court, or reverses it is not, in itself, material. We thought it necessary to explain briefly the implications of the formula because, as we have already indicated, the conclusion is that the scope of Article 134(1)(c) should be placed on the same basis as that of Article 133(1)(c), as amended in accordance with our recommendation.

Structure and Jurisdiction of the Higher Judiciary Back

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