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Report No. 58

Jurisdiction unlike an ordinary Court of criminal appeal

3.26. Though the discretion of the High Court is not expressly limited, it is well recognised that the jurisdiction under Article 134(1)(c) is not that of an ordinary court of criminal appeal, and the High Court, before it certificates the case, must be satisfied that it involves some substantial question of law of principle and not merely a question of law of principle and not merely a question of appreciation of evidence.1 No doubt, the fact that this Article deals with criminal cases, will be borne in mind while granting the certificate. But, at the same time, a certificate granted on questions of fact without disclosing any substantial question of law or principles, may not be acted upon by the Supreme Court.2

If the appeal is under Clause (a) or clause (b) of Article 134(1), it is as of right;3 same is the position where the appeal is under the recent Act of 1970.4 But the appeal under clause (c) lies only on a certificate and the requirement of a certificate itself implies that there should be something more than what is required for an ordinary appeal under the Code of Criminal Procedure. In considering the question of granting or refusing the certificate, the High Court must take note of the fact that except in cases falling under the Act of 1970-the Constitution intends that in all criminal matters, the High Court in the respective States should normally and ordinarily be the final court of appeal, which means that the certificate should be granted only in special and exceptional cases.5

1. State of Assam v. Abdul Noor, AIR 1970 SC 1365 (1336): (1970) Cri LJ 1264.

2. Sushil Kumar v. Joy Shanker, AIR 1970 SC 1543 (1547): (1970) 3 SCR 770.

3. Tara Chand v. State of Maharashtra, AIR 1962 SC 130 (132): (1962) 2 SCR 775.

4. See (1971) Kerala Law Times 514, referred to in the Yearly Digest.

5. Babu v. State, AIR 1965 SC 1467 (1470, 1471): (1965) 2 SCR 771.

Structure and Jurisdiction of the Higher Judiciary Back

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