HC should not interfere in trial court’s acquittal order: SC | India News

NEW DELHI: Supreme Court has held that high courts should refrain from interfering with a trial court order if there is no perversity of fact and law in the verdict.
It further said that a person should not be convicted merely on the ground of suspicion no matter how strong it is.
In a relief granted to two convicts, who were first acquitted by a trial court but convicted and sentenced to life by Madhya Pradesh High Court, a bench of Justices B R Gavai and Sandeep Mehta set the high court and restoring their acquittal order.
“The law with regard to interference by the appellate court is very well crystallised. Unless the finding of acquittal is found to be perverse or impossible, interference with the same would not be warranted,” the bench said, finding no fault in trial court order.
The bench said, the high court verdict was based on “conjectures and surmises” and against the basic principle that the suspicion, however strong it may be, could not take the place of proof beyond reasonable doubt and an accused cannot be convicted on the ground of suspicion, no matter how strong it is.
“It is necessary for the prosecution that the circumstances from which the conclusion of the guilt is to be drawn should be fully established.
The apext court holds that it is a primary principle that the accused ‘must be’ and not merely ‘may be’ proved guilty before a court can convict the accused. It has been held that there is not only a grammatical but a legal distinction between ‘may be proved’ and ‘must be or should be proved’.
It has been held that the facts so established should be consistent only with the guilt of the accused, that is to say, they should not be explainable on any other hypothesis except that the accused is guilty,” the bench said.
“It is settled law that the suspicion, however strong it may be, cannot take the place of proof beyond reasonable doubt. An accused cannot be convicted on the ground of suspicion, no matter how strong it is. An accused is presumed to be innocent unless proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt,” it said.
The court accepted the plea of convicts’ advocate Varun Thakur, who contended that unless the finding was shown to be perverse or impossible, it would not be permissible for the appellate court to interfere with the same.

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