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High Court cannot make unreasonable interference in the order of trial Court

The Supreme Court in State of Maharastra v Jagmohan Singh AIR 2004 has explained the revisional jurisdiction of High Court that it would be unreasonable to interfere with the order of the acquittal in exercise of its revisional jurisdiction at the instance of the informant. Though High Court can differ from trial court based on the admissibility of evidence but it cannot be only reason for exercise of revisional jurisdiction u/s 401 against the judgment of acquittal. In the absence of any legal infirmity either in procedure or in conduct of the trial court, there is no justification for the High Court to interfere in the exercise of its revisional jurisdiction. It has been held in several judgments that the High Court should not re-appreciate the evidence to reach the finding different from the trial court.

The revisional jurisdiction of High Court is only appreciated when there is manifest illegality in the finding of trial court resulting in grave miscarriage of justice. it is therefore established that the High Court could not convert the finding of acquittal into conviction directly u/s 401 (3) CrPC, it could not do so indirectly by the method of ordering of retrial. The High Court shall not interfere in the revision of an order of acquittal except in exceptional cases where the interest of public justice requires interference for the correction of a manifest illegality or the prevention of gross miscarriage of justice. The apex court, for this purpose, has not made an exhaustive list of circumstances in which the exercise of revisional jurisdiction may be justified but the decisions of apex court have laid down the parameters for the exercise of revisional jurisdiction of High Court u/s 401 in an appeal against acquittal by the private party. The High Court while acting as a revisional court cannot exercise the power of a second appellate court.

In P.V. Narasimha Rao v State, 2000, where the trial court appreciated the evidence and there was no evidence which had been wrongly or not considered or, if admitted, not considered and/or any other defect or illegality which could necessitate an interference, it would not be open to the High Court act aside the order of the trial Court merely because another opinion was possible on the same evidence.

In Tutul Kumari Sen v State of Jharkhand AIR 2009 a revision petition was filed against the discharge given to the accused merely on the ground that the FIR did not disclose the commission of any offence. No reasons were given for arriving at such a conclusion. The order of the discharge was held to be not sustainable.

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