The Supreme Court on October 16, 2020, in the case of Chandrabhan Singh v. The State of Rajasthan has held that the Court hearing first appeal in criminal matters is required to form its opinion on the basis of the evidence on record and the opinion of the Trial Court.
The Supreme Court made this statement in Special Leave Petition filed against the Rajasthan High Court order which had dismissed an appeal against conviction recorded by the Trial Court. The Rajasthan High Court in the order passed for dismissal of appeal stated that the prosecution had been successful in proving the guilt of the accused and it is proved beyond a reasonable doubt with sufficient evidence.
The bench comprising of Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul Justices Dinesh Maheshwari and Hrishikesh Roy observed that the High Court order is only a recitation of the evidence without an appreciation of the same for purposes of reaffirming conviction in appeal. The Court said that in this case, the High Court has set out the facts and also deposition by witnesses and then concluded that the prosecution was successful in proving the guilt of the accused. The court clearly said "We would like to say that the First Appeal in criminal matter requires the court to form its opinion on the basis of the evidence on record and the opinion of the Trial Court" The court hence allowed the appeal and stated that they set aside the impugned order and remit the matter back for consideration by the High Court on merits as a First Appeal in a Section 302 case of the I.P.C. in accordance with the law. The accused in this has the case been in custody for about eight and a half years. The court granted him bail on terms and conditions set by the trial Court. The respondents representing the high court had not appeared before the court even after service of notice. [Read Order]