SC raps HP High Court for rejecting plea without any reason

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New Delhi, Oct 1 (UNI) The Supreme Court has pulled up the Himachal Pradesh High Court for dismissing without any reason an application of the State government seeking leave to appeal against an order of acquittal in an attempt to rape case.

A bench comprising Justices Arijit Pasayat and M K Sharma while setting aside the High Court order observed '' the trial court on the facts of the case did not perform its duties, as was enjoined on it by law.

The High Court ought to have in such circumstances granted the leave and thereafter as a first court of appeal reappreciated the entire evidence on record independently and returned its findings objectively as regards guilt or otherwise of the accused.

It has failed to do so. The questions involved were not trivial.

The High Court has not given any reason for refusing to grant leave to appeal against acquittal, and seems to have been completely oblivious to the fact that by such refusal, a close scrutiny of the order of the acquittal, by the appellate forum, has been lost once for all.

The manner in which appeal against acquittal has been dealt with by the High Court leaves much to be desired. Failure to give reasons amounts to denial of justice.'' The apex court in its September 29 direction asked the High Court ''to entertain the appeal and after formal notice to the respondents, hear the appeal and dispose it off in accordance with law, uninfluenced by any observation made in the present appeal.'' The trial court had acquitted Manoj Kumar alias Chhotu in a case of attempt to rape and criminal intimidation and the High Court had summarily dismissed the application of the Himachal Pradesh under section 378(3) of the CrPC for permission to appeal.

UNI SC GT RP KN1955

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