The Supreme Court set aside the High Court order in its judgement dated 23/09/2015 and directed the High Court to decide the case again after hearing the parties in accordance with law. Does it mean that what was done is not according to law?
Facts of the case is that, the State of Rajasthan preferred a Criminal Appeal NO.1246 OF 2015 (S.L.P. [Crl.] No.1621 of 2014) against the judgment dated 29.5.2013 passed by the High Court. The trial court had convicted the accused for commission of an offence under section 302 and section 458 IPC and sentenced to life imprisonment with a fine of Rs.2,000/- and RI for seven years and a fine of Rs.1,000/- respectively for the aforesaid offences. While maintaining conviction and sentence under section 458 IPC, the High Court had altered conviction from section 302 to section 304 Part II and sentenced him to the period already undergone, i.e. 8 years and 7 months.
The Supreme Court’s own words are self-explanatory: -
“It is crystal clear that the High Court has not considered the evidence, neither the nature of injuries nor method and manner in which they were inflicted. The High Court has also not considered the aspect whether the accused intended to inflict injuries so as to cause the death. Even the circumstances to take the case out of the purview of section 302 have also not been discussed by the High Court. Simpliciter, it has been observed that a careful scrutiny of the entire evidence has been made but we find from the judgment that no such exercise has been done. Mere statement in the judgment to that effect is not enough. Evidence is not only required to be mentioned in the judgment but its evidentiary value has to be assessed carefully. No such exercise has been made.
Thus, we have no hesitation to set aside the judgment and order passed by the High Court. While allowing appeal, we remit the matter to the High Court to decide the same again after hearing the parties in accordance with law. It is made clear that we have not expressed any opinion on the merits of the case. The High Court is required to reconsider the matter in accordance with law and to decide the appeal de novo after hearing the parties. The respondent-accused shall remain on bail for a period of four weeks from the date of the judgment during which time he will be free to apply to the High Court for regular bail."
Quality - One of the main reason for prolonged litigation and accumulation for cases for years together.