A division bench of Patna High Court held that this is not how a judgment is to be written, while acquitting a husband from a conviction given for the alleged offence of murdering his wife.
Nasruddin Mian Vs State of Bihar on 21 Jun 2021
78. The judgment under consideration is an example of how not to write a judgment. It has repeatedly been emphasized by the Supreme Court that the Courts and Judges must make a dispassionate assessment of evidence and that the Courts and Judges should not be swayed by the horror of crime and the character of the person. The judgment should be made by a Judge uninfluenced by his own imagined norms of the functioning of the society.
79. The Trial Court ought to have avoided the sweeping and disparaging remarks made in para 42 of its judgment regarding the conduct of the appellants.
80. I fail to see as to how the Trial Court held in para 44 of its judgment that the charge was framed against the appellants under Section 498-A of the IPC after the informant filed an application for addition to the original charge. The order dated 08.05.2017 passed by the Trial Court, which has been extracted hereinabove, would clearly show that the original charge under Sections 498-A, 306 and 201/34 of the IPC was altered to Sections 304-B, 302 and 201/34 of the IPC. The trial court did not allow the prayer of the informant regarding addition of Sections 304-B and 302 of the IPC to the original charge already framed against them meaning thereby that due to alteration of the original charge vide order dated 08.05.2017, the charge under Sections 498-A and 306 became non-existent.
81. As a matter of fact, for all practical purposes, after alteration of the charge, the appellants were being tried only for the offences punishable under Sections 304-B, 302 and 201/34 of the IPC.
82. Surprisingly, in para 43 of the judgment, the Trial Court held that the case under Section 306 of the IPC is not made out. After alteration of charge, since there was no charge under Section 306 of the IPC, there was no occasion for the Trial Court to have recorded such finding in respect of Section 306 of the IPC.
83. Evidently, while passing the impugned judgment, the Trial Court had misconceived that the appellants were also being tried for the original charge framed under Sections 498-A and 306 of the IPC.
84. While saying so, I am mindful of the judgment of the Supreme Court in Shanti Vs. State of Haryana, since reported in (1991) 1 SCC 371, wherein it has been held that Sections 304-B and 498-A of the IPC are not mutually exclusive. They deal with two distinct offences. A person charged and acquitted under Section 304-B of the IPC can be convicted under Section 498-A of the IPC without charge being framed, if such a case is made out. But from the point of view of practice and procedure and to avoid technical defects, it is necessary in such cases to frame charges under both
the sections and if the case is established against the accused, they can be convicted under both the Sections but no separate sentence need be awarded under Section 498-A in view of the substantive sentence being awarded for the major offence under Section 304-B.
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