The Supreme Court, last week, set aside an Allahabad High Court judgment that confirmed a death sentence without dealing with the issue as to whether the conviction recorded by the trial court was justified or not.
The bench comprising of Justice AK Sikri, Justice S. Abdul Nazeer and Justice MR Shah, remitted the case to the High Court for fresh consideration on merits.
Pappu @ Chandra Kumar was convicted and sentenced to death by the Trial Court for murder of a Police Officer. In his appeal, which was heard along with death reference, the High Court took note of the arguments of both sides, but did neither discuss nor consider it. After recording of the arguments, the judgment straightaway proceeds to discuss the question of sentence, and confirms it.
“The High Court was sitting as a Court of first appeal. Therefore, it was required to revisit the entire evidence and was also required to record its opinion as to the findings of the trial court on the conviction were warranted and justified or not.”, said the Apex Court bench, while hearing the appeal filed by the accused.
The court said that it has no other option but to set aside the High Court judgment since the entire judgment is silent on the question of conviction and this exercise is not undertaken by the High Court at all.
The bench then remitted the case to the High Court for fresh consideration on merits. The court also observed that, in case it upholds the conviction, the issue as to whether the capital punishment should 6 be given in such case or not should also be considered afresh. The bench also stayed the death sentence till the new decision by the High Court.