Practice of passing operative final order sans reasoning has to be stopped: SC


PTI, Apr 19, 2022, 7:37 PM IST

The practice of pronouncing final orders without a reasoned judgement has to be “stopped and discouraged”, the Supreme Court said on Tuesday, and set aside the acquittal verdict of the Allahabad High Court in a murder case and ordered the hearing afresh.

The apex court took a strong note of a judgement of the Allahabad High Court which heard and delivered the operative portion of its verdict, sans reasoning, on March 30, 2019, acquitting two accused – Santosh Singh and Avdhesh Singh– in the murder case of 2012 and the reasoned judgement was delivered after five months.

“Despite the strong observations made by this court as far as back in the year 1984 and thereafter repeatedly reiterated, still the practice of pronouncing only the operative portion of the judgement without a reasoned judgement and to pass a reasoned judgement subsequently has been continued. Such a practice of pronouncing the final orders without a reasoned judgement has to be stopped and discouraged,” said a bench of Justices M R Shah and B V Nagarathna.

Writing the judgement for the bench, Justice Shah referred to the operative part of the judgement, acquitting the convicts in a criminal case.

“It appears that the reasoned judgment was pronounced and uploaded after a period of almost five months. Therefore, applying the law laid down by this Court in the decisions referred to…, we set aside the impugned judgement and order passed by the High Court without further entering into the merits of the case nor expressing anything on merits in favour of either party.

“We remand the appeals to the High Court to decide the same afresh in accordance with law and on its own merits. We request the High Court to finally decide and dispose of the appeals at the earliest and preferably within a period of six months from the date of the receipt of the present order,” it said.

The top court, however, gave the accused liberty not to surrender during the de-novo hearing.

It said if their conviction by the trial court is upheld by the high court then they will have to surrender back to prison in two weeks from the date of such an order.

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