The Supreme Court of India in Savita vs. State of Delhi, 2019, while setting aside a judgement of the Delhi High Court, has passed an Order dated 14-10-201,9 whereby, the Apex Court has held that “we are of the view that disposing of the appeal filed by the Appellant- Accused without the record of the Trial Court is not suitable “
The Bench comprising Justice NV Ramana, Justice Sanjiv Khanna and Justice Krishna Murari was considering an appeal against a Delhi High Court order which upheld the conviction and sentence imposed on a man under Section 498 A and 304 IPC by the Trial Court without the records of the said Court, which was lost during the pendency of the Appeal before it.
One of the main issues raised in the Appeal was whether the order of the High Court disposing the Criminal Appeal in the absence of the original records can be held sustainable in the eyes of law.
The Bench held that “ its not in dispute that the High Court has disposed of the appeal filed by the appellant herein without the record of the trial court, which was lost during the pendency of the Appeal before it. The chronology of events also indicates that some efforts made by the State to re-construct the record of the trial but the reconstruction of the record could not be completed. However, learned senior counsel for the respondent- State submits that some of the records are available. Having heard the learned senior counsel for the parties and pursuing the material placed before us, we are of the view that disposing of the appeal filed by the appellant-accused without the record of the trial court is not sustainable. “
The matter was remanded back to the High Court for hearing of the Appeals afresh after reconstruction of the record of the Trial Court.
Sourabh Kumar Mishra
Senior Legal Associate
The Indian Lawyer