K.S. Panduranga vs. State of Karnataka
(2013) 3 SCC 721 and submitted that in the absence of the counsel
for the appellant-accused, the High Court should not have decided
the appeal on merits and prayed for remitting the matter to the High
Court for fresh consideration on merits.
- The respondent-complainant though served, has not entered
appearance in this appeal. The Supreme Court Legal Services
Committee has nominated Col. Pahlad Singh Sharma, Advocate to
appear and argue on behalf of the respondent. We have heard
Col. Pahlad Singh Sharma appearing on behalf of the
respondent-complainant and perused the impugned judgment and
other materials on record.
- Admittedly, the appellant-accused did not appear in the
criminal appeal before the High Court. When the accused has not
entered appearance in the High Court, in our view, the High Court
should have issued second notice to the appellant-accused or the
High Court Legal Services Committee to appoint an advocate or the
High Court could have taken the assistance of amicus curiae. When
the accused was not represented, without appointing any counsel
as amicus curiae to defend the accused, the High Court ought not
to have decided the criminal appeal on merits; more so, when the
appellant-accused had the benefit of the acquittal. The High Court
erred in reversing the acquittal without affording any opportunity tothe appellant-accused or by appointing an amicus curiae to argue
the matter on his behalf.
- In the result, the impugned orders of the High Court in Crl.A.
(MD) No. 608 of 2007 dated 06.07.2018 and 23.06.2018 are set
aside and these appeals are allowed and the Criminal Appeal (MD)
No. 608 of 2007 shall stand restored. The matter is remitted to the
Madurai Bench of Madras High Court to consider the matter afresh.
The appellant shall appear before the Madurai Bench of the Madras
High Court on 26.08.2019. The High Court shall issue notice to the
respondent-complainant viz. K. Vijayakumar informing him about
the date of hearing.
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CRIMINAL APPEAL NOS. 986-987 OF 2019 (Arising out of SLP (Crl.) Nos.7717-7718 of 2018) CHRISTOPHER RAJ …Appellant VERSUS K VIJAYAKUMAR …Respondent