The Allahabad High Court judgment acquitting Rajesh and Nupur Talwar in the Aarushi murder case was delivered by a two-judge bench comprising Justices Bala Krishna Narayana and Arvind Kumar Mishra. While the main judgment that dove deep into the matter was written by the senior judge (Justice Narayana), Mishra too wrote a concurring judgment on the matter.
Mishra starts his judgment by insisting that he is absolute agreement with the conclusions drawn by Justice Narayana. However he then goes on to make certain observations on the style and approach of the trial court judge against whose order the Talwars had come in appeal.
Mishra feels that the trial judge had convicted the couple without keeping in mind the fact that since this case was based on circumstantial evidence, things could not be presumed and stuffed in the manner that they were. The trial judge took certain evidence and circumstances for granted and tried to solve it like a mathematical question. However, he cannot act like a maths teacher who solves a problem after taking a certain figure for granted.
The high court judge further adds that the trial judge has surprisingly assumed a fictional series of events on the night of the incident. Like a film director, he tried to take scattered facts and give coherence to them while disregarding what might have actually happened. He forgot the issue at hand and did not "travel in and around the theme of the charge framed" against the couple.
Admitting that guesswork could be involved in this case, Mishra says that one could not base the entire reasoning solely on guesswork. The best approach instead is to consider only the evidence and circumstances on record and crystallise the truth from them.
Mishra then says that the trial judge was unmindful of the basic tenets of law and its applicability in the present case. He did not properly appraise the facts, nor did he properly evaluate evidence or analyse the circumstances. Perhaps out of extra zeal and enthusiasm, he gave vent to his own emotional belief and gave concrete shape to his own imagination. The trial judge was required to evaluate evidence in the form it its existing form and not add passionate reasoning so as to give it a construction different from the one which is naturally forthcoming. He should exercise self-restraint and deliberately twist facts in an arbitrary manner.
Mishra calls the trial court judgment a "creation of fanciful reasoning" which presumed facts an took things for granted. The trial judge must act as a man of ordinary prudence and not stretch his imagination to infinity as that renders the "whole exercise mockery of law."
The concurring judgment then goes on to lay down certain norms which should be kept in mind while deciding any criminal case. These include:
- Avoiding parochial and narrow approach to the facts and evidence
- Not using passionate and rash reasoning as the guiding factor
- Self-perception and realm should not be reflected on analogy of the facts and evidence on record
- Not basing judgment on self-created postulates
- Not giving concrete form to imagination and showing transparency of approach in the judgment.
Mishra ends by stating that it appears that the trial judge was unaware of the solemn duty cast by the law on judges and has dealt with the entire case with style rather than finesse.
Published Date: Oct 13, 2017 11:06 am | Updated Date: Oct 13, 2017 11:08 am