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Understanding Court Judgments: What Happens After the Gavel Falls

A judgment is the expression of the Court's opinion, arrived at after due consideration of the evidence and all the arguments. Judgment is the final decision of the court, intimated to the parties and to the world at large by formal pronouncement or delivery in open court.

The general rule under this section comes into operation only when the court has signed its judgment. In the case of the High Court exercising its ordinary original criminal jurisdiction, no judgment nor any other pronouncement of its decision is signed until the warrant is signed by the presiding judge.

The warrant is drawn up some time after the sentence has been ordinarily pronounced. The practice has been for the judges, in proper cases, to review their sentences, though already pronounced in court, so long as the warrant has not been drawn up and signed.

The section always uses the expression "the court" and not "the judge." If that expression has to be construed in relation to a Division Bench judgment, that judgment becomes the final judgment of the court when it is signed by both judges and not by one of them. No criminal court can review its judgment.

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