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Supreme Court: The Intricacies Of Overturning Acquittal Decisions

The Supreme Court would ordinarily be slow to interfere in an order of acquittal. The powers of the appellate court in an appeal against acquittal are no less than in an appeal against conviction.

The judicial parameters for dealing with such cases, in which the Supreme Court would be justified in reversing the judgment of acquittal, are:
  1. The appellate court may review the evidence in appeals against acquittal under sections 378 and 386 of the Criminal Procedure Code. Its power to review evidence is wide, and the appellate court can reappreciate the evidence on record. It can review the trial court's conclusions with respect to both facts and law.
  2. The accused is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty. The accused possesses the presumption of innocence.
  3. There must also be substantial and compelling reasons for reversing an order of acquittal, as seen in the case of State of U.P. vs. Ramsajivan, AIR 2010 SC 1738

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