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Order of acquittal ought not be interfered with lightly, says SC

new delhi: An order of acquittal ought not be interfered with lightly, the Supreme Court has said while restoring the exoneration of a man accused of subjecting his wife to cruelty. The apex court observed that the appellate court must deal with every reason, which weighed with the court concerned while recording acquittal, before setting aside such order.

A bench set aside the March 2019 judgement of the Madras High Court which had restored the order convicting the man for alleged offence under section 498-A of the IPC, which deals with husband or his relative subjecting a married woman to cruelty. "The judgment under appeal has not set out any reason why order of acquittal recorded under section 498-A of IPC was required to be set aside," bench said. "It is a settled law that an order of acquittal ought not to be interfered with lightly and before setting aside acquittal, the appellate court must deal every reason which weighed with the concerned court while recording acquittal. No such exercise was undertaken by the High Court," SC said. The bench passed the order while hearing the cross appeals filed by the original complainant and the accused challenging the high court verdict.

The high court had acquitted accused of the charge under section 494 of IPC, which deals with marrying again during lifetime of husband or wife, and had restored his conviction for the alleged offence under section 498-A of the IPC.

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