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Prinsep and Stephen, JJ -
(1.) This is a trial held by the District Magistrate under Section 451 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, one of the accused being an European British subject and the others, who were natives of this country, having elected to be tried with him. The District Magistrate has disagreed with the unanimous verdict of the jury on the main points of the case and has referred it to this Court under Section 307 of the Coda of Criminal Procedure.
(2.) The prosecution and the defence have been both represented by learned Counsel, and we have therefore had the advantage of a complete argument on the case. Mr. Pugh who appears for Lyall, a tea planter and an European British subject, contends on the authority of several reported cases that we are bound to act in accordance with the unanimous verdict of the jury, unless it is shown to be perverse or clearly or manifestly wrong. Since those cases, however, the terms of Section 307 of the Code of 1882, under which the most recent of the cases quoted wore decided, have been altered by the amending Act of 1896, which expressed the law in the language in which it stands. In the present Code Section 307, Clause (3) declares that in dealing with the case, such as is now before us, the High Court may exercise "any of the powers which it may exercise on an appeal and subject thereto it shall after considering the entire evidence and after giving due weight to the opinions of the Sessions Judge and the jury acquit or convict the accused," etc. No cases under the law thus expressed have been cited to us which are in accordance with the authorities on which Mr. Pugh relies. It seems to us that we are now bound to consider the entire evidence in the case, and we are then required to give due weight to the opinions of the Sessions judge and the jury and not to rely only on the verdict of the jury. Without considering the evidence the High Court would not be in a proper position to give due weight to such opinions. It is not necessary for the prosecution to show that the opinions of the jury are perverse or clearly and manifestly wrong, as was held in the cases cited to us which were decided before the law was amended in 1896 and expressed as it now stands.
(3.) We now proceed to consider the entire evidence laid before us.;
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