BHARGAV KRISHNA PATIL Vs. STATE OF MAHARASHTRA
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: BOMBAY)
BHARGAV KRISHNA PATIL
STATE OF MAHARASHTRA
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(1.)The appellant was tried for the commission of offences punishable under section 7 read with section 16 of the Prevention of food Adulteration Act and upon conviction was sentenced to undergo six months' R. I. besides paying the fine of Rs. 1000/ -. The appeal filed by the accused was allowed by the appellate court vide its judgment dated 27th December, 1985.
(2.)Feeling aggrieved, the state filed crl. appeal no. 249/1986 which was heard and allowed by a learned single judge of the high Court. The conviction and sentence awarded by the trial court was upheld vide the judgment impugned in this appeal.
(3.)Shri D. T. Karmate, learned counsel appearing for the appellant has submitted that the impugned judgment is liable to be set aside in view of the Bombay High Court (appellate side) rules, 1960. Rule 1 of the rules provides that the civil and criminal jurisdiction of the court on the appellate side shall, except in cases where it is otherwise provided for by these rules, be exercised by division court consisting of two or more judges. If the appeal against acquittal wherein the accused was charged relates to an offence which is punishable with a conviction and fine or with a sentence of imprisonment not exceeding two years, such an appeal may be heard and disposed of by a single judge. Similarly, an appeal for leave under section 378 (4) of the Code of Criminal Procedure against acquittal, wherein the accused was charged is the one, punishable with conviction with a sentence of fine only or with a sentence of imprisonment not exceeding 2 years or with such imprisonment and fine, such appeal can also be heard by a single judge. In a case, where an appeal is filed against an order of acquittal and the offence with which the accused was charged is punishable with an imprisonment for more than two years, the appeal has to be heard by a division bench of the High Court. It is contended that in view of the mandatory provisions of the rules, the impugned judgment having been passed by a learned single judge is without jurisdiction and thus liable to be set aside.
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