PANDURANG KALU PATIL Vs. STATE OF MAHARASHTRA
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: BOMBAY)
PANDURANG KALU PATIL
STATE OF MAHARASHTRA
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Thomas, J. -
(1.)A Division Bench of the High Court of Bombay has ventured to disagree with a ratio which has become locus classicus and well stood the long period of half-a-century. That ratio is the one laid down in the celebrated decision in Pulikuri Kottaya and others vs. Emperor, (AIR 1947 PC 67). In that exercise the Division Bench of the Bombay High Court had unwittingly overlooked another legal guideline delineate by a Full Bench of the Bombay High Court itself in State of Bombay vs. Chhaganlal Gangaram Lavar, (AIR 1955 Bom 1) wherein Chief Justice Chagla speaking for the Full Bench had said thus :-
"So long as the Supreme Court does not take a different view from the view taken by the Privy Council, the decisions of the Privy Council are still binding upon us, and when we say that the decisions of the Privy Council are binding upon us, what is binding is not merely the point actually decided but an opinion expressed by the Privy Council, which opinion is expressed after careful consideration of all the arguments and which is deliberately and advisedly given."
(2.)Quite possibly the attention of the learned Judges of the Division Bench of the High Court would not have been drawn to the observations made by Chagla, C. J. of the Full Bench of the Bombay High Court in the aforecited decision, for, otherwise we are sure that learned Judges of the Division Bench would not have erred into the matter of judicial discipline.
(3.)While delivering judgment in two connected criminal appeals relating to the murder of one Ramdas, the Division Bench of the Bombay High Court (D.K. Trivedi and D. G. Deshpande, JJ.) proceeded to consider the legal proposition propounded in Pulikuri Kottaya and held thus :-
"With respect we are unable to agree with the interpretation of the Privy Council of Section 27 not because it does not lay down correct Law but because it has failed be take into consideration some material aspect of Section 27 of the Evidence Act . . . . . . . The observation of the Privy Council that it is fallacious to treat the "fact discovered within the section as equivalent to the "object produced", in our humble and respectful opinion is not based on proper construction of the word 'fact deposed to' used in Section 27. Because the definition of the fact given in Section 3 of the Evidence Act is not considered at all. The object discovered is a fact, and therefore, when a witness is deposing in the Court and deposes to a fact, it means he could and he should depose about the object discovered".
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