April 23, 2017 5:38:50 am
CALLING A lower court order the “worst judgment”, the Madras High Court on Saturday acquitted five people in a 2010 temple burglary case and said that it is ridiculous on the part of trial court to conclude that the accused had committed murder and robbery because they belong to a particular community. In July 2015, a sessions judge in Kancheepuram had given life imprisonment to the five. The court ruled that they are from a particular criminal community whose main occupation is stealing and dacoity.
Acquitting all convicts, the HC bench of Justices S Nagamuthu and N Seshasayee said, “In our little experience, we have not come across this kind of worst judgment. Let this be the last judgment ever written on communal considerations.” The bench also observed, “Judiciary cannot afford to decide cases by tracing criminal activities of the forefathers of the accused. No court of law can stigmatise a community as a whole.”
Stating that this is a classic example on how a court should not pen a judgment, the court directed the HC registrar’s office to circulate a copy of the judgment to all principal sessions judges in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry to prevent further judgments based on “extraneous considerations like communal and social background in future.” The HC said finding of guilt on communal considerations is unconstitutional.
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