PLJ 2019 CR.C. 548 [FEDERAL SHARIAT COURT]

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QANUN-E-SHAHADAT ORDER, 1984 (10 OF 1984)

132(2)- Cross examination-principle- it is a well-settled principle of law that opportunity to cross-examination contemplated by law must be real, fair, and reasonable as cross-examination is not an empty formality but a valuable right conferred by statute, more particularly under section 132(2) of Qanun-e-Shahadat order, 1984 and method for ascertaining truth from the mouth of a witness.

RIGHT OF CROSS-EXAMINATION.

Right of the cross-examination has immemorial been held to be particularly in criminal cases a valuable right to accused which cannot be brushed aside as it is a weapon which an accused person or an advocate on his behalf can wield for purpose of test veracity of the statement made by a witness.

CROSS-EXAMINATION.

The purpose of obviously of cross-examination is to assist the court in bringing truth to light by disclosing and clarifying matters which a witness could suppress or conceal either due to bitter acrimonious relations/animosity or for sake of greediness, etc. cross-examination of prosecution witnesses reproduced supra, creates reasonable doubt in a prudent mind about guilt of accused which cannot be termed misreading of evidence amounting to a miscarriage of justice.

2017 SCMR 1710, ref.

BENEFIT OF DOUBT.

The proposition of law- it is now settled proposition of law that a single circumstance creates a reasonable doubt in prudent mind about guilt of accused; entitle accused to such benefit not as a matter of grace but as a matter of right.

QANUN-E-SHAHADAT ORDER 1984 (10 OF 1984).

article 2(4) – article 2(4) of the Qanun-e-Shahadat order 1984 containing conclusive duty upon the prosecution to prove its case beyond any shadow of doubt admittedly, a conviction cannot be based on high probabilities and suspicion cannot take place of proof, therefore no legal sanctity is attached to FIR lodged after inordinate delay merely on disclosure of some unknown source or information.

APPEAL AGAINST ACQUITTAL.

Scope of the extraordinary remedy of an appeal against an acquittal is quite different from an appeal preferred against findings of conviction and sentence– obviously, appellate jurisdiction under the section 417 cr. p.c can be exercised by this court if gross injustice has been done in the administration of criminal justice, more particularly, wherein, findings given by the trial court are perverse illegal, and based on a misreading of the evidence, leading to miscarriage of justice or where reasons advanced by the trial court are wholly artificial-scope of appeal against the acquittal of accused is considerably limited, because the presumption of double innocence of accused is attached to order of acquittal.

2002 SCMR 713, ref.

ACQUITTAL ORDER.

The appellate court would not interfere unless misreading of evidence violation of legal provisions jurisdiction defect, acquittal order on the face of it being contrary was established.

2013 PCR.LJ 345,ref.

CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE,1898(V OF 1898.

section 417. an appeal against acquittal—

appellate court by exercising its powers under section 417 cr. p.c. could interfere only if the order of acquittal is based on misreading non-appraisal of evidence or/was speculative artificial, arbitrary, and foolish.

2008MLD 1007, 2002 MLD293 &2000 YLR 190,ref.

It is a well-settled principle of law that the opportunity to cross-examine contemplated by the law must be real, fair, and reasonable as the cross-examination is not an empty formality but a valuable right conferred by the statute more particularly under section 132(2) of the Qanun-e-Shahadat order, 1984 and best method for ascertaining the truth from the mouth of a witness.

The right of cross-examination has immemorial been held to be particularly in a criminal case a valuable right to their accused which cannot be brushed aside as it is a weapon which an accused person or an advocate on his behalf can wield for the purpose of test the veracity of the statement made by a witness. Obviously, the purpose of cross-examination is to assist the court in bringing truth to light by disclosing and clarifying the matters which a witness could suppress or conceal either due to bitter acrimonious relations/animosity or for the sake of greediness, etc.

suffice it to say that cross-examination of prosecution witnesses reproduced supra, creates reasonable doubt in a prudent mind about the guilt of the accused which cannot be termed misreading of evidence amounting to a miscarriage of justice.

It is also admitted fact that there is nothing on record to show that the investigating officer recovered or even tried/attempted to recover the said stolen wheat with or without chaff. Besides, it is not the case of the prosecution that the accused person separated the wheat grain from the chaff through a thrasher/harvester machine or by applying a local old method for separating a huge quantity of wheat from the chaff.

It is not a settled proposition of law that the appellate court cannot frequently interfere with the acquittal merely because reappraisal of evidence comes to the conclusion different from that of the trial court. The presumption of innocence of the accused after acquittal is double. To support his contention, learned counsel for the respondents placed his reliance on 2017 SCMR 1710.

It is pertinent to mention here that the learned trial court after evaluation of evidence has correctly observed that the prosecution has miserably failed to prove its case against the respondents/accused beyond the shadow of reasonable doubt.

It is now settled proposition of law that a single circumstance creates a reasonable doubt in a prudent mind about the guilt of the accused; entitle the accused to such benefit not as a matter of grace but as a matter of right.

Article 2(4) of the Qanun-e-Shahadat order, 1984 containing conclusive duty upon the prosecution to prove its case beyond any shadow of a doubt. Admittedly conviction cannot be based on high probabilities and suspicion cannot take the place of proof, therefore no legal sanctity is attached to the FIR lodged after inordinate delay merely on disclosure of some unknown source or information.

Extraordinary remedy of an appeal against an acquittal is quite different from an appeal preferred against the findings of conviction and sentence.

  1. Obviously, the appellate jurisdiction under section 417 cr. p.c. can be exercised by this court if gross injustice has been done in the administration of criminal justice more particularly, wherein findings given by the trial court are perverse, illegal, and based on a misreading of the evidence, leading to miscarriage of justice or where reasons advance by the trial court are wholly artificial.
  2. Scope of appeal against the acquittal of the accused is considerably limited because the presumption of double innocence of the accused is attached to the order of acquittal as held innocence scmr 713.

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