While hearing cross appeals filed by the original complainant and accused against the acquittal order passed by the appellate court, the court observed that the order of acquittal shouldn’t be interfered with by the appellate authority. The apex court restored the order of acquittal of the accused (husband) in case of cruelty by him over his wife.

The appellate authority must go through the reasons recorded by the court which grant the acquittal and consider it in light of facts and circumstances before setting aside the order of acquittal.

These cross appeals were heard by the bench of Justice UU Lalit and Justice SR Bhat. This appeal was filed against the impugned judgment passed by the Madras High Court in 2019 in case of Section 498A (husband and relatives of wife subjected her to cruelty) of the Indian Penal Code, which the High court ordered for the conviction of the accused for cruelty on his wife.

The court observed while setting aside the impugned order that the High court in his order of conviction not sited any reason for setting aside the acquittal of the accused and convicting him in the above-said offence.

The court further said that the High court had not looked into the reason cited by the concerned court for granting the accused without providing any change in circumstance; the high court changed the order of acquittal into conviction. This is not the correct legal proposition, before setting aside the order of acquittal the court must consider the reasons provided for acquittal given by the court and the facts and circumstances of the given case closely.

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