Revision Petition Filed Before High Court By Third Party / Defacto Complainant Maintainable: Supreme Court

Revision Petition Filed Before High Court By Third Party / Defacto Complainant Maintainable

Case: Honnaiah T.H. vs State of Karnataka

Coram: Justices DY Chandrachud and JB Pardiwala

Case No.: CrA 1147 of 2022

Court Observation: “There would be a serious miscarriage of justice in the course of the criminal trial if the statement were not to be marked as an exhibit since that forms the basis of the registration of the FIR. The order of the trial judge cannot in these circumstances be treated as merely procedural or of an interlocutory in nature since it has the potential to affect the substantive course of the prosecution.”

“According to the charge sheet, the statement of the appellant/ informant formed the basis of the FIR and set the criminal law in motion. Rejection of the prayer of the Public Prosecutor to mark the statement as an exhibit would possibly imperil the validity of the FIR. In this background, the order of the trial court declining to mark the statement of the informant as an exhibit is an intermediate order affecting important rights of the parties and cannot be said to be purely of an interlocutory nature. In the present case, if the statement of the appellant/ informant is not permitted to be marked as an exhibit, it would amount to a gross miscarriage of justice.”

“The revisional jurisdiction of a High Court under Section 397 read with Section 401 of the CrPC, is a discretionary jurisdiction that can be exercised by the revisional court suo motu so as to examine the correctness, legality or propriety of an order recorded or passed by the trial court or the inferior court. <b>As the power of revision can be exercised by the High Court even suo moto, there can be no bar on a third party invoking the revisional jurisdiction and inviting the attention of the High Court that an occasion to exercise the power has arisen…”

“…The view of the High Court that a victim/ complainant needs to restrict his revision petition to challenging final orders either acquitting the accused or convicting the accused of a lesser offence or imposing inadequate compensation (three requirements mentioned under Section 372 CrPC) is unsustainable, so long as the revision petition is not directed against an interlocutory order, an inbuilt restriction in Section 397(2) of the CrPC</b>. In the present case, the appellant filed a criminal revision as his interests as an informant and as an injured victim were adversely affected by the trial court rejecting the prayer to mark the statement of the informant as an exhibit. Having held that the order of the trial court is not interlocutory in nature and that the bar under Section 397(2) of the CrPC in inapplicable, a criminal revision filed by an informant against the said order of the trial court was maintainable.”

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