The Supreme Court has quashed and set aside a judgment of the Rajasthan High Court discharging the accused under Section 7 of the Prevention of Corruption Act stating, “the High Court has exceeded in its jurisdiction in exercise of the revisional jurisdiction and has acted beyond the scope of Section 227/239 CrPC.”
The bench of Justice Dr. Dhananjaya Y. Chandrachud and Justice M.R. Shah noted, “The High Court was required to consider whether a prima facie case has been made out or not, and whether the accused is required to be further tried or not. At the stage of framing of the charge and/or considering the discharge application, the mini trial is not permissible.”
The plea has been filed by the State of Rajasthan challenging the order of the Rajasthan High Court in which the High Court had discharged the accused under Section 7 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, quashing the order of the Special Judge framing charges under Prevention of Corruption Act.
The High Court discharged the charges while relying on the Transcript, whereas, the Supreme Court noted that the High Court has erred in evaluating the transcript/evidence on merits which at the stage of considering the application for discharge is not permissible.
The bench further observed, “While discharging the accused, the High Court has gone into the merits of the case and has considered whether on the basis of the material on record, the accused is likely to be convicted or not.”
The bench relying upon the Judgment of the Supreme Court in the case of P. Vijayan noted, “the High Court has erred and/or exceeded in virtually holding a mini trial at the stage of discharge application.”
The Court while not entering into the merits of the case, quashed the judgment of the High Court stating, “the impugned judgment and order passed by the High Court discharging the accused under Section 7 of the PC Act is unsustainable in law.”8524_2020_36_1501_27516_Judgement_13-Apr-2021