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Man convicted and acquitted in the same case almost at the same time!Views: 143
Dec 12, 2008 11:02 am Man convicted and acquitted in the same case almost at the same time!
RVIyengar
PARALLEL JUSTICE: AMICUS CURIAE TO HELP HC
The Times of India
12 Dec 2008

HYDERABAD: The A P High Court on Thursday appointed senior counsel C Padmanabha Reddy as amicus curae to assist it in solving the legal impasse arising from the two contradictory judgments given by two Benches of the high court in the Hymad Pasha case. In one of the judgments Pasha had been acquitted of the charge of murdering his wife while the other upheld his conviction.

Padmanahba Reddy, a criminal lawyer, was appointed after the state government through its public prosecutor filed a criminal miscellaneous petition in the high court on Thursday praying it to either recall the judgment delivered by the second Division Bench that acquitted the accused or declare its judgment as `non-est' (invalid) as a Division Bench had already decided this case and confirmed the life conviction on Hymad Pasha.

Interestingly, the public prosecutor's petition reveals the fact that both the Division Benches had admitted this case separately by June 2006 itself and the hearing has been going on simultaneously from then. While one Bench delivered its order on March 7, 2008, convicting Hymad, the other Bench delivered its judgment on September 29, 2008, acquitting the same man. Both the Benches were unaware that the case was being heard simultaneously by them.

The public prosecutor in his petition cited three reasons for annulling the second judgment. First, that there is no provision in the Criminal Procedure Code (for the high court) to review or recall its own judgment once it has been delivered on merits after hearing both the parties. Second, that "Once the matter is decided as in this case in an earlier appeal, the court becomes `functus-officio' and therefore, cannot decide again. Thirdly, the PP said that since the first judgment was delivered, the hearing of the second appeal was void, and any judgment delivered by the second Bench was `non-est.'

On these three grounds, the PP submitted that the high court has got inherent power to recall the second judgment or declare it invalid. By the evening, the high court appointed Padmanabha Reddy as amicus curae.

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