In State of Rajasthan Versus Islam and others [AIR 2011 SC 2317 : JT 2011 (6) SC 452 : (2011) 6 SCALE 389 : (2011) 6 SCC 343 : (2011) 2 SCC (Cri) 951]

When Supreme  Court exercises its jurisdiction under Article 136, it definitely exercises a discretionary jurisdiction but such discretionary jurisdiction has to be exercised in order to ensure that there is no miscarriage of justice. If the consideration by the High Court is misconceived and perverse as indicated above, there is nothing in law which prevents this Court from exercising its jurisdiction under Article 136 against an order of acquittal when such acquittal cannot be sustained at all, in view of the evidence of record.

15. The golden thread which runs through the administration of justice in criminal cases is that if two views are possible, one pointing to the guilt of the accused and the other to the innocence, the view which is favourable to the accused should be adopted. The paramount consideration of the court is to ensure that miscarriage of justice is prevented. A miscarriage of justice which may arise from acquittal of the guilty is no less than from a conviction of an innocent.

16. The principle to be followed by appellate court considering an appeal against an order of acquittal is to interfere only when there are compelling and substantial reasons to do so.

17. Thus, in such cases, this Court would usually not interfere unless

a. The finding is vitiated by some glaring infirmity in the appraisal of evidence. (State of U.P. v. Sahai, AIR 1981 SC 1442 at paras 19-21)

b. The finding is perverse. (State of M.P. v. Bachhudas, (2007) 9 SCC 135 at para 10 and State of Punjab v. Parveen Kumar, (2005) 9 SCC 769 at para 9)

c. The order suffers from substantial errors of law and fact (Rajesh Kumar v. Dharamvir, (1997) 4 SCC 496 at para 5)

d. The order is based on misconception of law or erroneous appreciation of evidence (State of U.P. v. Abdul, (1997) 10 SCC 135; State of U.P. v. Premi, (2003) 9 SCC 12 at para 15)

e. High Court has adopted an erroneous approach resulting in miscarriage of justice (State of T.N. v. Suresh, (1998) 2 SCC 372 at paras 31 and 32; State of M.P. v. Paltan Mallah, (2005) 3 SCC 169 at para 8)

f. Acquittal is based on irrelevant grounds (Arunachalam v. Sadhanatham, (1979) 2 SCC 297 at para 4

g. High Court has completely misdirected itself in reversing the order of conviction by the Trial Court (Gaurishanker Sharma v. State of U.P., AIR 1990 SC 709)

h. The judgment is tainted with serious legal infirmities (State of Maharashtra v. Pimple, AIR 1984 SC 63 at para 75)

18. In reversing an acquittal, this Court keeps in mind that presumption of innocence in favour of the accused is fortified by an order of acquittal and if the view of the High Court is reasonable and founded on materials on record, this Court should not interfere.

19. However, if this Court is of the opinion that the acquittal is not based on a reasonable view, then it may review the entire material and there will be no limitation on this Court’s jurisdiction under Article 136 to come to a just decision quashing the acquittal (See, (1985) 4 SCC 476 at para 45; (1996) 7 SCC 471 at para 4)