Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court: High Court Cannot Scrutinise Evidence To Differ From Trial Court’s Opinion| Framing Of Charges

The Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court in the case Brij Bhushan Sharma vs. State Of J&K observed and has ruled that a High Court’s scrutiny of the evidence and material collected by the prosecution in support of the charge, in exercise of its inherent jurisdiction as stated under Section 561-A of the J&K Code of Criminal Procedure is not any higher than that of the court that framed the charge.
The bench comprising of Justice Sanjeev Kumar and Justice Rajesh Sekhri in the case observed and came to the conclusion which being contrary to the one arrived at by the trial Court in framing charge is not permissible.
The observations of the court came while answering a reference pertaining to a land fraud scandal which involves the Jammu and Kashmir Cooperative Housing Corporation Limited. Thus, the allegations involved a criminal conspiracy to embezzle public funds during the acquisition of land for a residential colony.
The bench in the case observed and has explained that Justice Attar had earlier dismissed the plea moved by some of the accused challenging the charges against them.
On the other hand, it has been proposed by justice Massodi to quash certain charges against the petitioner but referred the matter to the Chief Justice due to a conflict of opinions. The High Court also disagreed with Justice Massodi’s detailed analysis of the evidence, wherein suggested that it went beyond the scope of framing charges. However, the said bench differed with the view taken by Justice Massodi and found that the conclusion arrived at by Justice Attar is correct and in consonance with the evidence and material brought on record by the Investigating Agency.
The court while considering the facts and circumstances of the case directed the Special Judge Anti-Corruption, Srinagar, to try all the accused which includes the writ petitioner in accordance with law for the charges framed against them. Accordingly, the bench dismissed of the plea.
The counsel, Sr. Advocate, Mr. A.H.Naik, with Advocate, Mr. Zia Ahmad appeared for the petitioner. The counsel, Mr Mohsin Qadri, Sr. AAG with AdvocateMr Maha Majeed represented the respondent.

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