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COURTSupreme Court of India
APPELLANTState of Gujarat 
RESPONDENTBhalchandra Laxmishankar Dave
BENCHJustice Ashok Bhushan, Justice R. Subhash Reddy, Justice M.R. Shah 


A criminal appeal number 99 of 2021 arising out of S.L.P. (Crl.) No. 9105 of 2015 concerns accusations of corruption against Bhalchandra Laxmishankar Dave, an Assistant Director at ITI, Gandhinagar. The case is STATE OF GUJARAT vs. BHALCHANDRA LAXMISHANKAR DAVE. By virtue of Sections 7 read with Sections 13(1) and 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, Special Judge Bharuch first found Dave guilty. This resulted in a sentence of five years in jail and a fine of Rs. 10,000. A careful analysis of the available evidence supported the conviction. 

The State of Gujarat, however, challenged this ruling before the Supreme Court after the Gujarat High Court dismissed Dave’s appeal without thoroughly reevaluating the facts. As needed for a first appeal court handling a conviction, the Supreme Court observed in its review that the High Court had not sufficiently reappreciated the evidence. The trial court’s justification and the evidence itself need to be thoroughly reevaluated, according to the Supreme Court.

Given the seriousness of the corruption allegations, which are regarded as crimes against society, the Supreme Court censured the High Court for its hurried handling of the case. In its decision, the Supreme Court overturned the High Court’s acquittal and remanded the case for further review, emphasising the need for the High Court to carefully review the evidence and the trial court’s conclusions. By not weighing in on the case’s merits, the Supreme Court ensured that the High Court would assess it objectively.


  1. Bhalchandra Laxmishankar Dave, an assistant director at ITI, Gandhinagar, is accused of corruption in the case STATE OF GUJARAT vs. BHALCHANDRA LAXMISHANKAR DAVE . 
  2. According to Sections 7 read with Sections 13(1) and 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, Dave was accused of committing crimes. 
  3. Because of the allegations, which arose from events that occurred during Dave’s employment, the Special Judge, Bharuch, heard the case.
  4. After carefully reviewing the evidence put up by the prosecution and defence, the Special Judge found Dave guilty and sentenced him to five years in jail as well as a fine of Rs. 10,000. 
  5. Dave appealed the conviction to the Gujarat High Court since he was not happy with the verdict.
  6. Nevertheless, Dave was exonerated by the High Court without carrying out a thorough reanalysis of the proof offered at trial. The State of Gujarat was moved by this to challenge the High Court’s ruling to the Supreme Court.
  7. The Supreme Court faulted the High Court’s handling of the matter throughout its review, mainly for not sufficiently reevaluating the evidence in line with the requirements required of a first appellate court.In cases involving serious accusations like corruption, which are thought to be harmful to society, the Supreme Court stressed the significance of a thorough reevaluation of the evidence.
  8. As a result, the Supreme Court reversed the High Court’s acquittal and returned the case to it for further review. Before making a ruling, the High Court was instructed by the Supreme Court to carefully consider the facts and the trial court’s justification. In order to guarantee an unbiased review by the High Court, the Supreme Court declined to offer any comment on the case’s merits.


  1. Did the High Court appropriately review the trial court’s evidence-based ruling? 
  2. Considering the importance of the allegations of corruption, was the appeal process’s fairness compromised by the High Court’s incomplete examination of the evidence? 
  3. Was the basic principle of “innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt” considered by the High Court? 
  4.  Did the Supreme Court need to correct any errors in the High Court’s ruling that resulted in injustice?


  1. According to the State of Gujarat, the High Court did not sufficiently reevaluate the evidence that was offered during the trial. The High Court, a first appellate court, disregarded the legal requirement to thoroughly reevaluate the evidence. 
  2.  The applicant argued that the decision rendered by the High Court was founded on a legally incorrect interpretation. An injustice occurred as a result of the High Court’s improper application of the law.
  3. The Gujarat State highlighted how serious the corruption allegations against the respondent, Bhalchandra Laxmishankar Dave, are. Because corruption offences are viewed as harmful to society, the High Court had to carefully scrutinise the facts and the decisions made by the trial court. 
  4. The appellant contended that maintaining the integrity of the appellate process requires a fair and unbiased assessment of the facts and trial court ruling. This obligation was not fulfilled by the High Court, which led to an unfair conclusion.


  1. Dave could contend that the evidence used in the trial was insufficient to prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. He can argue that his acquittal was justified since the prosecution was unable to establish the accusations against him. 
  2. The respondent may claim that unfair procedures were compromised by procedural errors that transpired during the trial or investigation. This may encompass matters about the gathering or showcasing of proof, the statements provided by witnesses, or the behaviour of judges.
  3. Whether during the investigation, prosecution, or appeals process, Dave may contend that his legal rights were infringed upon at some point in the criminal justice system. This may entail claims of unjustified imprisonment, denial of due process, or violation of constitutional rights. 
  4.  The defendant may claim that he is innocent and that there is a reasonable doubt as to his guilt. He can contend that it would be dangerous to find him guilty of the accused crimes because the evidence was evasive, inconsistent, or inconclusive.


The Supreme Court ruled that the High Court handled the issue improperly after carefully examining the reasons put out by both sides. It faulted the High Court for neglecting to carry out the legally mandated thorough reevaluation of the evidence, particularly considering the gravity of the corruption allegations at hand. The High Court’s ruling, the Court observed, was founded on an incorrect interpretation of the law and resulted in a serious injustice due to improper application of legal principles. In order to preserve the integrity of the appellate process, the Supreme Court underlined the significance of an unbiased and equitable evaluation of the evidence and trial court decisions.

The High Court’s acquittal was thus overturned by the Supreme Court, which also sent the matter back to the High Court for additional consideration. With the Supreme Court’s observations in mind, the High Court was instructed to carefully examine the facts and trial court ruling. In order to allow the High Court to evaluate the issue objectively, the Supreme Court declined to weigh in on its merits. It emphasised how important it is that the High Court follow the law and carefully consider the evidence in line with accepted norms.

Therefore, the High Court’s acquittal was overturned by the Supreme Court, which also permitted the State of Gujarat’s appeal. The case was then returned to its original file for further review. The ruling emphasised the significance of maintaining the rule of law and guaranteeing a reasonable and equitable resolution in criminal cases.


  •  The ruling by the Supreme Court provides clarity on the norms appellate courts should adhere to when evaluating trial court rulings, particularly in criminal justice proceedings. It highlights that a first appellate court should go beyond simply stating general observations and instead undertake a comprehensive reevaluation of the facts and trial court conclusions. 
  • In cases involving serious allegations like corruption, the case emphasises the importance of reevaluating the evidence in appellate processes. An appellate procedure that lacks integrity may result from a thorough reevaluation of the evidence, which could prevent a miscarriage of justice.
  • Until a person is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, the assumption of innocence is upheld by the ruling. The statement underscores the importance of appellate courts maintaining this concept and guaranteeing defendants a just and unbiased evaluation of their claims. 
  • The case emphasises how important appellate courts are for fixing mistakes and making sure justice is done. Upholding the rule of law and safeguarding the interests of both the prosecution and the defence, the Supreme Court does this by remanding the case for further review and overturning the High Court’s acquittal.
  • The ruling highlights the significance of upholding justice and applying the law in the appellate review procedure. This highlights the necessity for appellate courts to follow established guidelines and thoroughly review the material in order to reach a fair decision.


The STATE OF GUJARAT vs. BHALCHANDRA LAXMISHANKAR DAVE case emphasises the significance of following the law and maintaining procedural justice in the appellate review process, especially in situations involving serious charges like corruption. In order to achieve an equitable outcome, appellate courts have a need to thoroughly reevaluate the evidence and trial court rulings, as the Supreme Court’s decision emphasises.

By overturning the High Court’s verdict of acquittal and returning the case for new review, the Supreme Court exhibits its dedication to maintaining the rule of law and defending the rights of both the prosecution and the defence. The case serves as a reminder of how important appellate courts are to making sure that justice is done and that mistakes are corrected. The presumption of innocence, the prosecution’s burden of proof, and the requirement for a fair and unbiased evaluation of the evidence in criminal proceedings are all reaffirmed by the ruling overall. It emphasises how crucial it is to respect legal norms and procedural justice in order to preserve the integrity of the legal system and protect the rights of all parties.


  1. SCC Online
  2. https://lawsuitcasefinder.com/casedetail?id=U2FsdGVkX19NRM1a6SIol0e1qPRcHRSozcpctJzjtxAMgs5
  3. https://indiankanoon.org/doc/78360844/
  4. https://www.indianemployees.com/judgments/details/state-of-gujarat-versus-bhalchandra-laxmishankar-dave
  5. https://www.advocatekhoj.com/library/judgments/index.php?go=2021/february/39.php

This Article is written by VEDIKA TIWARI student of Allahabad University, Prayagraj ; Intern at Legal Vidhiya.

Disclaimer: The materials provided herein are intended solely for informational purposes. Accessing or using the site or the materials does not establish an attorney-client relationship. The information presented on this site is not to be construed as legal or professional advice, and it should not be relied upon for such purposes or used as a substitute for advice from a licensed attorney in your state. Additionally, the viewpoint presented by the author is of a personal nature.


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