Power of High Court to confirm sentence or annul conviction (Section 368 of CrPc)

(a) May confirm the sentence, or pass any other sentence warranted by law; or

(b) May annul the conviction and convict the accused of any offence of which the Court of Session might have convicted him, or order a new trial on the same or an amended charge; or

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(c) May acquit the accused person.

However, no order of confirmation shall be made under this Section until the period allowed for preferring an appeal has expired, or if an appeal is presented within such period, until such appeal is disposed of.

The High Court while dealing with the matter of confirmation of death sentence shall carefully examine all relevant and material circumstances before confirming the death sentence.

The High Court is bound to consider the evidence and arrive at an independent conclusion as to the guilt or innocence of the accused. It must see whether death sentence was appropriate under the circumstances of the case.

The High Court must not only see whether the order passed by the Sessions Court is correct but it is under an obligation to examine the entire evidence for itself, apart from and independently of the Sessions Court’s appraisal and assessment of that evidence. Considering the irrevocable character of the death penalty it is vitally important that a thorough scrutiny of the decision of the trial Court is made by the High Court as a necessary precaution against any possible mistake of the trial Court in reaching that decision.