New Delhi: Guilty persons will have a field day if courts get carried away by every mistake and give unnecessary weightage to minor "errors or lapses" in police probe, the Supreme Court has said.
A bench headed by Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai said that courts should take pragmatic approach to decide cases and take notice of any mischief done by the investigating agency.
"It is true that there can be no compromise on basic legal principles, but, unnecessary weightage should not be given to minor errors or lapses.
"If courts get carried away by every mistake or lapse of the investigating agency, the guilty will have a field day," the bench said.
"The court with its vast experience should be quick to notice mischief if there is any. Incompetent prosecuting agencies or prosecuting agencies which are driven by extraneous considerations should not be allowed to take the court for a ride.
"Particularly in offences relating to women and children, which are on rise, the courts will have to adopt a pragmatic approach," it said.
The bench said alleged overwriting and discrepancies in timings and dates in reports cannot be a ground for rejecting its veracity.
It passed the order while upholding conviction of a man in dowry death case of his wife.