APPEALS (SECTIONS 372-394) 

by | Nov 14, 2023

Sections 372 to 394 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) in India pertain to appeals. These sections outline the procedures and conditions for filing appeals against various criminal judgments and orders. Section 372 allows victims to file appeals, while Sections 373 to 394 deal with different aspects of appeals, such as who can file them, time limitations, and the process to be followed in the court. These provisions are crucial for ensuring that individuals have the right to challenge criminal court decisions they believe are unjust or erroneous.

SECTION 372 – APPEAL PROVISIONS

  • No Appeal Unless Provided: No appeal can be made from any judgment or order of a Criminal Court unless allowed by this Code or other relevant laws.
  • Victim’s Right to Appeal : A victim has the right to appeal against an order of acquittal, conviction for a lesser offense, or inadequate compensation. This appeal goes to the court where appeals from the convicting court are usually heard.

SECTION 373 – APPEAL FROM ORDERS RELATED TO SECURITY OR SURETY

  • Who Can Appeal : Any person ordered to give security for keeping the peace or good behavior under Section 117 or aggrieved by the rejection of a surety under Section 121 can appeal to the Court of Session.

SECTION 374 – APPEALS FROM CONVICTIONS

  • Appeals to the Supreme Court :  Any person convicted in a trial conducted by a High Court in its extraordinary original criminal jurisdiction has the right to appeal to the Supreme Court.
  • Appeals to the High Court : Individuals convicted in trials conducted by a Sessions Judge or Additional Sessions Judge, or in any other court where a sentence of imprisonment exceeding seven years is imposed, may appeal to the High Court.
  • Appeals to the Court of Session : Persons convicted in trials held by a Metropolitan Magistrate, Assistant Sessions Judge, or Magistrate of the first or second class may appeal to the Court of Session.
  • Sentenced Under Section 325: This section also covers individuals sentenced under section 325 of the law.
  • Orders or Sentences Under Section 360: Individuals subject to orders or sentences passed under section 360 by any Magistrate are entitled to appeal to the Court of Session.
  • Timely Disposal of Appeals : When an appeal is filed against a sentence issued under specific sections of the Indian Penal Code (sections 376, 376A, 376AB, 376B, 376C, 376D, 376DA, 376DB, or 376E), the law mandates that such appeals must be resolved within six months from the date of filing. This provision was introduced through the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act of 2018.

SECTION 375 – NO APPEAL IN GUILTY PLEAS

  • Guilty Plea Exceptions : Appeals are not allowed if the accused pleads guilty and is convicted by a High Court. For other courts, appeals are not allowed except for issues related to the extent or legality of the sentence.

SECTION 376 – NO APPEAL IN PETTY CASES

  • High Court Sentence : If a High Court imposes a sentence of imprisonment not exceeding six months or a fine not exceeding one thousand rupees, or a combination of both, there is no appeal allowed.
  • Court of Session or Metropolitan Magistrate Sentence : If a Court of Session or a Metropolitan Magistrate imposes a sentence of imprisonment not exceeding three months or a fine not exceeding two hundred rupees, or a combination of both, no appeal is permitted.
  • Magistrate of the First Class Sentence : When a Magistrate of the first class imposes only a fine not exceeding one hundred rupees, no appeal can be filed.
  • Summary Trial Sentence : In cases tried summarily by a Magistrate empowered under Section 260, where the sentence is only a fine not exceeding two hundred rupees, no appeal is generally allowed.
  • EXCEPTIONS TO THE NO-APPEAL RULE

An appeal can be pursued if any other form of punishment is combined with the sentence. However, the sentence itself is not appealable merely on the grounds that:

  • The person found guilty is required to provide security for maintaining peace.
  •  A direction for imprisonment in default of fine payment is included in the sentence.
  • Multiple sentences of fines are passed in the case, provided that the total amount of fines imposed does not exceed the specified limit for that case.

SECTION 377 – STATE GOVERNMENT’S RIGHT TO APPEAL SENTENCE

  • For Grounds for Appeal : The State Government can direct the Public Prosecutor to appeal against a sentence for its inadequacy, with specific conditions.

SECTION 378 – APPEAL IN CASE OF ACQUITTAL

  • District Magistrate’s Authority for Appeal:The District Magistrate has the authority to direct the Public Prosecutor to initiate an appeal in specific scenarios.
  • State Government’s Authority for Appeal : The State Government holds the power to instruct the Public Prosecutor to file an appeal under certain circumstances.
  • Central Government’s Authority in Specific Cases : In cases where the offense is investigated by specific agencies, the Central Government may issue directives for appeals.
  • Leave of the High Court Required: Appeals under Sub-Section (1) or Sub-Section (2) necessitate obtaining prior approval from the High Court.
  • Complainant’s Right to Appeal with Special Leave:The complainant has the right to seek special leave for an appeal, granted by the High Court.
  • Time Limits for Filing Special Leave Application: Specific timeframes are established for submitting applications for special leave to appeal an acquittal.
  • Refusal of Special Leave to Appeal: In cases where an application for special leave is denied, it results in a prohibition on appealing against the acquittal under Sub-Section (1) or Sub-Section (2).

SECTION 379 – APPEAL AGAINST HIGH COURT CONVICTIONS

  • Supreme Court Appeal : If a High Court reverses an order of acquittal and convicts with a specific sentence, the convicted person may appeal to the Supreme Court.

SECTION 380 – SPECIAL RIGHT OF APPEAL IN JOINT CONVICTIONS

  • Joint Convictions : In cases with multiple persons convicted in one trial, all or any of the convicted persons have the right to appeal.

SECTION 381 – HOW APPEALS TO COURT OF SESSION ARE HEARD

  • Appellate Court for Sessions Judge : Appeals to the Court of Session are usually heard by the Sessions Judge or an Additional Sessions Judge, except for specific cases.

SECTION 382 – PETITION OF APPEAL

  • Appeal Format : Every appeal must be presented as a written petition by the appellant or their legal representative, accompanied by a copy of the judgment or order being appealed.

SECTION 383 – PROCEDURE WHEN APPELLANT IS IN JAIL

  • Appeals from Jail : If the appellant is in jail, they can present their appeal to the jail authority, who will forward it to the Appellate Court.

SECTION 384 – SUMMARY DISMISSAL OF APPEAL

  • Appeal Dismissal : The Appellate Court may summarily dismiss an appeal if it finds no sufficient grounds for interference, subject to certain conditions.

SECTION 385 – PROCEDURE FOR HEARING APPEALS NOT DISMISSED SUMMARILY

  • Notice and Record : If the appeal is not dismissed summarily, the Appellate Court must give notice to relevant parties and send for the case record before hearing the appeal.

SECTION 386 – POWERS OF THE APPELLATE COURT

  • Appellate Court Powers : The Appellate Court, after perusing the record and hearing parties, can dismiss the appeal or take various actions based on the appeal type, with certain restrictions.

SECTION 387 – JUDGMENTS OF SUBORDINATE APPELLATE COURT

  • Appellate Court Judgment : Rules related to judgments of a Criminal Court of original jurisdiction apply, with exceptions, to judgments in appeal of a Court of Session or Chief Judicial Magistrate.

SECTION 388 – ORDER OF HIGH COURT CERTIFICATION

  • High Court Certification : High Court judgments are certified to the lower court where the original judgment was recorded or passed, with a process involving the Chief Judicial Magistrate or District Magistrate.

SECTION 389 – SUSPENSION OF SENTENCE PENDING APPEAL AND RELEASE ON BAIL

  • SUSPENSION OF SENTENCE AND BAIL:
  • Appellate Court’s Authority: Discusses the power of the Appellate Court to suspend the execution of a sentence and release the convicted person on bail or their own bond.
  • SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS FOR SERIOUS OFFENSES:
  • Criteria for Serious Offenses: Explains that certain conditions apply if the convicted person is sentenced for grave crimes such as death penalty, life imprisonment, or imprisonment exceeding ten years.
  • Role of Public Prosecutor: Describes the requirement for the Appellate Court to give the Public Prosecutor an opportunity to present written objections against the release.
  • Bail Cancellation Possibility: Indicates that if a convicted person is released on bail, the Public Prosecutor may file an application for bail cancellation.
  • EXTENDED JURISDICTION OF THE HIGH COURT:
  • High Court’s Authority: Highlights that the High Court can also exercise the powers described in this section in cases where the appeal is filed in a subordinate court.
  • RELEASE ON BAIL WITH APPEAL INTENT:
  • Eligibility Criteria: Clarifies the conditions under which the convicted person can seek release on bail, based on their intent to appeal.
  • Specific Situations: Distinguishes scenarios where a person on bail is sentenced to less than three years or convicted of bailable offenses.
  • Bail Duration: Discusses the duration for which bail can be granted to allow sufficient time for the appeal process, emphasizing that the sentence of imprisonment is considered suspended during this period.
  • EXCLUSION OF BAIL TIME IN SENTENCE CALCULATION:
  • Time Exclusion: Explains that the time a convicted person spends on bail is not counted when calculating the final sentence if they are ultimately sentenced to a term of imprisonment or life imprisonment.

SECTION 390 – ARREST OF ACCUSED IN APPEAL FROM ACQUITTAL

  • Arrest in Acquittal Appeals : In appeals from acquittals, the High Court may issue a warrant for the arrest of the accused, who can be committed to prison or admitted to bail.

SECTION 391 – APPELLATE COURT MAY TAKE FURTHER EVIDENCE

  • Additional Evidence : The Appellate Court may, if necessary, take additional evidence, and the accused has the right to be present during this process.

SECTION 392 – PROCEDURE WHEN JUDGES ARE EQUALLY DIVIDED

  • Diverging Opinions : When Judges are divided in opinion in a High Court appeal, the appeal and their opinions may be referred to another Judge, and a larger Bench may be considered.

SECTION 393 – FINALITY OF JUDGMENTS AND ORDERS ON APPEAL

  • Finality of Appeals : Judgments and orders passed by an Appellate Court are generally final, with exceptions noted in specific sections.

SECTION 394 – ABATEMENT OF APPEALS

  • ABATEMENT OF APPEALS UPON THE DEATH OF THE ACCUSED:
  • Section 377 and Section 378 Appeals: Explains that appeals filed under Section 377 or Section 378 will automatically abate if the accused passes away.
  • ABATEMENT OF OTHER APPEALS ON APPELLANT’S DEATH:
  • General Rule: Describes the general rule that all other appeals under this chapter (excluding appeals from sentences of fine) will also abate if the appellant dies.
  • EXCEPTION FOR APPEALS AGAINST CONVICTION AND DEATH OR IMPRISONMENT:
  • Special Provision: Highlights an exception where the appeal is against a conviction and sentence of death or imprisonment.
  • Death of the Appellant: If the appellant dies during the appeal process, the section allows any of their close relatives to apply to the Appellate Court within thirty days of the appellant’s death for permission to continue the appeal.
  • Grant of Leave: If the Appellate Court grants permission, the appeal will not abate, and it can proceed.

In conclusion, Sections 372 to 394 of the Code of Criminal Procedure in India encompass the various aspects of appeals in the criminal justice system. These sections define who can file appeals, the grounds for appeal, the procedures to be followed, and the powers of appellate courts. They play a crucial role in ensuring individuals have the right to challenge unjust or erroneous criminal judgments while providing a framework for the appellate process.

REFERENCE 

1-https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/victims-of-crime-can-appeal-against-acquittal-of-accused-top-court-rules-1931275/amp/1 -NDTV

2-https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bengaluru/cheque-bounce-case-convict-must-first-appeal-to-sessions-court-karnataka-hc/amp_articleshow/98134586.cms -THE TIMES OF INDIA

3-https://m.economictimes.com/news/india/respond-on-process-adopted-for-listing-criminal-appeals-sc-tells-allahabad-hc-registrar-general/amp_articleshow/91590686.cms -THE ECONOMIC TIMES 

4-https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/supreme-court-asks-allahabad-hc-registrar-general-to-respond-on-process-adopted-for-listing-criminal-appeals/article65418939.ece/amp/ -THE HINDU

Written By Archana Singh

I am Archana Singh, a recent law master's graduate with a strong aspiration for the judicial service. My passion lies in elucidating complex legal concepts, disseminating legal news, and enhancing legal awareness. I take immense pride in introducing my new legal website - The LawGist. Through my meticulously crafted blogs and articles, I aim to empower individuals with comprehensive legal insights. My unwavering dedication is to facilitate a profound comprehension of the law, enabling people to execute judicious and well-informed choices.

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