Question: Write a note on the appellate and revisional powers of the High Court in a criminal case. Find the answer only on Legal Bites. [Write a note on the appellate and revisional powers of the High Court in a criminal case.] Answer Section 386 of the Code of Criminal Procedure defines the powers of the appellate Courts… Read More »

Question: Write a note on the appellate and revisional powers of the High Court in a criminal case.

Find the answer only on Legal Bites. [Write a note on the appellate and revisional powers of the High Court in a criminal case.]

Answer

Section 386 of the Code of Criminal Procedure defines the powers of the appellate Courts in dealing with appeals. The powers of a High Court as an appellate Court are wide and the appellate court can review whole evidence and all relevant circumstances to arrive at its own conclusion about the guilt or innocence of the accused. But where two views are possible on the same evidence and the findings recorded by the trial court are not perverse, the appellate court should not interfere with the findings of the lower court. The appellate court can reappreciate the entire evidence on record.

The Appellate Court may, if it considers that there is no sufficient ground for interfering, dismiss the appeal, or may:

  1. In an appeal from an order of acquittal, reverse such order and direct that further inquiry be made, or that the accused be re-tried or committed for trial, as the case may be, or find him guilty and pass sentence on him according to law;
  2. In an appeal from a conviction
    • reverse the finding and sentence and acquit or discharge the accused, or order him to be re-tried by a Court of competent jurisdiction subordinate to such Appellate Court or committed for trial, or
    • alter the finding, maintain the sentence, or
    • with or without altering the finding, alter the nature of the extent, or the nature and extent, of the sentence, but not so as to enhance the same;

3. In an appeal for enhancement of sentence

    • reverse the finding and sentence and acquit or discharge the accused or order him to be re-tried by a Court competent to try the offence, or
    • alter the finding maintaining the sentence, or
    • with or without altering the finding, alter the nature of the extent, or the nature and extent, of the sentence, so as to enhance or reduce the same.

4. In an appeal from any other order, alter or reverse such order;

5. Make any amendment or any consequential or incidental order that may be just or proper.

Moreover, Sections 399 and 401 of CrPC dealing with the revisionary powers of the Sessions Court and High Courts, respectively. Section 399 provides that a Sessions Court shall have the same revisionary powers as the High Court under Section 401, and the procedure to be followed by the Sessions Court is also the same. Therefore, the powers of the two courts are analyzed together under one common head.

Prerequisites to the Exercise of Revisionary Powers

Calling of Records of Case

The court, first of all, must call for the records of the case which are to be revised by the court which previously heard the matter. The records contain the FIR or Complaint, the Witness Statements recorded under Section 161 CrPC, the Confession recorded under Section 164 CrPC (if any), the deposition of witnesses before the court, their examination-in-chief and cross-examination, any documents brought on record, and lastly, the original or certified copy of the judgment of the court from which the revision is intended.

The Party must be Unsatisfied

Revision of judgment, like appeal, can be brought by either party to a case who is unsatisfied by the findings of the court which rendered prior judgment. However, the court can revise the judgment only on procedural aspects and not on its merits.

Discretionary Power

Section 401 states that the court may “in its discretion” exercise revisionary powers to grant relief to a party. The term discretion awards wide powers to the courts to accept or refuse the revision of the judgment. The courts are required to use this discretion wisely and to ensure that justice is not hampered.

Revisionary powers allow the court to interfere with the decision of a lower court and to rectify any error caused by it, therefore, it is the first step of acquiring the faith of people in the judiciary. If this power is misused or abused, the only remedy left is an appeal which requires huge time and expense for the parties.

Available Remedies under Revisionary Jurisdiction

The courts, in their revisionary jurisdiction, are entitled to use all powers and grant all remedies as provided under Sections 386, 389, 390, and 391 of the CrPC. These remedies can be listed as follows:

  1. If the revision petition is filed by the Prosecutor against an order of acquittal, the revisionary court may reverse the order of acquittal into conviction or order that the case is further investigated and if any evidentiary material is found, the accused be retried.
  2. If the revision is for an order of conviction filed by the accused person, the court may acquit the accused or order that a retrial is conducted and due procedure of law be followed.
  3. The court, in a revision from the conviction order, may also inquire upon the findings of the lower court on which the sentence is decided and may alter such sentence if necessary.
  4. The court may, in an order of conviction, change the nature of the sentence imposed upon the accused by the lower court. It means that the revisionary court may alter a sentence of rigorous imprisonment to simple imprisonment.
  5. If the revision is filed for the augmentation of the sentence imposed by the lower court, the court may change the sentence and enhance it according to the materials available.
  6. When a person has filed an appeal against the conviction order of the lower court before an appellate court, the revisionary court may suspend the sentence of the accused till the appeal is disposed of and may enlarge the accused on bail.
  7. If the revision is against an order of acquittal, the revisionary court may order to arrest of the accused who was earlier released by the lower court. In such an arrest, the accused have all the rights of an arrested person as guaranteed by the CrPC.

Important Mains/Long Questions for Judiciary, APO & University Exams

  1. CRPC Mains Questions Series Part I: Important Questions
  2. CRPC Mains Questions Series Part II: Important Questions
  3. CRPC Mains Questions Series Part III: Important Questions
  4. CRPC Mains Questions Series Part IV: Important Questions
  5. CRPC Mains Questions Series Part V: Important Questions
  6. CRPC Mains Questions Series Part VI: Important Questions
  7. CRPC Mains Questions Series Part VII: Important Questions
  8. CRPC Mains Questions Series Part VIII: Important Questions
  9. CRPC Mains Questions Series Part IX: Important Questions
  10. CRPC Mains Questions Series Part X: Important Questions
  11. CRPC Mains Questions Series Part XI: Important Questions
Updated On 2022-07-20T05:18:40+05:30
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