Question: What is the difference, if any, between the scope of an appeal against an order of acquittal and an appeal against an order of conviction? [U.P.H.J.S. 1976, UPCJ 1988] Find the answer only on Legal Bites. [What is the difference, if any, between the scope of an appeal against an order of acquittal and an appeal against… Read More »

Question: What is the difference, if any, between the scope of an appeal against an order of acquittal and an appeal against an order of conviction? [U.P.H.J.S. 1976, UPCJ 1988]

Find the answer only on Legal Bites. [What is the difference, if any, between the scope of an appeal against an order of acquittal and an appeal against an order of conviction?]

Answer

Section 372 of the Code of Criminal Procedure provides that no appeal lies except otherwise provided by the Code or by any other law for the time being in force.

Appeals from Convictions: Section 374

  1. Any person convicted on a trial held by a High Court in its extraordinary original criminal jurisdiction may appeal to the Supreme Court.
  2. Any person convicted on a trial held by the Sessions Judge or an Additional Sessions Judge or on a trial held by any other Court in which a sentence of imprisonment for more than seven years has been passed against him or against any other person convicted at the same trial; may appeal to the
    High Court
    .
  3. Save as otherwise provided in sub-section (2), any person, convicted on a trial held by a Metropolitan Magistrate or Assistant Sessions Judge or Magistrate of the first class, or of the second class, sentenced under section 325, or in respect of whom an order has been made or a sentence has been passed under section 360 by any Magistrate, may appeal to the Court of Session.

While disposing of appeals from the sentences of the Sessions Court under this Section, the High Court should specify the reasons for rejection of appeal and should not reject it summarily. This will enable the Supreme Court to know the view of the High Court, in case the appellant moves to the Supreme Court in appeal. For computing the sentence of imprisonment for seven years for the purpose of ascertaining the appellate forum under Section 374 (2), the sentence in default of payment of a fine is not to be added to the substantive sentence of imprisonment.

An appeal from an order of acquittal must be filed within the period of limitation prescribed by Article 114 of the Schedule of the Limitation Act, 1963. For the extension of the period of limitation, and for exclusion of time in computing the period of limitation, Sections 5 and 12 of the Limitation Act, 1963 would be useful.

An appeal in Case of Acquittal

Under Articles 132, 134, and 136 of the Constitution of India, it may be possible to present an appeal to the Supreme Court against the order of acquittal passed by the High Court.

An appeal from an order of acquittal must be filed within the period of limitation prescribed by Article 114 of the Schedule of the Limitation Act, 1963. For the extension of the period of limitation, and for exclusion of time in computing the period of limitation, Sections 5 and 12 of the Limitation Act, 1963 would be useful.

Appeal against an order of acquittal is an extraordinary remedy. In exercising this power the High Court should give proper weight and consideration to very substantial and compelling reasons.

“Very substantial and compelling reasons” exist when:

  1. The trial court’s conclusion with regard to the facts is palpably wrong;
  2. The trial court’s decision was based on an incorrect view of law;
  3. The trial court’s judgment is likely to result in a “grave miscarriage of justice”;
  4. The entire approach of the trial court in dealing with the evidence was patently illegal;
  5. The trial court’s judgment was manifestly unjust and unreasonable;
  6. The trial court has ignored the evidence or misread the material evidence or has ignored material documents like dying declarations/reports of the Ballistic expert, etc;
  7. This list is intended to be illustrative, not exhaustive.

The Appellate Court must always give proper weight and consideration to the findings of the trial court. If two reasonable views can be reached – one that leads to acquittal, the other to conviction – the High Court’s/appellate courts must rule in favour of the accused.

Powers of Appellate Court in Appeal against Acquittal

In Chandrappa & Others v. State of Karnataka [(2007) 4 SCC 415], Supreme Court held:

  1. An appellate court has full power to review, re-appreciate, and reconsider the evidence upon which the order of acquittal is founded.
  2. The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 puts no limitation, restriction, or condition on the exercise of such power, and an appellate court on the evidence before it may reach its own conclusion, both on questions of fact and of law.
  3. Various expressions, such as, “substantial and compelling reasons”, “good and sufficient grounds”, “very strong circumstances”, “distorted conclusions”, “glaring mistakes”, etc. are not intended to curtail the extensive powers of an appellate court in an appeal against acquittal. Such phraseology is more in the nature of “flourishes of language” to emphasize the reluctance of an appellate court to interfere with acquittal than to curtail the power of the court to review the evidence and to come to its own conclusion.
  4. An appellate court, however, must bear in mind that in case of acquittal, there is double presumption in favour of the accused. Firstly, the presumption of innocence is available to him under the fundamental principle of criminal jurisprudence that every person shall be presumed to be innocent unless he is proved guilty by a competent court of law. Secondly, the accused having secured his acquittal, the presumption of his innocence is further reinforced, reaffirmed, and strengthened by the trial court.
  5. If two reasonable conclusions are possible on the basis of the evidence on record, the appellate court should not disturb the finding of acquittal recorded by the trial court.

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 2022-07-20T05:11:01+05:30
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