SC: Considerations On Account Of Delay And Limitation Ought Not To Negate The Right To Appeal Inhering In An Accused

Approach of Art.136 Cannot Be Adopted While Deciding Petitions by The High Court Under Art.227: SC

The Supreme Court in the case State of Odisha v. Surendra Munda [Review Petition (Crl.) D. No. 4235 of 2020] stated that, “In a criminal matter, where the life and liberty of a person is in question, one right of appeal has always been accepted and appropriate steps must be taken to effectuate that right.

Justice Uday Umesh Lalit and Justice Indu Malhotra looked into this review petition by considering the grounds stated by the State-petitioner wherein it was believed that the view taken by this Hon’ble Court in the impugned judgment will have far reaching consequences on the outcome of other cases.

In this case the accused was convicted in a murder case and was sentenced to life imprisonment. The appeal filed by him before the Odisha High Court was dismissed on the ground of delay of 1192 days in preferring the appeal. The Apex Court considering this further held that, “The considerations on account of delay and limitation ought not to negate the right of appeal inhering in an accused.”

Later, the Supreme Court, taking note of the fact that the matter was not considered on merits, set aside the High Court order and remitted the appeal to it.