SC: No Appeal To Be Maintained By Victim Under Section 372 CrPC

The Supreme Court observed that a contract is void if prohibited by a statute under a penalty, even without express declaration that the contract is void

In the latest judgment Supreme Court has held that no appeal can be maintained by the victim under section 372 of Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) on the ground of inadequate sentence.

As per the above stated section it states that, No appeal shall lie from any judgment or order of a Criminal Court except as provided for by this Code or any other law for the time being in force.

A bench comprising of Justices Ashok Bhushan and R. Subhash Reddy observed that while upholding the Delhi High Court which dismissed the appeal filed by a victim under section 372 CrPC seeking enhancement of sentence imposed on the convict by the trial court.

In the above case, the accused was convicted for offence punishable under sections 364A, 302 and 201 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The father of the deceased boy, filed appeal before the High Court challenging the order of sentence seeking enhancement of sentence to death penalty.

The victim approached the SC after the HC dismissed his appeal and urged that in the view of proviso to section 372, CrPC which gives right to prefer appeal to the victim, when the accused is convicted for lesser offence, there is no reason to restrict the scope of appeal only for a lesser offence but not for lesser sentence.

Upon this, the bench opined that there are three eventualities where the victim’s right to appeal is restricted that is, acquittal of the accused, conviction of the accused for lesser offence, and for imposing inadequate compensation.

The bench further observed the reason for the dismissal “while it is open for the state government to prefer appeal for inadequate sentence under section 377 CrPC, but similarly no appeal can be maintained by victim under section 372, CrPC on the ground of inadequate sentence. It is fairly well settled that the remedy of appeal is creature of the statute. Unless same is provided wither under CrPC or by any other law for the time being in force no appeal, seeking enhancement of sentence at the instance of the victim is maintainable.

The High Court relied upon National Commission for Women v. State of Delhi & Anr[1]. to dismiss it and on the similar purview SC dismissed the appeal, as not maintainable on the similar grounds.


[1] (2010) 12 SCC 599.