SC: An appeal for inadequate sentence by victim not maintainable

The Hon’ble Supreme Court, on 28th August 2020, in the matter of Parvinder Kansal v. The State of NCT of Delhi & Anr. held that while it is open for the State Government to prefer appeal for inadequate sentence under Section 377, Cr.PC but similarly no appeal can be maintained by victim under Section 372, Cr.PC on the ground of inadequate sentence.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court observed that:

Chapter XXIX of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 deals with ‘Appeals’ and Section 372 makes it clear that no appeal to lie unless otherwise provided by the Code or any other law for the time being in force. (Para 9)

A reading of the proviso makes it clear that so far as victim’s right of appeal is concerned, same is restricted to three eventualities, namely, acquittal of the accused; conviction of the accused for lesser offence; or for imposing inadequate compensation. While the victim is given opportunity to prefer appeal in the event of imposing inadequate compensation, but at the same time there is no provision for appeal by the victim for questioning the order of sentence as inadequate, whereas Section 377, Cr.PC gives the power to the State Government to prefer appeal for enhancement of sentence. (Para 9)

While it is open for the State Government to prefer appeal for inadequate sentence under Section 377, Cr.PC but similarly no appeal can be maintained by victim under Section 372, Cr.PC on the ground of inadequate sentence. (Para 9)

The remedy of appeal is creature of the Statute. Unless same is provided either under Code of Criminal Procedure 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. (Para 9)

Copy of judgement: Judgement_28-Aug-2020

-Adv. Tushar Kaushik

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