July 11, 2019

Victim has Right to Appeal against acquittal of accused under Proviso to Section 372 CrPC, Supreme Court

[ By Titus Manickam Rock ]


The Supreme Court Bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and K.M. Joseph has allowed a victim of a crime the right to appeal under the Proviso to Section 372 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). Earlier, the Allahabad High Court had ruled in favour of the accused. The Apex Court ruled such an appeal has to be treated like a regular appeal.

The accused were tried for offences under Section 452 and Section 302/34. However, they were acquitted by the trial court in 2016. The victim continued getting the wrong end of the stick thereafter by two Benches of the Allahabad High Court. One Bench disallowed his appeal quoting the disallowance by an earlier Bench.

Although the State government preferred an appeal against the accused, the High Court declined to order in favour of the victim in terms of Section 372 read with Section 378 of the CrPC. Thereafter, an appeal filed by the victim before another Bench was also declined. The victim then took the next step of approaching the Apex Court.

Reference was made to a recent judgment of the Apex Court in Mallikarjun Kodagalli (d) through legal representatives v. State of Karnataka & Ors. In this case, the Supreme Court had ruled that there is no need for a victim to apply for leave to appeal against an order of acquittal while preferring an appeal under proviso to Section 372 CrPC.

It, therefore, set aside the order of the High Court and allowed the appeal back to the HC to be considered on merits.

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