The term “appeal” is not defined in the Code of Criminal Procedure 1973, (hereinafter CrPC), however, it can be described as a judicial examination of a decision delivered by a lower court to a higher court. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defined the appeal as “a legal proceeding by which a case is brought before the High Court for review of the lower court’s decision”. An Appeal is a creation of Statute. It is not an inherent right or natural right.

Section-32 No appeal to lie unless provided by the code

No appeal will be made from any judgment or order of any Criminal Court unless it is provided in the Code or any other law for the time being in force.

Provided: This provision is added in 2008 and it states that the victim has the right to appeal against any order passed by the Court for acquitting the accused or convicting the accused for a lesser offence or imposed inadequate compensation, then such appeal shall lie to the Court to which an appeal ordinarily lies against the order of conviction of such Court. Articles 132, 134 and 136 deals with an appeal under Indian Constitution.


Article 132:  Appellate jurisdiction of Supreme Court in appeal to High Courts in certain cases

  • An appeal from any decision, decree or final order of a High Court in the territory of India shall be filed in the Supreme Court, whether in civil, criminal or other proceedings if the High Court certifies under Article 138(A) that it involves the substantial question of law to the interpretation of the constitution.
  • Where such a certificate is given, either party in the case may appeal to the Supreme Court on the ground that any of the above questions have been wrongly decided.
  • Explanation: For this article, any final order includes an order declaring an issue which, if decided in favour of the appellant, would be sufficient point for the final disposal of the case.

Article 134: Appellate jurisdiction of Supreme Court concerning criminal matters

  • Any decision, final order or sentence in the criminal proceedings of a High Court in the territory of India shall be appealed to the Supreme Court, if the High Court reversed the order for the acquittal of an accused person and sentenced him to death; or has been withdrawn for trial before any case by any court subject to its authority and in such trial convicts the accused person and sentenced him to death;
  • Provided that an appeal under sub-clause (c) shall be subject to such provisions as may be made under clause (1) of Article 145 in that case and conditions which the High Court may establish or require.
  • Parliament may by law provide the Supreme Court with the power to appeal and hear any decision, final order or sentence so that a criminal proceeding of a High Court in the territory of India is subject to such conditions and limitations as may be specified in such law.

Article 136: Special leave to appeal in certain cases can be given by the Supreme Court

  • The Supreme Court, at its discretion, can give special leave to appeal to any judgment, decree, determination, or order passed in any case or matter by any court or tribunal which is in the territory of India.
  • Nothing in clause (1) will apply to any judgment, decision, sentence or order passed by any court or tribunal constituted under any of the laws relating to the armed forces.

Section 373 – Appeal from orders requiring security to accept or reject surety to maintain peace or good behaviour

Any person, who is ordered under section 117 to provide security for peace or good behaviour, or who is unhappy with any order refusing to accept or reject bail under section 121, can appeal against such order in the Sessions Court:

Provided: that nothing in this section will apply to persons the proceedings against who are laid before the Judge of session court as per the provisions of Sub-Section (2) or Sub-Section (4) of section 122.

Section 374 – Appeals from convictions

  1. Any person convicted in a trial held by the High Court in his extraordinary original criminal jurisdiction can appeal to the Supreme Court.
  2. Any person convicted on a trial conducted by a Sessions Judge or an Additional Sessions Judge or by any other Court in which a sentence of imprisonment of more than seven years has been passed against him or any other convicted person in the same trial; may appeal to the High Court.
  1. Save as any person given in sub-section (2):-
    • Convicted in a trial conducted by a Metropolitan Magistrate or Assistant Sessions Judge or First Class Magistrate or Second Class Magistrate, or
    • Sentenced under section 325, or
    • In respect of which an order has been given or a sentence has been passed by a magistrate under section 360,
    • May appeal to the Sessions Court.
  2. When an appeal is filed against a sentence passed under section 376, section 376(A), section 376(AB), section 376(B), section 376(C), section 376(D), section 376(DA), section 376(DB) or section 376(E) of the Indian Penal Code, the appeal shall be disposed of within six months from the date of filing of such appeal.

Section 375 – No appeal can be made when the accused pleads guilty

Not including anything in Section 374 where an accused person has pleaded guilty and has been convicted on such a plea, there will be no appeal.

  • If the sentence is given by the High Court; or
  • If the sentence is by session, metropolitan magistrate or first or second class magistrate except for the extent or validity of the sentence.

Section 376 – No appeal in petty cases

Notwithstanding anything in section 374, no appeal shall be made by any convicted person in the following cases, such as:-

  • Where a High Court only punishes imprisonment of not more than six months or a fine of not more than one thousand rupees, or by both such imprisonment and fine
  • Where the Sessions Court or the Metropolitan Magistrate does not impose imprisonment of not more than three months or fine of not more than two hundred rupees or both such imprisonment and fine;
  • Where a magistrate of the first class impose a fine of not more than one hundred rupees; or
  • Where in a case tried briefly, a magistrate empowered to take action under section 260, only to be fined not more than two hundred rupees.

Provided that any such punishment can be appealed against if any other punishment is combined with it, but such punishment will not apply only on the ground:-

  • The guilty person is ordered to provide security to keep the peace; or
  • The default payment includes a direction sentence of imprisonment in default; or
  • If the total amount of the fine does not exceed the specified amount in respect of the case, more than one penalty is imposed.

Case laws:

1. Kalu Ahir and others vs. Ram Dev Ram, SC 1973

In this case, The Supreme Court held that the right to appeal is not a natural right or an inherent right, it is the right which is mentioned in the statute. It was held that there is no inherent right of appeal because an appeal is the creature of the statute.

2. Govinda Kadtuji Kadam & Ors vs. The State of Maharashtra on 9 February 1970

In this case, Supreme court held that if High Court, in any case, rejects the application of appeal of any party or does not certify it, so here High Court have to mention the reason for the same. If party appeal in the Supreme Court, it should know the reason for rejecting the application of appeal.

3. Prafulla Kumar Roy Chowdhury and vs. Emperor on 26 August 1925

In this case, it was held that if any person forced to accept the charges, so in that case party can appeal in the Supreme Court under section 375.

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