Can an appeal be filed by the victim for the enhancement of a sentence?
Pranjal Sharma | Symbiosis Law School, Hyderabad | 30th August 2020
Parvinder Kansal Versus The State of NCT of Delhi & Anr.
- The case is a criminal appeal filed by the appellant on the hon’ble SC seeking for enhancement of sentence under section 372 of Cr.PC, imposed by the special judge of North District, Rohini District Courts, Delhi.
- By the judgement dated on the 30th of July 2019 the second respondent was convicted of an offence punishable under Section 364A, 302 and 201 of IPC.
- The convict by the order of August has sentenced with
- imprisonment for life u/s 302 IPC along with a fine of Rs. 1 lakh.
- imprisonment for life u/s 364A IPC along with a fine of Rs.1 lakh.
- Rigorous imprisonment for seven years for the offence punishable u/s 201 IPC with a fine of Rs.50,000/.
- The convict was also given the benefit under Section 428 of the Cr.PC.
- The complainant, (father of the deceased boy), filed appeal challenging the order of sentence dated 17th August 2019 passed by ASJ/Special Judge (NDPS), North District, Rohini Courts, Delhi seeking enhancement of sentence to the death penalty as the appellant believed that the sentence was inadequate and needs to be enhanced to the death penalty.
- Vide impugned judgment dated 27th November 2019 the High Court of Delhi has dismissed the appeal as not maintainable.
RULE OF LAW
Section 302 of IPC – Whoever commits murder shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine
Section 364A of IPC – Kidnapping for ransom, etc. punishable with death, or imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine.]
Section 428 of Cr.Pc – Period of detention undergone by the accused to be set off against the sentence or imprisonment.
Section 372 of Cr.Pc – No appeal to lie unless otherwise provided. 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.
- The Hon’ble court held that the Chapter XXIX of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 deals with ‘Appeals’ and Section 372 makes it clear that no appeal lies unless otherwise provided by the Code or any other law for the time being in force.
- The court after a reading of the provision makes it clear that so far as the victim’s right of appeal is concerned, it is restricted to three eventualities, namely,
- the acquittal of the accused.
- conviction of the accused of a lesser offence.
- for imposing inadequate compensation.
While the victim is given the opportunity to prefer an 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.
- The court also stated that Section 377, Cr.PC gives the power to the State Government to prefer appeal for enhancement of sentence. 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 the victim under Section 372, Cr.PC on the ground of inadequate sentence.
- The court also referred to the judgement of National Commission for Women v. State of Delhi & Anr. has rightly relied on the same and dismissed the appeal, as not maintainable.
SC – “Appeal filed by the victim seeking for enhancement of sentence is not maintainable”
(2010) 12 SCC 599