The Supreme Court has held no appeal can be maintained by victim under Section 372 of the Code of Criminal Procedure on the ground of inadequate sentence.
The bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan and R. Subhash Reddy observed thus while upholding the Delhi High Court judgment which dismissed the appeal filed by a victim under Section 372 CrPC seeking enhancement of sentence imposed on the convict by the Trial Court. The accused, in this case, was convicted for offence punishable under Sections 364A, 302 and 201 of the Indian Penal Code. The father of the deceased boy, filed appeal before the High Court challenging the order of sentence seeking enhancement of sentence to death penalty.
Assailing the High Court order which dismissed his appeal, the victim contended before the Apex Court bench that, in view of proviso to Section 372, Cr.PC 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.
Referring to proviso to Section 372 CrPC, the bench said 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. It observed:
"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. 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. It is fairly well settled that 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."
The Court said that the High Court rightly relied on the judgment in National Commission for Women v. State of Delhi & Anr. (2010) 12 SCC 599 to dismiss the the appeal, as not maintainable.
Parvinder Kansal vs. State of NCT of Delhi
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 555 OF 2020
Justices Ashok Bhushan and R. Subhash Reddy
Adv. Ashwani Bhardwaj for Appellant and Adv. Chirag M. Shrof for respondent