Complainant Has No Right U/s. 372 CrPC To File Appeal For Questioning Order Of Sentence As Inadequate: P&H HC
Observing that the victim’s right to appeal is restricted in terms of Section 372 of CrPC, the Punjab and Haryana High Court recently dismissed a revision petition instituted against the order of the Appellate Court, whereby appeal was dismissed as not maintainable under said provision of Section 372 CrPC.
A Single Judge Bench of Justice Deepak Gupta opined that "no right has been provided to the complainant/victim to file appeal for questioning the order of sentence as inadequate as per Section 372 CrPC".
Advocate R.N Lohan appeared for the Petitioner, whereas, DAG Parveen Kumar Aggarwal appeared for the Respondent.
In a nutshell, an FIR was registered under Sections 323, 341, 506 read with Section 34 of the IPC. Although the Respondents-accused were charged under Sections 323, 341, 506 read with Section 34 of the IPC, but after holding trial, they were acquitted of the charges under Sections 341 & 506 read with Section 34 of the IPC and were convicted only under Section 323 read with Section 34 of the IPC. Later, vide separate order, the Respondents were directed to be released on probation. Against the said order of the Trial Court, the complainant filed an appeal for modification of order and enhancement of maximum sentence. However, the Appellate Court dismissed the appeal to be not maintainable under Section 372 CrPC. Hence, present revision.
After considering the submissions, the High Court took into consideration Section 372 of CrPC., which states that no appeal shall lie from any judgment or order of a Criminal Court except as provided for by this Code or by any other law for the time being in force; Provided that the victim shall have a right to prefer an appeal against any order passed by the Court acquitting the accused or convicting for a lesser offence or imposing inadequate compensation, and such appeal shall lie to the Court to whom an appeal ordinarily lies against the order of conviction of such Court.
From the perusal of Section 372 CrPC, the Bench noted that the victim’s right to appeal is restricted to three eventualities, which are against acquittal, against conviction of the accused for lesser offence and for imposing inadequate compensation.
Taking support from the decision of the Apex Court in case of Parvinder Kansal Vs. State of NCT of Delhi and Anr [Criminal Appeal No.555 of 2020 dated Aug 20, 2020 (S.C.)], the Bench clarified that no right has been provided to the complainant/victim to file an appeal for questioning the order of sentence as inadequate.
Since in the appeal filed by the victim, the only relief claimed was that of enhancing the sentence, the High Court dismissed the revision petition.
Cause Title: Surender v. State of Haryana and Ors. [Neutral Citation No:=2023:PHHC:062931]