Criminal Appeal

Whenever decisions of one court are reviewed by another, a percentage of them are reversed. That reflects a difference in outlook normally found between personnel comprising different courts. However, reversal by a higher court is not proof that justice is thereby better done. There is no doubt that if there were a super-Supreme Court, a substantial proportion of our reversals of state courts would also be reversed. We are not final because we are infallible, but we are infallible only because we are final.
Justice Jackson
Brown v. Allen, (1953) United States Supreme Court

Any person can make a mistake – even a judge. Though provisions of Indian criminal statutes try to perfect the administration of criminal justice, it cannot be perfected because of the human element. There are provisions to ensure fair trial and a final result which is just. However mistakes cannot be ruled out. To ensure justice for all parties, the Criminal Procedure Code has provision of appeals and revisions.

An appeal is a request before the superior court by a person aggrieved by decision of inferior court that because of reasons mentioned in the appeal the order of inferior court is incorrect. An appeal lies before the superior court after a final order is passed by the inferior court. It is a statutory remedy. If the statute itself does not provides for an appeal, a party cannot file any appeal. The party filing an appeal can argue on facts as well as on law.

An appeal may like to court of session or High Court under sections 325, 360, 374 and a special right of appeal is available to an accused person under section 380 of the CrPC. The Criminal Procedure Code also provides for an appeal under section 377 by government against sentence passed by any court other than a High Court. A similar provision for an appeal in case of acquittal is available to the state government under section 378. It may be noted that an appeal against order of acquittal is always treated as an extraordinary remedy.

Under section 372 of the Criminal Procedure Code, an appeal does not lie in certain cases. For example – if an accused person has pleaded guilty and has been convicted on such plea, no appeal lies against the order of conviction. However any such plea of guilty must be legal.

An appeal must be accompanied by a copy of judgement against which an appeal has been filed. And when more than one persons have been convicted by a single trial, all such persons can present a single appeal against the order of conviction.