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Appeal u/s 372 Cr.PC for enhancement of sentence is not maintainable

The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in Parvinder Kansal Vs. State of NCT of Delhi [Criminal Appeal No. 555 of 2020] that an appeal filed u/s 372 of Cr.PC for inadequate sentence is not maintainable. The Division bench of Hon’ble Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice R. Subhash Reddy upholded the decision of Hon’ble High Court of Delhi which dismissed the appeal filed by the Victim for enhancement of sentence.

The Victim contended before the court that proviso to Section 372 of Cr. PC provides the right to 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, The Hon’ble court while examining the scope of the proviso to Section 372 of Cr.PC observed that a victims right to appeal is restricted to three eventualities a.) acquittal of the accused; b) conviction of accused for lesser offence and c) imposing inadequate compensation.

The Apex Court while coinciding with the High Court on placing reliance on National Commission for Women V. State of Delhi & Anr. [(2010) 12 SCC 599], observed that

“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.”

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