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Appeal u/s 372 Crpc for enhancement of sentence is not maintainable: Supreme Court of India

For the aforesaid reasons, we do not find any merit in this appeal so as to interfere with the impugned order passed by the High Court.  The appeal is accordingly dismissed held by the division bench of Hon’ble Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice R. Subhash Reddy in Parvinder Kansal vs. State of NCT of Delhi [Criminal Appeal No. 555 of 2020] that an appeal filed u/s 372 of Crpc for an inadequate sentence is not maintainable. Upholding 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 a lesser offence, there is no reason to restrict the scope of appeal only for a lesser offence but not for a lesser sentence, The Hon’ble court while examining the scope of the proviso to Section 372 of Crpc observed that a victims right to appeal is restricted to three eventualities a.) Acquittal of the accused; b) conviction of accused of 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

When the court has provided the opportunity to victim to choose appeal in the event of imposing inadequate compensation parallelly there is no provision for appeal by the victim for questioning regarding the order of sentence as inadequate but Section 377 of Crpc given the power to the State Government to prefer appeal for enhancement of sentence. Option is given to the State Government to prefer appeal for inadequate sentence under Section 377, Crpc or otherwise no appeal could be maintained by the victim under Section 372, Crpc.It is clearly stated that a remedy of appeal is vested with the statute. If same is provided under Crpc or under any 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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