Importance of appeals in the courts of India

Appeals in criminal cases in India
Appeals in criminal cases in India




Constitutional Matters:

An appeal lies to the SC from any judgment, decree or final order whether in a civil, criminal or other proceeding of a High Court if it certifies that the case involves a substantial question of law as to the interpretation of the Constitution, as per Article 132(1) of the Constitution,. According to Article 132(3), where such a certificate is given, any party in the case may appeal to the Supreme Court on the ground that any such question has been wrongly decided.


Civil Matters:

In Amarjeet Kaur v. Pritam Singh, the Supreme Court held that when appeal against a decree was pending, the Court of appeal had gone through the whole matter and has became sub judice again, though for certain purposes, i.e. execution, the decree was regarded as final. The decree of the trial court gets merged with the decree of the appellate court. Therefore the court of appeal shall have all the powers and shall perform as nearly as may be, the same duties as are conferred and imposed on the court of original jurisdiction.


Criminal Matters:

Under Article 134 an appeal to the Supreme Court against the judgment, final order or sentence of the High Court in criminal case is maintainable even without certificate of the High Court in the two cases.

  • When on appeal has reversed an order of acquittal of an accused person and sentenced him to death, and
  • When there is a withdrawal by the High Court of any state, for trial before itself from any court subordinate to its authority and trial has convicted the accused person and sentenced him to death.

Further, with the certificate of the High court when it certifies that the case is fit one for appeal to the Supreme Court‟.

In Mohinder Singh v. State of Punjab, the Supreme Court observed that the certificate of fitness is to be granted only when exceptional and special circumstances exist and the High Court must apply its mind judicially.


Special Leave Petition:

The Supreme Court has a very wide appellate jurisdiction over all Courts and Tribunals in India in as much as it may, in its discretion, grant special leave to appeal as per Article 136 of the Constitution. As per this provision of Constitution of India, SLP shall lie against any judgment, decree, determination, sentence or order in matters/causes that are  passed or made by any Court or Tribunal in the territory of India.


Appellate Jurisdiction of the High Court:

The Court has appellate jurisdiction over both civil and criminal cases. It can hear appeal on civil cases tried by the Courts of Munsifs and District Judges. In criminal cases, the jurisdiction extends to cases tried by the Sessions and Additional Sessions Judges. An appeal can be filed against the decision of a Session Judge if the accused has been sentenced for 7 years or more. Capital punishment given by a sessions judge cannot be executed unless it is confirmed by the High Court.

The 42nd Amendment, 1976 disallowed the High Court to hear appeals against Tribunals and the decisions of various Corporations established under the law of the state. But this restriction on the High Court’s appellate jurisdiction was removed by the 43rd Amendment.


Statutory Appeals:

  • Section 379 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 read with Section 2 of the Supreme Court (Enlargement of Criminal Appellate Jurisdiction) Act, 1970.
  • Section 130E of the Customs Act, 1962.
  • Section 35L of the Central Excise and Salt Act, 1944.
  • Section 23 of theConsumer Protection Act.
  • Section 261 of the Income-TaxAct, 1961
  • Section 19 of the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, 1987
  • Section 53T of the Competition Act, 2002
  • Section 19(1)(b) of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971
  • Section 38 of the Advocates Act, 1961
  • Section 116-A of the Representation of People Act, 1951
  • Section 10 of the Special Court (Trial of offences relating to Transactions in Securities) Act, 1992
  • Section 55 of the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act, 1969
  • Section 18 of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act, 1997
  • Section 15(z) of the Securities and Exchange Board of India Act, 1992





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