The word appeal has been not defined in Crpc neither in general clauses act.

An appeal can be defined as a complaint made to a higher court with the intent that the order, finding, sentence passed by the lower court is illegal or erroneous.

The concept of appeal requires the existence of judicial hierarchy including lowest level criminal courts, trial court of limited or special jurisdiction, small cause courts, trial courts of general jurisdiction that often-called district, circuit or superior court and a court of appellate jurisdiction which may be superior court of the system.

When a person is aggrieved by the decision of lower court he may resort to a higher court to review the order of said court.

Constitutional provisions there is no general right to appeal in criminal matters apart from those as laid down in Article 134(1)(a) and (b). Article 134(c) gives the power to high court to certify cases which can be appealed, which must involve a substantial question of law and not merely application of facts or evidence.

Fundamental principles of appeal

-An appeal is a creature of statue

-No inherent right to file an appeal

-No appeal only against conviction

-No appeal in petty cases

-Generally, there is no appeal on conviction on a plea of guilt.

Kinds of appeal:
Chapter 29 of crpc ,1973 from section 372 to 394 deals with various kinds of appeals and exceptions.

1)Appeal in court of session:(section373)

An appeal may lie to court of session against the order under:

Section 117-Security for keeping peace and good behavior

Section 121-Order refusing to accept or rejecting a surety.

2)Appeals from conviction:(section374)

i)In exercising extraordinary original criminal jurisdiction, if high court passed an order of conviction appeal may lie to supreme court.

ii)If session judge or additional session judge or any other trial court passing sentence for more than 7 years appeal may lie  to high court.

iii)If Assistant court of session, Metropolitan Magistrate, JMIC, JMIIC passes order of conviction appeal may lie to court of session.

iv)A person aggrieved under section 325,360 of Crpc can appeal to court of session.

Exception to section 374 Section 375 and 376 are exceptions to sections 374 of Crpc

Section 375: No appeal in certain cases where accused pleads guilty.

Section 376: No appeal in petty cases.

3)State appeals under section 377 and 378 of Crpc:

377-Appeal by state government against sentence.

For enhancement of sentence state government can files and appeal through a public prosecutor at session court or high court on the grounds of insufficiency of sentence.

-if order is given by magistrate than appeal lie to session court otherwise lie to high court.

378-Appeal in case of acquittal:

i)The DM may direct the public prosecutor to present an appeal to session court from an order of acquittal passed by a magistrate in respect of a cognizable and non-bailable offence

ii)The state government in any case, direct the public prosecutor to present an appeal to high court from an original or appellate order of an acquittal passes by any court other than a high court or an order of acquittal passes by session court in revision.

iii)If investigation is done by Delhi police establishment or any central agency the direction to file an appeal will be given by the central government.

It is to be noted that prior permission of HC will be taken before filing an appeal at High court.

4)Appeals against conviction by high court in certain cases (section 379)

If High court reversed an order of acquittal of a person and convicted him and sentenced him to death, life imprisonment or imprisonment for a period of 10 years or more, the accused has the right to make an appeal to supreme court.

5)Special right to appeal in certain cases (section 380)

An accused has a right of appeal in an unappealable sentence if his coaccused has given an appealable sentence.


It is essentially the creation of statue. These provisions have been in existence for many decades and do not appear to have worked injustice. They make for finality in a number of petty cases. In cases of clear injustice ,it is always open to person aggrieved to invoke the revisional jurisdiction of the high court.

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