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High Court Appeal

Appeal by complainant

  • If the accused is acquitted in a case instituted upon a complaint the complainant may also file appeal against the acquittal after seeking leave to file the appeal.
  • The complainant should seek the leave to file appeal within 60 days from the order of the acquittal. But in case the complainant is a public servant, the leave can be sought within 6 months from the order of the acquittal. The appeal has to be filed within 30 days after obtaining the said leave.
  • If the complainant's application seeking leave to appeal is refused by the High Court, no appeal can be filed even by the state.


  • The appeal has to be filed in the form of a petition in writing and is to be presented by the convict / accused person himself, or his advocate. If the convict is in prison, he may submit his appeal through the jail authorities.
  • The petition of appeal should contain concise and clear grounds on which appeal is sought. The mis -appreciation of evidence in record or misapplication of settled principles of criminal law or severity of sentence constitute sustainable ground in criminal cases.
  • The court can dismiss the appeal summarily (that is informally without a detailed hearing) if it considers that there is no sufficient ground for interfering but before dismissing the appeal summarily, the appellant or his Advocate has to be given a reasonable opportunity to present their case before the court.
  • Even when a appeal is filed by an accused person from jail, he has to be heard unless the court thinks that the appeal is frivolous or that bringing the accused to the court would bring inconvenience disproportionate to the circumstances of the case.
  • No appeal filed by accused person from jail can be dismissed summarily unless the period allowed for filing such appeal has expired. In cases, where an appeal filed by an accused through jail authorities is dismissed summarily by the court finds that another petition of appeal duly presented by the accused himself or his Advocate has not been considered by it, the court can hear and dispose of such appeal in accordance with law if it feels that it is necessary in the interests of justice to do so.
  • The High court is required to give reasons for dismissing the appeal and the power to dismiss the appeal summarily has to be used sparingly.
  • If the appeal is not dismissed summarily, the notice of the time and place of formal hearing is given to the accused or his Advocate, state and the complainant, if there is any in the case. At the specified time, place and day the appeal is heard and disposed off.

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