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Supreme Court Appeal

Criminal cases

An appeal can be filed against any judgment , final order or sentence of a High Court in a criminal proceeding in following situations.

  • Firstly, if the concerned High Court has an appeal reversed an order of acquittal of an accused person and sentenced him to death. Imprisonment for life as to imprisonment for a period of not less than ten years.
  • Secondly, if the High Court has withdrawn for trial before itself any case from any of its subordinate courts and in such trial has convicted the accused person and sentenced him to death or to the imprisonment for life or for a period of not less than ten years.
  • Thirdly, if the High Court certifies that the case is a fit one for appeal to the Supreme Court.
  • Lastly, a person convicted on a trial held by the High Court in its extraordinary original criminal jurisdiction can also appeal to the Supreme Court.
  • However no appeal can be filed by a convicted person if the sentence, passed against him by the HC does not exceed the term of 6 months as fine not exceeding 1000 as both such imprisonment and fine.
  • The criminal appeal can be filed if the High Court disregarded or misapplied the established principles of criminal law.


  • The memorandum of appeal should be in the form of a petition and should contain concisely and as far as possible, in a chronological order the principal steps in the proceedings from its commencement in the subordinates courts till its conclusion in the High Court.
  • The petition of appeal has to be accompanied by a certified copy of the judgment / order challenged in the appeal and as well the certified copy of the certificate of the High Court in case appeal is filed on a certificate.
  • In cases where the High Court has passed a summary order (that is a brief order without hearing the matter in details) or where the High Court has not recorded reasons as grounds for granting the certificate and in certain appeals in the contempt cases 4 certified (or uncertified copies if such copies are affirmed to be true copy upon affidavits of the judgment or order and decree of the subordinate court are also required to be filed with the petition of appeal.
  • Where the appellant has been sentenced to a term of imprisonment, the petition of appeal is required to state if the appellant has surrendered. If the appellant has not surrendered to the sentence, the appeal cannot be registered unless the court on a written application orders its registration where the appellant is in jail; he may present his petition of appeal through the offices-in-charge of the jail.

Court Fee

No court fee is payable in Criminal appeals.

A Criminal appeal in which a certificate has been granted by the High Court is required to be filed within 60 days from the date of the said certificate. In other cases, appeal is to be filed within sixty days from the date of the judgment ; final order or sentence appealed from.

But in computing the period of limitation, the time spent for obtaining a copy of the judgment as order appealed from or the time spent on obtaining the certificate and order granting the certificate are excluded.

Again, if sufficient cause is shown, delay in filing the criminal appeal may be condoned by the Supreme Court.

Bail pending appeal
The Supreme Court has same powers as the High Court for granting bail to the accused pending his appeal.

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