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Report No. 3

Chapter X

Appeals

163. Article s 150, 153, 154 and 155.-

For an appeal against a death sentence, Article 150 prescribes a period of 7 days. This in our opinion is too short a period and it should be increased to 30 days. Article 154 provides a period of 30 days for an appeal under the Code of Criminal Procedure to any court other than the High Court and Article 155 provides a period of 60 days for an appeal to the High Court against a conviction under the same Code. We think that this distinction should not exist. Instead of Articles 150, 154 and 155, one single Article may be substituted, for appeals to any court under the Criminal Procedure Code, providing a period of 30 days from the date of the sentence or order appealed from. Article 153 prescribes a period of limitation for an appeal to a High Court from an order of a subordinate court refusing leave to appeal to the Supreme Court. This Article may, therefore, be deleted.

164. Article 151 provides for appeals against decisions of a single judge of a High Court in the exercise of its original jurisdiction It applies only to the High Courts of Calcutta, Madras Bombay and Punjab in the exercise of their original jurisdiction. Article 162 relating to applications for review of judgments in the exercise of original jurisdiction by the High Court applies to Nagpur also. Some of these High Courts, namely, Madras, Calcutta and Bombay exercise ordinary original jurisdiction within defined territorial limits. Others do not exercise ordinary original jurisdiction but only extraordinary or special statutory original jurisdiction.

We consider that there is no reason for providing for differing periods in regard to the various High Courts and that a uniform period should be prescribed. We also think that the existing period of 20 days under Article 151 is too short and attempts are often made to get an extended period by first applying for leave to appeal as a pauper (for which a period of 30 days is provided) and then on failure to obtain such leave to ask for time for payment of a court-fee, the delay in such payment being excused by the court. We, therefore, recommend that a uniform period of 30 days be prescribed for all appeals to a High Court against its own decrees or orders.

165. With regard to appeals under the Code of Civil Procedure a distinction is made between appeals to the High Court from mofussil courts and appeals to the subordinate appellate courts. In the latter case a period of 30 days is provided while in the former it is 90 days. We think that a uniform period of 30 days for all appeals should be provided. No hardship will result from a reduction of the period because usually considerable time is taken in obtaining copies of the decree and judgment, and the time taken for that purpose is excluded under section 12 of the Limitation Act. Normally, even for the purpose of an appeal from the subordinate courts to the district court more than a month or two is required to obtain such copies.

That will give sufficient time for preferring the appeal. In the case of appeals to the High Court the time taken for obtaining copies is much longer as in many cases judgments have to be printed. Even in cases where printing is dispensed with, the parties will be able to add the time spent in obtaining copies to the period provided. Perhaps formerly there was justification for providing a longer period for appeals to the High Courts as they were at a distance and means of communication were difficult. But this consideration is not of importance now that means of quick transport are available.

166. Article 157.-

Article 157 provided a period of 6 months limitation for an appeal against an order of acquittal. The recent Act amending the Criminal Procedure Code has substituted a period of 3 months for 6 months. We do not propose any alteration of that period though we think that even the present period is too long to enable the State to make up its mind to file or not to file an appeal against an order of acquittal. The recent amendment to the Code also provides for an appeal against an acquittal in cases instituted on private complaints if the High Court grants special leave. This application for special leave should, under section 417(4), be filed within 60 days of the date of the order of acquittal. We recommend that the appeal itself should be filed within one month from the date of grant of leave to appeal under section 417(3) of the Code.

167. It may be pointed out that in England the time provided for appeals is less than a month except in the case of appeals to the House of Lords, for which it is six months.



Limitation Act, 1908 Back




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