This article analyses the appeal mechanism of criminal and civil proceedings, and the powers of High Court. It further discusses bail appeals and procedures for filing an appeal via different methods i.e., lawyer, jail authorities or self. The article discusses first and second appeals along with the relevant limitation periods.
Appeal from the decisions of the District Court in the Civil or Criminal Matter lie to the High Court.
As per the hierarchy of Courts, the trial courts are subordinate to the High Court to administer civil and criminal cases. The Code of Criminal Procedure regulates the civil court whereas the Criminal Procedure Code governs the Criminal Court.
There are mainly three types of jusridsictions by which the matters are entertained by the civil or criminal court. These are as follows:
Any person who is aggrieved by the decision of the court can challenge the decision before the higher court for appeal.
Appeal is considered to be a process by which the judgment or the order of the subordinate court is challenged before the High Court. This can be filed any person who is a party to the dispute and in case of death of the person, the legal heirs or the representative files the same before the High Court or can continue to maintain such appeal. The person who files the appeal or continues to maintain the appeal on behalf of the deceased person is known as the appellant. The court which hears such appeal is termed as the appellate court. The law has not given any inherent right to challenge the order of the subordinate court. The appeal can only be filed if it is specifically allowed by the law in the specific manner as mentioned by the Specific Courts.
Appeals filed against the order or judgment of the civil cases is considered as Civil Appeals, which are governed by the Civil Procedural Code. However, the High Court has the authority to frame its own procedures and rules to conduct the civil appeals.
Any judgment/order or decree passed by the district judge or the additional District judge can be challenged before the High Court.
The decree or the judgment passed by the appellate civil court is considered to be the first appeal and if such judgment or the decree is challenged before the High Court, then in that case, the appeal is considered to be the second appeal. In a case where a substantial question of law is involved, the second appeal can be filed against an ex-parte decision of the appellate court.
With the consent of the parties, no appeal can be filed against the judgment/decree passed by the Court. Where the value of the subject matter is less than Rs. 3000/- and the question of law arises, in such cases the appeal can be filed before the superior court. In the cases where the decree is passed by the single judge of the High Court in second appeal is not allowed for appeal.
The appeal, in the form of a memorandum, is signed by the party to the case or his advocate. The memorandum is required to contain grounds of objection to the decree or judgment in the appeal with certain annexures comprising of the copy of the decree or judgment. The appellant is required to submit the amount paid in a case where the appeal is filed against such decree. The appellate court may require the appellant to furnish security for the cost of the appeal or the original suit or both before calling the other party to appear before the court or at the application of such party.
Filing an appeal in the appellate court does not amount to the stay of proceedings. But in certain cases, the appellate court can order to stay the execution of the decree where it finds that that there is a sufficient reason to do so. The stay can only be granted by the court upon the application for the stay of the execution before the expiry of limitation for the filling the appeal, and in cases where such application has sufficient reason for seeking the stay.
The appeal before the High Court from any decree or judgment passed by the subordinate court shall be made within 90 days from the date of the decree or the order. . In case of seeking the review of a Judgment, the limitation period is 30 days and with respect to invoking the jurisdiction of the High Court, the limitation period is 90 days.
The court fee for civil appeal is payable as prescribed by the schedule.
Appeal by the convicted person.
Any person who is convicted for the offence which is punishable with imprisonment of seven years or more on a trial held by session judge or held by another court may appeal to a High Court.
No appeal shall lie in the following:-
The state government has the power to appeal to the High Court regarding the enhancement of the sentence of the accused in the cases where the sentence is inadequate. A reasonable opportunity is given to the accused for challenging the enhancement of the sentence. Also, the accused person has the right to appeal for acquittal or for the reduction of the sentence. Th state can also appeal to the High Court against the order of acquittal passed by the Court. Only the High Court has the authority to hear the appeal if it grants leave for the same to the accused or state.
Where the appeal is pending before the court, the court shall record the reasons in writing and suspend the sentence which is passed against the accused and if the convicted person is in confinement.
If the person is being tried under the High Court, then the High Court has the power to grant the bail if the court is satisfied by the reason:
The time period for filing the appeal is 30 days against the death sentence passed by the session court or the High Court having its original jurisdiction. The limitation period is 90 days against the order of acquittal and the limitation period is 90 days in the cases where the order has to be made after seeking the special leave of the court.
There is no court fee for a convicted person who is filing appeals through jail authorities. Otherwise, court fee is applicable as prescribed by the Act.
Appeal from Original Decree
The Appeal can be made to various courts depending upon the subject matter and the monetary value of the case against the decree or the judgment of the civil court i.e. civil judge, Additional District Judge and the High Court having the original jurisdiction of the matter.
If a substantial question of law is involved in the decree/judgment given by the appellate court in the first appeal, it can be challenged in the second appeal before the High Court. Such an appeal can be filed against an ex-parte decree/judgment of the first appellate court.
No appeal can be made against the decree or the judgment passed by the court with the consent of parties, except the question of law from a decree in any suit where the value of the subject matter is less than Rs. 3000/-No appeal can be filed against the decree or the judgment passed by the single judge of the High Court in the second appeal.
The signed memorandum by the parties are required for the filing the appeal. The memorandum must include concise and clear grounds of objection against the decree/judgment which is challenged before the court and the copy of the decree or judgment must be attached with the memorandum.
If the appeal is against the decree/judgment for the payment of money, then the appellant shall deposit the disputed amount along with the security for the cost of appeal or the original suit or at the application of such party.