CrPC Section 378: Appeal Against Acquittal – Code of Criminal Procedure


CrPC Section 378: Appeal Against Acquittal

This section of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) deals with the right of the State to appeal against an acquittal in certain circumstances.

1. The Code:

Section 378 of the CrPC states:

“The State Government or, as the case may be, the Public Prosecutor, may, with the sanction of the High Court, appeal to the High Court against any acquittal of an accused person by a Court subordinate to such High Court.”

2. Explanation:

  • Right of the State: This section grants the State Government or the Public Prosecutor the right to appeal against an acquittal by a lower court.
  • Sanction Required: The appeal cannot be filed directly. It requires the sanction of the High Court, ensuring that appeals are not frivolous.
  • Grounds for Appeal: The appeal can be filed on the grounds that the acquittal was:
    • Based on a wrong interpretation of law.
    • Based on insufficient evidence.
    • Due to an error of procedure.
  • Appellate Court: The appeal is filed with the High Court, which has the power to review the lower court’s decision.

3. Illustration:

Imagine a case where a person is accused of murder. After the trial, the lower court acquits the accused due to lack of evidence. The State, believing that there is sufficient evidence and that the acquittal was incorrect, may seek sanction from the High Court to appeal against the acquittal. If granted, the High Court can then review the case and potentially overturn the acquittal.

4. Common Questions and Answers:

Q: Can the accused person appeal against an acquittal?

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A: No, the accused person cannot appeal against their own acquittal.

Q: Can the State appeal against an acquittal in every case?

A: No, the appeal must be sanctioned by the High Court. The High Court will consider whether there is a strong case for appeal before granting sanction.

Q: What happens if the High Court allows the appeal?

A: The High Court can review the evidence and proceedings of the lower court. They can then:

    • Confirm the acquittal.
    • Set aside the acquittal and order a retrial.
    • Convict the accused person.

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