Father can’t appeal in son’s murder if wife alive: HC | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Father can’t appeal in son’s murder if wife alive: HC

The Delhi High Court has rejected the appeal of a father against acquittal of a person accused of killing his

delhi Updated: Jan 09, 2011 23:37 IST

The Delhi High Court has rejected the appeal of a father against acquittal of a person accused of killing his

son on the ground that he is not the legal heir of the deceased, as the victim's wife and son were alive.

The court ruled that only the legal heir and not any other family member of a victim can file an appeal challenging the order of a lower court in a criminal case.

Justice BD Ahmed dismissed the plea of the father, Chatter Singh, who had pleaded that his appeal against the acquittal be heard, as the deceased was his son and that he had every right to bring the alleged killer to justice.

The court, which agreed that the father's plea was "reasonable", was of the view that the law speaks otherwise and comes in the way of allowing his appeal.

"This, very emotive argument, appears to be reasonable and also appeals to our sensibilities, but our job as judges is to interpret the statute and in doing so, to find out the intention of the legislature," Justice Ahmed said.

"The use of the expression 'legal heir' as distinct from 'heir' is deliberate. And, therefore, the expression ‘legal heir’

would have to be given its meaning in law of referring to a person who is entitled to the property of the victim under the applicable law of inheritance,” the court said.

“We have seen that the appellant is not such a person. As such, he cannot be regarded as a ‘legal heir’ of the victim," added the court.