Following a split verdict by the Bombay high court on the question whether a victim of a crime needs to seek the high court’s permission to appeal against the acquittal of the accused, a third judge has now held that the victim has the right to appeal.
This judgment will come as relief to victims who can now appeal if they don’t want to wait for the state to move an appeal or in the event they feel the state’s appeal is not sound enough. This will prove beneficial in cases such as the Adnan Patrawala murder case where the victim’s family moved an appeal this week.
Justice Rosha Dalvi, who was referred to hear the matter after justice VM Kanade and AM Thipsay gave a split judgment, has now upheld justice Kanade’s view that the victim’s right to appeal against an acquittal is absolute. Justice Thipsay differed in his view and observed that the legislation had not placed the victim’s right over that of the state government. He also said that in some cases there may be more than one victim who may file several appeals and these appeals, therefore, cannot be entertained without the scrutiny of the HC.
“It is mischief done by the state in either not investigating the case properly or in not prosecuting the case efficiently that the right has been given to the victim, albeit yet only in appeal,” justice Dalvi stated.