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Can a by-stander file appeal in criminal case? SC asks in Bofors plea

By Vicky

Can an unconnected person file an appeal in a criminal case? This was a point raised by the Supreme Court while hearing the appeal in the Bofors case.

Can a by-stander file appeal in criminal case? SC asks in Bofors plea

A bystander cannot file an appeal in a criminal case. This will be dangerous criminal law jurisprudence the Supreme Court Bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra observed.

The appeal was filed by an advocate, Ajay Agarwal. He had challenged the Delhi High Court's 2005 decision to quash the case which had broken out in 1987.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal pointed out to the Bench that it examine the locus standi of the petitioner who was an advocate and had nothing to do with the case. Agarwal, however, argued that this was a case of political corruption and the HC had not appreciated the evidence on record.

The Bench said, " if a bystander is allowed to file an appeal in a criminal case, then any citizen can file an appeal for acquittal in any criminal case anywhere in the country. That is why criminal jurisprudence limits the right to file an appeal to only relatives of the victim."

When the Bench was about to reject the appeal, Agarwal sought more time. He said that he would try and find judgments which permit a third party to file an appeal in a criminal case.

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