What Are Revision & Appeal And Their Key Differences?


The term ‘appeal’ has not been specifically defined in the Criminal Procedure Code. There is no definition of the word “appeal” in any statute. But, It can be defined as the judicial examination by a higher Court of a decision of an inferior Court. An appeal is a proceeding where an higher forum reconsiders the decision of a lower forum, on the basis of questions of fact and questions of law, with jurisdiction to confirm, reverse, modify the decision or remand the matter to the lower forum for fresh decision in terms of its directions.


A revision does not involve a higher court and is undertaken by the same court that gave the decision. It is not a substitute for an Appeal and therefore cannot invite the court to change its mind. Thus, Revision is the act of examining again in order to remove any defect or grant relief against irregular or improper exercise or non-exercise of jurisdiction by a lower court. The word “revision” has not been defined in Criminal Procedure Code, however, as per Section 397 of Criminal Procedure Code, the High Court or any Sessions Judge have been empowered to call for and examine the records of any proceeding satisfy oneself:

(i) as to the correctness, legality, or propriety of any finding, sentence or order, whether recorded or passed, and

(ii)as to the regularity of any proceedings of an inferior court.


Appeal is a process of re-examination by a higher court of the judgment, or the order or the decision made by a lower court in a suit or in a case.

  • In Criminal Procedure Code (Cr.P.C.), the provisions relating to appeal are contained in Sections 372 to 394. Appeal against acquittal is provided for in Section 378 of the code. Thus if an accused has been acquitted by the court of an alleged crime, the victim of such crime has a right to appeal.

  • In Civil Procedure Code (CPC), the provisions relating to appeal are contained in Sections 96 to 111.

  • Generally, same sets of rules and procedures are employed to govern the appeals in the Sessions Courts and High Courts. The highest court of appeal in the country is the Supreme Court and hence, it enjoys the most extensive discretionary and plenary powers in the cases of appeals.


Revision means the action of revising, especially critical or careful examination or perusal with a view to correcting or improving.

  • In Criminal Procedure Code (Cr.P.C.), the provisions relating to revision are contained in Sections 397 to 405.

  • In Civil Procedure Code (CPC), the provisions relating to revision are contained in Section 115.

  • Sections 395 to 405 of Criminal Procedure Code (Cr.P.C),deals with ‘revision’ and revisional jurisdiction of certain courts the sections empower Sessions judges and High Courts to exercise revisional jurisdiction by calling for and examining the record of an inferior court for the purpose of satisfying as to the legality or propriety of any finding, sentence or order recorded, imposed or passed by such inferior court.

  • There are certain statutory limitations that have been imposed on the High Court for exercising its revisional powers as per Section 401 of CrPC, however the only statutory requirement to exercise this power is that the records of the proceedings are presented before it, after which it is solely the discretion of the Court.

Key Differences Between Appeal & Revision
  • Appeal is a legal right of a party but revision depends on the discretion of the Court, therefore it cannot be claimed as a matter of right.

  • An appeal lies to a superior court, which may not necessary be a High Court, while a revision application under the code lies only to the High Court.

  • In case of appeal the memorandum of appeal must be filed before the appellate court by the aggrieved party, but filing of an application is not necessary in case of revision.

  • In case of appeal, the appellant is heard by the court. But, it is not necessary in the case of a revision and the person filing the revision may not be formally heard.

  • An appeal may lie on the on facts but a revision generally lies on the question of law only.

  • Under the Civil Procedure Code, an appeal lies to a superior court (which may not necessary be a High Court), while a revision application lies only to the High Court (under Section 115 of the Code).

  • The courts have extensive powers of interference in criminal appeals but the power of courts is very limited in revision.

  • Appeal is required to be filed by a party to the proceedings, but revision can also be exercised suo motu by the higher court having the power of revision.

  • There is only one procedure involved in appeal but there are two procedures involved in case of revision, i.e., preliminary and final.

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