If such an order of acquittal is passed in any case in which the offence has been investigated by the Delhi Special Police Establishment constituted under the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946, the Central Government may, subject to the provisions of sub-section (3), also direct the Public Prosecutor to present an appeal—
(a) To the Court of Session, from an order of acquittal passed by a Magistrate in respect of a cognizable and non-bailable offence;
(b) To the High Court from an original or appellate order of an acquittal passed by any court other than a High Court [not being an order under clause (a)) or an order of acquittal passed by the Court of Session in revision. [Section 378 (2)]
No appeal to the High Court under sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) shall be entertained except with the leave of the High Court.
If such an order of acquittal is passed in any case instituted upon complaint and the High Court, on an application made to it by the complainant in this behalf, the complainant may present such an appeal to the High Court.
But no application by the complainant for the grant of special leave to appeal from an order of acquittal shall be entertained by the High Court after the expiry of six months, where the complainant is a public servant, and sixty days in every other case, computed from the date of that order of acquittal. Nor shall an appeal lie from the order of acquittal where the application for the grant of special leave to appeal by the complainant from an order of acquittal is refused. [Section 378 (3))
It will appear from the above that an appeal against an order of acquittal lies only to the High Court and can be filed only by the State Government or by the complainant in a case instituted upon complaint if the High Court grants special leave to appeal from the order of acquittal. It has, however, been held that this power of appeal by the State Government against acquittal should be sparingly exercised.
It is well settled that the powers of the High Court under Section 378, while hearing an appeal against an acquittal are as wide and comprehensive as in an appeal against a conviction. But if two views of evidence are reasonably possible, one supporting acquittal and the other indicating conviction, the High Court should not interfere merely because it feels that it would be sitting as a trial court, have taken the other view. [Ediga Sanjanna V. The State of Andhra Pradesh, A.I.R. 1977 S.C. 785],