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Key Points

  • There are different types of criminal courts in a State.
  • Every arrested person has to be presented before a Magistrate.
  • Details about the arrest warrant and how long it may stand are to be conveyed.
  • The inherent powers of the High Court are also mentioned.
  • Search warrant for the person in wrongful confinement has to be given.
  • The process of cross examination of the accused needs to be done.
  • Different types of trials that are conducted.
  • Granting anticipatory bail to a person.
  • Releasing of the accused if the evidence against him is insufficient.
  • Person once convicted, cannot be punished again for the same offence

Introduction

The Code of Criminal Procedure Code, 1973, is the primary legislation in India in which the procedure for administering criminal law is laid down. It also provides the machinery for investigating a crime, apprehension of suspected criminals, collecting the evidence, determining the guilt or innocence of the accused person, and the deciding the punishment for the guilty. Apart from that, the sections present here also deal with public nuisance, prevention of offenses, issuing of search warrants, summons and maintenance for the wife and children etc. This procedural law helps in the regulation of the proceedings of the court. Therefore, it is deemed to be exhaustive in nature. Under this Code the accused person gets an opportunity to undergo a fair trial in accordance with the principles of natural justice and it makes an effort to prevent any delay in investigation and trial proceedings to ensure fair and speedy delivery of justice.

Some of the important sections and their landmark judgements are mentioned below.

Section 6: Classes of criminal courts

According to this section, apart from the High Courts and the other courts constituted under any law other than the CrPC, there is a mandate that every State must have four other types of Criminal Courts. The four courts include: Court of Session, Judicial Magistrate of the first class and, Metropolitan Magistrates, Judicial Magistrates of the second class, and Executive Magistrates in the metropolitan areas.

Section 41: When the police may arrest without warrant

This section grants power to a police officer to arrest a person without getting an order from a Magistrate or without a warrant. This power is granted for the ‘cognizable offences’ which are considered to be serious in nature and require immediate action. The following are the list of people who can be arrested without a warrant:

  • Someone committing a cognizable offence, or against whom a reasonable complaint has been made, or credible information has been received
  • Someone who is a proclaimed offender
  • Someone having some stolen property in possession
  • Someone who is a deserter from the Armed Forces
  • A convict breaching the terms of his parole
  • Where a police officer is satisfied that an arrest is necessary to prevent a person from committing any further offence
  • To prevent evidence tampering

In Arnesh Kumar vs. State Of Bihar And Another, after considering all the facts and circumstances and the court disposed of the writ petition and directed the police authorities to proceed with the investigation as provided in the law, and this shall have the complete cooperation of the petitioners during the investigation. The petitioner was allowed to be framed only under Section 41 and Section 41A of CrPC. The court also made it clear that the order shall remain operative till the filing of charge-sheet.

Section 46: Arrest how made

This section states that while making an arrest the police officer or other person shall actually touch or confine the body of the person to be arrested and if resistance is shown by the suspect, then the police officer can use any necessary means to arrest him. However, this does not give any right to cause death of a person who has still not been convicted. While arresting a woman, a female police officer only should make the arrest and no woman can be arrested after sunset and before sunrise.

In Roshan Beevi Vs Joint Secretary, Government of Tamil Naidu, 1984 the court held that no second opinion about the procedure of arrest of a person can be given and the arrest must be performed only in the manner prescribed in the statute and the other methods of arrest to be forbidden. The arrest must be made lawfully and as prescribed under Section 46 of Criminal Procedure Code.

Section 56: Person arrested to be taken before the Magistrate of specific officer who is in charge of the police station.

According to this section, if any police authority arrests a person without an arrest warrant, then without any unnecessary delay, he has to grant bail, take or send the arrested person before a Magistrate who has its jurisdiction in the said case, or before the officer in charge of a police station.

In JUHAR MAL Versus STATE LNIND 1954, the court had observed that an arrest without a warrant can only be made by the officer-in-charge of a police station under Section 56 of the CrPC or by providing an order in writing to any subordinate officer to make the arrest. Further, it was observed that in ordinary cases, where an arrest warrant has been issued for the arrest or a written order has been provided under Section 56, if the court refuses the bail and takes the man in custody, it can either forward him to jail or to the officer-in-charge who had issued the order under Section 56. But in case where no arrest warrant was issued, it would be difficult for the court to take him into custody or to forward him. Section 56 permits bail to a man if he is guilty of a cognizable offence and there is actual danger cited if he is restrained. Therefore, without an arrest warrant or an order in writing, neither the High Court nor the subordinate courts have any jurisdiction under the Code of Criminal Procedure to grant bail to any person.

Section 57: Person arrested not to be detained more than twenty- four hours

This section states that no police officer can detain any arrested person in custody without warrant for a period of more than twenty-four hours, in the absence of a special order of a Magistrate under section 167. This time is exclusive for the journey from the place of arrest to the Magistrate' s Court.

In Central Bureau of Investigation, Special Investigation Cell-I and New Delhi vs Anupam J. Kulkarni, the apex court observed that Article 22(2) of Constitution and Section 57 of CrPC provides a compulsion that no person can be arrested and detained in police custody for more than 24 hours without being produced in front of a Magistrate. This section is provided to limit the detention time in custody. These provisions manifest the intention of law clearly and thus the person can be detained only if the Magistrate finds reasonable grounds for doing so.

Section 62: How summons is served

This section states that every summons shall be served by a police officer, an officer of the Court or any other public servant. While being practiced, one duplicate of the summons has to be personally delivered to the person concerned. Further it states that, if the police officer considers it necessary or if the court has ordered, then everyone to whom the summons is served must sign a receipt on the back of the other duplicate, to be kept as a proof. The Investigating Officer who has filed the charge-sheet against the accused bears the responsibility to deliver the summons.

In Guthikonda Sri Hari Prasada Rao vs Guthikonda Lakshmi Rajyma, 2 July, 1991, the court held that Section 62 of the CrPC as a personal service. It directed that the officer concerned must serve the summons to the witness personally. The service of summons under Section 61 and 62 of the Cr.P.C. cannot be carried through registered post. After a thorough reading of the provisions in the given Code, it can be implied that the service by post is contemplated only during the service of summons of witnesses.

In Revappa v. Gurusanthawwa, 1960 Mysore, the court has categorically laid down that summons should be signed by the presiding officer and that the same should be personally served by a police officer.

Section 64: Service to follow when person summoned cannot be found.

According to this section when a person is issued with a summon cannot be found by due diligence, then a duplicate of the summon can be provided to any adult male member of his family residing with him. And if the serving officer requires, the person keeping the summon, has to sign a receipt on the back of the other duplicate.

In G.Kavitha vs Union Of India on 29 June, 2006 the constitutional validity of Section 64 CrPC was challenged. It was contended that Section 64 of CrPC should be declared unconstitutional as it is only for the adult male members of the family. It proves to be violative for adult females of the family on the grounds of Article 14, 15 and 16 of the Constitution. Thus, it was held that no restrictions are put on the females of the family and even they can be served with the summons.

Section 65: Procedure when service cannot be affected as before provided.

Under the provisions of Section 62, section 63 and section 64, if the service is not exercise with due diligence, then the serving officer can stick one of the duplicates of the summons at some visible part of the house in which the person who is being summoned ordinarily resides. After that, after the Court examines, it may declare, the summons issued was duly served or order fresh service in such manner.

The Karnataka High Court in Mac Charles (I) Ltd v. Chandrashekar and Anr, 2005 held that Section 65 of CrPC is a substituted service and this mode of service can only be opted when the service of summons to the accused under Section 62, 63 and 64 are exhausted and did not prove to be effective. While dealing with the case, the bench held that in terms of Section 144 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, the service of the summons to an accused can be effected by restoring to any mode and such a service can be held valid and sufficient in the case of Section 65 of CrPC.

Section 70: Form of warrant of arrest and its duration

This section states that all the arrest warrants issued by a court under this section must be written and signed by a presiding officer of the court. The seal of the court must be present on the warrant. Further it states that, all the warrants that are issued must be in force till they are executed or they are cancelled by the court, who had issued the warrant. As per the guidelines of The Supreme Court, the name and designation of the person who had executed the warrant, the offence under which the person is charged, and should be compulsorily sealed in the warrant issued.

In Shaik Yousuf Verses State of Andhra Pradesh, on July 13, 2001, the High Court observed that once a warrant has been issued, it will remain in effect till it is cancelled by the concerned court or it is executed, even a returnable date has been mentioned.

Section 82: Proclamation for person absconding.

This section states that when a Court has reason to believe that any person against whom a warrant has been issued is trying to hide then the Court can publish a written proclamation for him to appear at a specific place and time within a time not less than thirty days from the date of issuing the proclamation. The following methods can be used for publishing the proclamation:

(a) publicly read in some evident place where the person ordinarily lives

(b) can be put in some observable part of the house where the person lives

(c) a copy of the same can be affixed to some conspicuous part of the Court- house

Apart from that, if the Court feels it necessary, it can also publish a copy of the proclamation in the daily newspaper.

In Rohit Kumar, Raju S/O Late Sh. Om vs State of Nct Delhi on 5 October, 2007 the High Court of Delhi, has observed that, the expression 'reason to believe' implies that the Court must be subjectively satisfied that the person has escaped or has hid himself on the materials before him. Apart from that the Court issuing proclamation must record its satisfaction that accused had 'absconded' or 'concealed himself.' The three Clauses (a), (b), and (c) of Sub-section (2) (i) of Section 82 Cr.P.C. are conjunctive and not disjunctive. The factum of valid publication solely depends on the satisfaction of each of these clauses.

Section 83: Attachment of Property of person absconding.

The Court can issue proclamation attached to any movable or immovable property of such person under Section 83 of the CrPC when it has a reason to believe that the person is making an attempt to either dispose of the immovable property or is going to transfer the immovable property either entirely or partially, to an area outside the local jurisdiction of the concerned Court. The Court’s order to attach the property should be authorized within the local jurisdiction. And if the attached property is located in another area, then it would be authorized after being endorsed by the District Magistrate of that concerned area. When the property is movable, it can be attached by seizing such property; or appointing a receiver; issuing an order which to obstruct such property from being delivered to the proclaimed offender etc. And if the property is immovable, the attachment has to be done via Collector of the district where the property is situated when the matter concerns land paying revenue to the State government. If the property includes perishable livestock, then the Court can direct immediate selling of the property.

In Mrs V.G Peterson vs. O.V Forbes And Another, 1962 the question that whether the attachment of property effected under Section 83 Cr.P.C survives even after the death of the accused, was put before Supreme Court Of India. Under Section 83 Cr.P.C, it was observed that with the death of the accused, the attachment ordered would cease to exist. It could not survive beyond the life of the accused. It is trite that the purpose of proclamation under Section 82 Cr.P.C and attachment under Section 83 Cr.P.C is for compelling the attendance of the accused in the court. At the moment the charge against the accused is abated by his death, there will not be any purpose served by continuance of the attachment.

Section 91: Summons to produce document or other thing.

Section 91 of the Code of Criminal Procedure deals with the power of the courts and police authorities regarding search and seizure of document or thing. It states that if the police consider any document or thing necessary for the process of investigation, then the Court can issue summons for the same and the person would be bound to produce the same.

In Suresh Kalmadi vs CBI on 22 May, 2015, it was contended thar the power to discover the truth and to do complete justice to the accused, vests with the Court which must be applied judiciously, while keeping in mind the constitutional mandate, and the purpose of Section 91 Cr.P.C. The Court cannot reject the application in a mechanical manner and without assigning reasons that these documents are not relevant and required.

Section 97: Search for persons wrongfully confined

This section is applicable to those who have been wrongfully detained/confined. A District Magistrate, Sub-divisional Magistrate or Magistrate of the first class can issue a search warrant if they are of the opinion that someone is confined under such circumstances that the confinement amounts to an offence. If any person is found during the search, he must be immediately produced before a Magistrate, who then shall make an order as per the circumstances of the case, as it seems proper. This section is very similar to the writ of habeas corpus, which is provided under Article 32 and 226 of the Indian Constitution. Due to this reason, majority of the people file the writ of habeas corpus. Observing this, Justice Dinesh Maheshwari has commented that due to the presence of these shortcuts, now Section 97 CrPC has become a dead letter.

While discussing the scope of Section 97 of the CrPC, in Ramesh vs. Laxmi Bai (Smt), the learned Sub-Divisional Magistrate was of the opinion that as the appellant was the natural guardian of the young boy, it cannot be said that the nine-year-old boy is under any illegal confinement. And Section 97 of the CrPC only deals with the illegal confinement of any person.

In Marotrao S/O Shamrao Pachare vs Usha Marotrao Pachare on 6 August, 2003, the court emphasized on the phrase, ‘reason to believe’. Using the expression ‘reason to believe’ the legislative intention becomes very clear that unless and until the Magistrate has any reason to believe that the person is confined in such circumstance that the confinement itself will amount to an offence, then the issuing of a search warrant under this section is without jurisdiction. Imposing Section 97 of the CrPC would be improper if there is absence of material which prima facie shows that confinement amounts to an offence.

Section 100: Persons in charge of closed place to allow search.

This section states that, when an officer wants to inspect any place, the person residing in or in charge of that place, on production of the warrant, allow him free ingress and afford all reasonable facilities for the search. Anyone suspected of hiding any article should be searched properly. The search must be witnessed by two or more independent respectable inhabitants of that locality.

In Gopal vs State Of H.P. on 28 February, 2006 it is contended that if an Authorised Officer has reasons to believe, that the person to be searched may be part with the possession of any kind of drug in case he is taken to the nearest Gazetted Officer or Magistrate, then he can search the person in accordance with Section 100 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Therefore, the appellant contended that by deemed fiction Section 100 is made applicable to all searches including the case of chance recovery the police should follow the procedure laid down under Section 100 CrPC at the time of search.

Section 106, 107, 108, 109, 110: Security for keeping peace and good behavior.

Chapter VIII in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 deals with security proceedings which are conducted by the courts. It is not only the duty of the criminal law to bring the offender to justice but to ensure that such offences are not repeated. Sections 106 to 110 empower the courts to conduct security proceedings under the Code to prevent convicted offenders and habitual offenders from reiterating such acts. The objective of the provision is preventive in nature and not punitive. The section aims to enable the Magistrate to take measures and prevent the commission of offences that involve breach of peace or disturbance of public tranquility.

The courts have been “very vigilant in dealing with the action of the execution in relation to these provisions”. This idea was made categorical in the ruling of the Madhya Pradesh High Court in Medha Patkar v. the State of M.P., wherein the “court awarded compensation to the accused as the government sent them to prison for failure of furnishing bond in a case where no evidence was produced to prove that an anticipation of breach of peace was present.

Section 144: Power for issuing order in matter of urgent cases of nuisance of apprehended danger.

It places restrictions on handling or transporting any kind of weapon in the given jurisdiction, with a maximum punishment of three years. If an order is issued under this section, then movement of the entire public would come to a halt and apart from that, all educational institutions shall also remain closed. Further, there will be a complete bar on holding any kind of public meetings or rallies during the period of operation of this order. It is considered as a punishable offence as it obstructs law enforcement agencies from disbanding an unlawful assembly. Moreover, it also empowers the authorities to block internet access in that particular region. Section 144 was included with the sole purpose, to maintain peace and order in the areas where trouble could erupt and disrupt the regular life.

In Dr Ram Manohar Lohiya case 1967, the Supreme Court had observed that “democracy cannot exist if ‘public order’ is allowed to be disturbed freely by a section of the citizens”.

Section 154: Information in cognizable cases.

Anyone who has information about the commission of a cognizable offense can lodge an FIR. It is not necessary that he/she should be the victim or eye-witness himself. A police officer can lodge an FIR on his own if he comes to know about the Commission of a cognizable offence. Section 154 of the CrPC gives a choice to the informant to furnish information orally or in writing. If the information is disclosed orally then, the report must be reduced to writing by the police officer himself or under his direction. The report must be read out to the informant. The informant must sign every report whether it is reduced to writing or submitted in written form.

In Hallu & Ors. vs. the State of M.P, it was held that “Section 154 does not require that the Report must be given by a person who has personal knowledge of the incident reported. The section deals with the information regarding the commission of a cognizable offense provided to an officer in charge of a police station.”

The Hon’ble Supreme Court in State Of West Bengal & Ors vs. Swapan Kumar Guha & Ors had ruled that “there is no such thing like unfettered discretion in the realm of powers defined by statutes and indeed, unlimited discretion in that sphere can become a ruthless destroyer of personal freedom. The power to investigate into cognizable offenses must, therefore, be exercised strictly on the condition on which it is granted by the Code”.

Section 157: Procedure for investigation preliminary inquiry.

Under Section 157 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the procedure of investigation in criminal cases has been incorporated. It requires the intimation of information to the police officer on the commission of a crime. Before the commencement of the investigation, the police officer has to satisfy himself about certain grounds. The information has to be intimated to the police officer in charge of the police station in whose jurisdiction the crime has been committed. After the police officer is made aware of the offence, there are two conditions which need to be fulfilled before the commencement of the investigation.

the police officer has a reason to suspect that the cognizable offence is the same as required by Section 157(1).

there should be sufficient grounds present before the police officer before entering into an investigation.

The use of the term “forthwith” in Section 157(1) was explained by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Alla China Apparao v. State of Andhra Pradesh: The expression forthwith would undoubtedly mean within a reasonable time and without unreasonable day.

Section 169: Release of accused when evidence deficient.

If in the absence of sufficient evidence against the accused, he has been released by the officer-in-charge of a police station, and on his executing a bond to appear before the Magistrate when required, the Magistrate can still direct the police to make further investigation.

In the case of Kallu v. Shahid Ali, an Allahabad High Court judgement, after the investigation of a case was done by the police under Section 307 IPC, they submitted a final report before the Magistrate. After the report was submitted, they destroyed the pistol and cartridges that were recovered from the spot. The protest application submitted by the complainant got rejected while the Magistrate accepted the report. The High Court set aside the decision of acceptance of the final report and directed the Magistrate to proceed with the case, and adopt the procedure of a complaint case; treating the protest application as complaint.

Section 173: Report of police officer on completion of investigation.

Section 173 of the Code states that, after the investigation is completed, the investigating officer has to file a report before the Magistrate mentioning about the collection of evidence and examination of witnesses are. This section was inserted with the aim that each and every investigation must be completed without any unnecessary delay. The report under section 173 is called as the “Completion Report”. Also known as the “charge sheet”. Sending such a report becomes extremely necessary and mandatory, as it contains all the details. In the report, the officer in charge should also communicate the actions and steps which shall be taken by him.

Section 190: Cognizance of offences by Magistrates.

In Section 190, Any Magistrate of the first class and the second class may take cognizance of any offence-

  • Upon receiving a complaint of facts related to offences.
  • Upon police reports of facts.
  • Upon information received from a person (other than a police officer), or upon his own knowledge.

Under Section 190(2), it has been provided that the Chief Judicial Magistrate may empower the Second class magistrate to take cognizance under the Section 190(1).

Section 200: Examination of a complainant.

Section 200 deals with ‘Examination of the complainant’. The complaint shall examine upon oath the complainant and the witnesses present, and it should also be in writing and signed by the complainant, witnesses and also by Magistrate. Provided that, the Magistrate need not examine the complainant and the witnesses when the complaint is made in writing.

Section 204: Issue of process

Section 204 empowers the magistrate to issue summons or warrant (as the case appears) for the attendance of the accused after the witnesses of the prosecution have been filed. There is no requirement for the Magistrate to record detailed reasons for issuing process against the accused persons. If he feels that there is adequate ground to proceed against the accused, he shall issue the process. The Magistrate has to read the police report carefully.

In the case of Bhushan Kumar vs. State (N.C.T. of Delhi), (2012)2 SCC(Cri.)872, when High Court rejected the prayer of the appellants which sought the quashing of the summons order passed by the Magistrate, the appellants reached the apex court through Special leave petition. The Supreme Court had ruled that, at the time of issuing a process against the accused person, and that there is no need for the Magistrate to record detailed reasons. The Magistrate must look into the merits and decide if there are adequate ground to initiate proceedings against the accused. Also, while taking cognizance of an offence, and if the Magistrate feel right, he shall issue the process.

Section 211: False charge of offence made with intent to injure.

This section states that, the charge form shall state the offence for which the accused is charged, specify the exact offence name for which the accused is charged. No specific name is provided under any law for the offence which the accused is charged with, then the definition of the offence must be clearly stated in the charged form and informed to the accused. The law and provisions of the law to be mentioned in the charge form and the accused shall be informed about his previous allegations which would expose him to enhanced punishments if found guilty for the offence charged.

In the Shankroo case of 1982, the court held that mere mentioning of the Section under which the accused is charged, without mentioning the substance of the charge amounts to a serious breach of procedure.

Section 215: Effect of errors.

Section 215 of Cr.PC states that the charge should be error free of any type of error or omission either in stating the offence or the particulars which are required to be stated. They shall be regarded as material at any stage of the trial unless the accused was mislead by such error or occasioned as a consequence and as a consequence it has failed justice.

Bhagabat Das v. The State of Orissa (1989): In this case, the court held that the insignificant irregularities in stating the particulars of the offence in the charge will not affect the trial or its outcome.

Section 225 to 265: The trial sections.

These sections include the various trials such as session trial, warrant trial, summon trial and summary trial.

  • Section 225 to 237 talks about the trial before a court of session-

The prosecutor is required under Section 226 to open his case by explaining the charge against the accused and also states the evidence by which he will prove the guilt of the accused. At this stage, full details of the evidence need not be stated. The Judge is required to record his reasons for discharging the accused under Section 227. Under Section 228, The Judge after considering the records of the case and the documents submitted along with it in evidence and hearing the prosecution and the defence, he thinks that there is a ground to presume that the accused has committed the offence and is exclusively triable by the Court of Session, he will frame a charge against the accused. The accused may plead guilty under Section 229 or he can refuse to plead. Under Section 230, the Judge will fix a date for the examination of witnesses if the accused has refused to plead guilty or does not plead guilty, or if he claims to be tried or if he is not convicted under Section 229. The Judge will proceed to take all the evidence that may be produced by the prosecution in his support as per Section 231. Section 232 gives an opportunity to both the prosecution and defence to address the court before calling upon the accused to enter upon his defence and to adduce evidence in support of it. As per Section 233 when the accused is not convicted under Section 232 he shall be called upon to produce evidence he may have in his support. Under Section 234, the prosecution shall sum up his case and the accused or his pleader shall be entitled to reply, and if any point of law is raised by the accused or his pleader, the prosecution may with due permission of the Judge make his submission with regard to point of law. As per Section 235, a Judge will pronounce a judgement of acquittal or conviction after hearing the arguments of both the parties i.e, the prosecution and defence and on point of law.

  • Section 238 to 250 talks about the trials of warrants before a magistrate

Under section 238 the accused is brought before the magistrate and, the magistrate shall comply with the provisions of section 207. If after examination and considering the police report, the magistrate thinks that the charges against the accused are groundless, he can discharge the accused under Section 239. Section 240 allows the magistrate to frame charges if the Magistrate is of opinion that there is ground for presuming that the accused has committed an offence triable under this Chapter. Section 241 allows the Magistrate to convict the accused there itself, if he pleads guilty. Section 242, 243, 244 and 247 provides for the evidence for the prosecution and the defence. If after everything the Magistrate thinks the no case can be made against the accused, then he can be discharged under section 245. Section 246 lays down the procedure if the accused is not discharged. Finally in Section 248 it is decided if the accused person is acquitted or convicted.

  • Section 251 to 259 talks about the trial of summons before the magistrate

Under Section 251 it must be stated the substance of accusation. If the accused pleads guilty, then the Magistrate has the power to convict him under section 252. As per section 253, if the accused desires to plead guilty to the charge without appearing before the Magistrate, he can do so, by post or by messenger, a letter containing his plea and also the amount of fine specified in the summons. Section 254 lays down the procedure to be followed if the accused is not convicted. Under section 255 the Magistrate, after following the reports, evidences etc can either acquit or convict the accused.

  • Section 260 to 265 talks about the summary trials

The offences which fall into small or petty category, are only tried under these types of trial. If the facts that are stated in the complaint form the primary basis, then those type of offences can be tried under summon trial. Summary trials were introduced so that it helps in the speedy disposal of the cases which would lessen the burden on judiciary. The trial provides a fair chance to the people for procuring justice in a short time. Section 261 of the CrPC, empowers the High Court with the power to grant the Magistrate of Second Class, the power to try an offence summarily. Under Section 262 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, the procedure to be followed for summary trials has been elaborately provided. Section 264 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 gives the provisions as to how a judgment should be, when the cases are tried under summary trial. The responsibility lies on the Magistrate to record the substance of the evidence along with the judgment which contains a brief statement of the reasons for such finding, in all summarily tried cases where the accused does not plead guilty.

Section 300: Person once convicted or acquitted not to be tried for same offence.

This section protects the person who has once been tried for an offence previously, by preventing him from getting tried again. With regard to sub-section (1) of section 300 the second trial of a person is barred even if it is not for the same offense, but then if maybe based on the same facts for some other offense for which a charge might have been against him under section 221(1) or for which he might have been convicted under section 221(2).

In Kolla Veera Raghav Rao v.Gorantla Venkateswara Rao, the difference between Article 20(2) and Section 300 CrPC was elaborated and it was held that Section 300 CrPC is wider in the sense that no one can be tried and convicted for the same offence or a different offence on the same facts. Article 20(2) leaves a doubt in the minds as to whether a person can be prosecuted for the same offence on different facts, the section makes it amply clear that if the facts are same, then the person cannot be prosecuted at all.

Section 306: Tender of pardon to accomplice.

Under Section 306 discussion about those offences for whom pardon can be granted are laid down. It talks about the provisions which are for offences that are punishable with imprisonment extending to seven or more years.

It was in the case of Konajeti Rajababu vs the State of A.P, that the court decided that it is up to the divisional court’s jurisdiction to determine if the Magistrate who has tender a pardon has acted judiciously or not.

Section 313: Power to examine the accused

This Section states that during any inquiry or trial, to enable the accused to explain the circumstances appearing in the evidence against him, the Court, without any previous warning, if it thinks its required, can put questions to the accused. This aims to give the accused a fair chance to defend himself, therefore after the witnesses for the prosecution have been examined, the Court still can put him to question. No oath is required for this procedure. The accused must avoid from refusing to answer and also from providing false answers, and take up the punishment.

In Satbir Singh vs. State of Haryana, 2021, CJI N. V. Ramana and Justice Aniruddha Bose, had expressed their concern regarding the recording of statements under Section 313 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Expressing their disappointment stated that Trial Courts, while recording the statement of an accused under Section 313 CrPC, conduct it in a very casual and cursory manner, without specifically questioning the accused on their defence. They stressed on the fact that the examination of an accused under Section 313 CrPC must not be treated as a mere procedural formality. It must be conducted on the fundamental principle of fairness. The valuable principle of “audi alteram partem” strengthens the aforesaid provision. Thus the accused gets a fair chance to explain the accusatory material which are appearing against him. Therefore, the court is under the obligation to conduct the examination of the accused fairly, and with necessary care and caution.

Section 327: Court to be open.

This section states that when a criminal court is held for inquiring or trying an offence, it has to be an open court, providing access to general public.

Section 353: Judgment.

Under Section 353, of the CrPC, the judgment in every trial in any Criminal Court of original jurisdiction must be pronounced in open Court by the presiding officer just after the termination of the trial or at some subsequent time. The parties or the pleaders on their behalf, should be provided with the notice of that time. The various modes of pronouncement of judgement are by delivering the whole judgment, reading out the whole judgment, reading out the operative part of the judgment and explaining the substance of the judgment in a language which is understood by the guilty or his pleader.

Section 372: No appeal to lie unless otherwise provided.

In December 2009, Section 372 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 was amended, and it states that the victim has a right to prefer an appeal against any order that has been passed by the Court acquitting the accused or convicting for a lesser offence or imposing an inadequate compensation.

In Mallikarjun Kodagali's case, the Supreme Court with a majority of 2:1 stated that Section 372 of Cr. P. C has to be given realistic, liberal, progressive interpretation so that it benefits the victim of an offence. It also held that there is no doubt that the proviso to Section 372 of the Cr. P. C must be given life, to benefit the victim of an offence and also referred to the United Nation's General Assembly's resolution to hold that besides the State, the victims also have the right to appeal against the acquittal of the accused. Upholding the right of the victim to prefer an appeal against acquittal, the Court held, access to mechanisms of Justice and redress through formal procedures as provided for in national legislation, must include the right to file an appeal against an order of acquittal.

Section 397: Calling for records to exercise powers of revision.

Under this section the High Court and the Sessions Judge are empowered to call for records of any inferior Criminal Court and examine the record themselves. This is conducted to find whether a sentence, finding or order of such inferior Court is legal, correct or proper. It also reviews whether the proceedings of such Court are regular or not, this is done with a view to prevent miscarriage of justice and perpetuation of illegality.

Section 406: Punishment for criminal breach of trust.

This section states that anyone who commits criminal breach of trust will have to face a punishment of three years of imprisonment or fine or both.

Section 436: In what cases bail to be taken.

This section provides the provision for granting of bail of a person who is accused of any offence other than non bailable offence. It also empowers the court to grant the bail only on executive bond from the accused without taking any sureties for his appearance. The conditions of bail which that are mentioned under this section are:

  • If the officer in charge of a police station has arrested or detained a person without warrant.
  • He is produced before a court.
  • He must be prepared at the time when he is in the custody of such officer or during any stage of the court proceeding before bail.

In Aftab Ahmad V. State of U.P (1990), court held that an indigent person may be discharged on executing bond (a formal written agreement under which a person undertakes to perform or abstains from performing a certain act. Failure to do so, may attract monetary penalty) without sureties (a promise to fulfil an undertaking; or a promise to answer for the debt/default of another).

Section 438: Direction for grant of bail to person apprehending arrest.

This section allows any person to apply for bail, even before they are arrested. It states that a person can apply to the High Court or the Sessions Court, to get a directive under this section, if he has reasons to believe that he may get arrested on an accusation of having committed a non-bailable offence. Under the direction of the Court, if such a situation arises, he can be released on bail.

Section 468: Bar to taking cognizance after lapse of the period of limitation.

This section limits the power of the court. It states that after the prescribed period is over, the court cannot take cognizance of the offence.

In the case of Nirmal Kanti Roy vs State of West Bengal, (1998) Cr LJ 3282 (SC), the Supreme Court held that Section 468 is not applicable to an offence under Section 7 (1) (A) (ii) of Essential Commodities Act, 1955.

In the Case of State of Himachal Pradesh vs Tara Dutta, AIR 2000 SC 297, the Court held: “ the language of subsection (3) of section 468 gives a clear view that period of limitation that is provided under in Section 468 is in pursuance of the alleged offence charged but it is not used in respect of offence which is finally proved.”

Section 482: Saving of inherent powers of the High Courts

This section states that nothing under this Code can limit or affect the inherent powers of the High Court. This section provides a safeguard and preserves the inherent power of High Court to avoid an abuse of the process in any court and to secure the ends of justice.

In Parbatbhai Ahir and Ors vs. State of Gujarat, on October 4, 2017 the Hon’ble Supreme Court laid down guidelines to be followed by under Section 482 CrPC by the courts while exercising their inherent powers. Here it was observed that under this provision new powers are not provided, rather the inherent powers of the High Court were only recognized and preserved. The High Court has the power to quash an FIR under Section 482 of the CrPC even if the offence is non-compoundable.

In State of Haryana and Ors. v. Bhajan Lal and Ors, the Court has laid down certain categories of cases in which the inherent power of the High Court provided under Section 482 of the Cr.P.C. can be exercised. Paragraph 102 of the judgement reads that, while interpreting various related provisions of the Code under Chapter XIV and the principles of law articulated by this court in a series of decisions regarding the inherent powers of High Court under Section 482 of the Code, it is observed that these powers can be exercised either to prevent abuse of the process of any court or otherwise to secure the ends of justice, though laying down clearly defined and sufficiently channelized and inflexible guidelines or rigid formulae may not be possible to give an exhaustive list of myriad kinds of cases wherein such power should be exercised.

Conclusion

Being the procedural law, it clearly explains its Sections. But the scope of the CrPC is still expanding. Apart from the above-mentioned Section, the CrPC provides many more important sections and landmark judgements.


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