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KEY TAKEAWAYS

INTRODUCTION

In India, the state government has established the Sessions Court for each sessions division, which is presided over by a Sessions Court judge. The judge is appointed by the state's High Court. Each division has only one Sessions Court, which is located at different locations. It also falls within the jurisdiction of a set number of judges. The procedure in trials before a Court of Sessions is governed by Sections 225 to 237 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. If the Sessions Judge's office becomes vacant, the High Court can make the required preparations for any urgent issue or application. A magistrate cannot be said to have taken cognizance of the offence if he engages his mind not for the purpose of proceeding as described above, but for the purpose of taking some other action, such as ordering an investigation under Section 156(3) of CrPC or issuing a search warrant for the purpose of the investigation.

  1. The Criminal Procedure Code does not define the "cognizance of crime." Sections 190, 191, 192, 193, 194, 195, 196, 197, 198, and 199 deal with the ways by which various criminal courts are constituted to take cognizance of offences, as well as the constraints that they are subject to. The definition of the phrase, on the other hand, is thoroughly defined by the courts. Taking notice is the first and most important step on the path.

SECTION 193- COGNIZANCE OF OFFENCES

"Courts of Session (as a court of original jurisdiction) are not permitted to take cognizance of any offence unless the matter has been committed to them by a Magistrate," according to Section 193. Only the Courts of Session are permissible when this code or any other legislation specifically states so.

SECTION 199- PROSECUTION FOR DEFAMATION

  • "Court would not take notice of actions punishable under Chapter XXI (Of Defamation) of the IPC unless the victim makes a complaint," says Section 199(1). When the victim is unable to submit a complaint, a third person may lodge a complaint on behalf of the victim with the authorization of the Court.
  • "Offenses punishable under Chapter XXI of the IPC, alleged to have been committed against the President of India, the Vice President of India, the Governor of a state, the Administrator of a Union territory, or a Minister of the Union or of a state or of a union territory, or any other public servant employed under state or union," is provided under Section 199(2) of CrPC. The filing of a written complaint is made by the Public Prosecutor." The exception to Section 193 is Section 199(2).
  • The 'Contents of Complaint' are addressed in Section 199(3)of CrPC. It contains information on the circumstances of the offence, the type of the offence, and every sufficient point in a complaint through which appropriate notice is given to those accused of defamation.
  • "Court will not take cognizance of offences punishable under Chapter XXI of the IPC, alleged to have been committed against Governor, Public servant, and Minister of State unless the complaint is made by the Public prosecutor with the consent of the State Government," and if the same is alleged to have been committed against the President, Vice President, or Public Servant employed by the Union, then the Court will not take cognizance of the same.
  • "It is obligatory for the complaint to be made by the public prosecutor in the aforesaid section within 6 months of the commission of the offence," - Section 199(5).

SECTION 237- TRAIL WARRANT CASES

  • When the Court of Sessions takes cognizance of an offence under Section 199 of CrPC, it is required under Section 237 of CrPC to try the matter in line with the process for warrant proceedings filed other than on a police report before a Magistrate Court (2).
  • The proviso to Section 237(1) states that until the Court of Session determines otherwise, a person who is accused of committing a crime will be questioned as a prosecution witness. The grounds for it must be recorded by the Court.
  • If the Court believes it is necessary or if one of the parties requests it, each trial under Section 237 will be held in secret. If the Court releases or acquits all or any of the accused because the Court believes there is no reasonable basis for accusing the accused or any of them. Those who have been allegedly defamed may be served with a show-cause notice demanding compensation.

The Sessions Court is established in accordance with Section 9 of the CrPC. The Sessions Court is established by the State Government and must be presided over by a judge selected by the High Court. Additional and Assistant Sessions Judges are appointed by the High Court. The Court of Sessions is normally held at the location or locations specified by the High Court. However, if the Court of Session believes that it will have to accommodate the convenience of the parties and witnesses in a specific case, it may hold its sittings at any other location with the approval of the prosecution and the accused. The Assistant Sessions judges are accountable to the Sessions Judge under section 10 of the CrPC. Section 9 of the Criminal Procedure Code enables the State Government to create a Court for each session division, and each Court of Session is presided over by a High Court-appointed Judge. A crime cannot be immediately prosecuted by a Court of Session. According to Section 209 of CrPC, a Magistrate takes cognizance of a crime and, if he believes the matter should be heard exclusively by the Court of Session, he will submit the case to the Court of Session along with all papers and records. From Section 225 to Section 237, the procedure for a trial before a Court of Session is outlined.

The Supreme Court went on to say that if the data on record justifies it, the Magistrate might decline to take cognizance under Section 190 CrPC. In such a situation, the Magistrate must be satisfied that the complaint, case diary, and witness testimonies recorded under Sections 161 and 164 of CrPC, if any, do not establish any offence. At this point, the Magistrate is acting as a judge. However, he is unable to evaluate the facts presented and come to a judgement about whether evidence is acceptable or reliable. As a result, evidence evaluation is not permitted at this time. The Magistrate lacks the authority to assess the evidence and determine the case's balance of probabilities.

STEPS IN A TRIAL

Opening the case for prosecution: Under Section 226 of the Criminal Code, the Prosecutor must explain the charge against the accused and disclose the evidence he will use to show the accused's guilt.

Discharge: If the court believes there is no adequate reason to continue against the accused as allowed by Section 227, it will discharge the accused after hearing both parties and reviewing the case records.

Charge framing: If the matter is exclusively triable by the Court of Sessions, a Judge may frame a charge against the accused and record the grounds for it under Section 228. If the matter is not solely triable by the Court of Session, the Judge may charge the accused and refer the case to the Chief Judicial Magistrate or any other Judicial Magistrate of First Class, with the accused being sent to the Judicial Magistrate to whom the case has been referred.

CONCLUSION

The Criminal Procedure Code does not define the term "cognizance." In a nutshell, it refers to the use of the judicial intellect in the investigation of a suspected crime. 'Conditions Requisite for Initiation of Proceeding' is dealt with in Chapter XIV of the CrPC, while 'Complaints to Magistrates' is dealt with in Chapter XV of the CrPC. It is clear from this article that the Indian Constitution has played a significant influence in the regulations and legislation that are implemented from time to time to develop the country's judicial system. The three-tier judicial system is required for the efficient functioning of the judiciary in a large country such as India in order to provide adequate justice to its residents. Every day, numerous disagreements arise, necessitating the establishment of an appropriate hierarchy of courts and their authority to address these issues.


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