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KEY TAKEAWAYS

-Criminal cases are of two types: summons cases & warrants cases.

INTRODUCTION

-There are two types of criminal cases: Summons cases & Warrants Case. Offences punishable with the death penalty or life imprisonment or imprisonment of more than two years are warrant cases. 

WARRANT TRIAL BEFORE MAGISTRATE

-Trial instituted under police report

PROCEDURE OF TRIAL INSTITUTED BY POLICE REPORT

-Section 207 of CrPC: Before the beginning of the trial, the Magistrate makes sure that the accused is supplied with copies of FIR, Police Report, witness statement and all necessary documents that are stated under Section 207 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

PROCEDURE OF TRIAL IN ABSENCE OF POLICE REPORT

-Prosecution Evidence (Section 244 of CrPC): The trial in warrant cases instituted otherwise than on a police report begin with the prosecution producing their evidences & witnesses. The evidences must be those included in Section 138 of Indian Evidence Act.

LANDMARK JUDGEMENTS

-Rasik Behri vs. State of U.P (Cr. LJ 1648 off 1973): In this case, the Magistrate held that it is a right of accused to get a reasonable time to produce evidence and the accused has right to defend himself with a counsel of his choice.

CONCLUSION

-The Code of Criminal Procedure as the name suggests is a procedural code. It provides the procedure for punishing offenders and the punishment is prescribed under Indian Penal Code, 1860.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Criminal cases are of two types: summons cases & warrants cases.
  • Warrant cases are offences punishable with the death penalty or life imprisonment or imprisonment which extends for a term of more than two years.
  • Difference between summons case & warrants case is the duration of punishment.
  • Procedure of trial in warrant case is prescribed under code of criminal procedure.

INTRODUCTION

There are two types of criminal cases: Summons cases & Warrants Case. Offences punishable with the death penalty or life imprisonment or imprisonment of more than two years are warrant cases. The only difference between a summon case and a warrant case is the duration of punishment. Trials in warrant cases is triable by a Magistrate.

WARRANT TRIAL BEFORE MAGISTRATE

The trials before Magistrate are dealt with under Section 238-250 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and can be classified into:

  • Trial instituted under police report
  • Trial instituted otherwise than on police report

PROCEDURE OF TRIAL INSTITUTED BY POLICE REPORT

  1. Section 207 of CrPC: Before the beginning of the trial, the Magistrate makes sure that the accused is supplied with copies of FIR, Police Report, witness statement and all necessary documents that are stated under Section 207 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
  2. Discharge of accused (Section 239 of CrPC): If after examining the accused & witnesses if the Magistrate is of the opinion that the charges framed against the accused are baseless and there is no sufficient ground for convicting the accused or proceeding further with the trial then the Magistrate can discharge the accused.
  3. Framing Charges (Section 240 of CrPC): After examination of documents & reading the police report the Magistrate frames charges against the accused and after the Magistrate frames charges, the charges are read and explained to the accused and asks him whether he wants to plead guilty or not.
  4. Prosecution Evidence (Section 247 of CrPC): In case the accused does not plead guilty and the Magistrate proceeds with the trial, the Magistrate fixes a date to examine the prosecution’s evidence & witnesses and can call witnesses to trial by the issue of summons.
  5. Statement of Accused (Section 313 of CrPC): Under Section 313 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the Magistrate records the statement of the accused and the question answers asked to him are recorded.
  6. Defence Evidence: After recording the statement of the accused, the defence is called upon to produce his evidence and if the evidence is in written form then the Magistrate records it. Magistrates should give reasonable time to the accused to produce his evidence.
  7. Argument & Judgement: The last two stages of a trial are argument & judgement. During the argument, the defence finalises the evidence and the prosecutor sums up his case to which the defence lawyers reply. After completion of the argument, the magistrate decides upon the acquittal or conviction of the accused on basis of evidence & arguments.

PROCEDURE OF TRIAL IN ABSENCE OF POLICE REPORT

A warrant case in absence of a police report is filed straight to the Magistrate. After filing a complaint, the accused is bought before the Magistrate and a trial is initiated. Section 244, 245, 246 & 247 of the Code of Criminal Procedure lays down the procedure for trial instituted in absence of a police report.

  1. Prosecution Evidence (Section 244 of CrPC): The trial in warrant cases instituted otherwise than on a police report begin with the prosecution producing their evidences & witnesses. The evidences must be those included in Section 138 of Indian Evidence Act.
  2. Hearing Prosecution’s case: This is the initial step for beginning the trial. After the accused is produced before the Magistrate, the Magistrate examines the accusations made against the accused and decides whether a case can be made out or not.
  3. Discharge (Section 245 of Code of Criminal Procedure): In case the Magistrate decides that a case cannot be instituted against the accused, he can order discharge of the accused. If the prosecutor does not file an appeal after discharge of the accused then the accusation will be warranted.
  4. Framing charge (Section 246 of CrPC): If after examining evidence, the magistrate is of the opinion that there exists a sufficient ground for accusations, then the Magistrate frames charge against the accused and a fair trial is conducted thereon. It is a right of accused to defend himself.
  5. Explaining charge to accused (Section 246(2) of CrPC): According to this section accused must have full information about the accusations filed against him and he shall be supplied with copies of the same. The accused should also be asked that whether or not he wants to plead guilty
  6. Conviction on plea of guilty (Section 246(3) of CrPC): If the accused pleads mercy in front of court and admits his crime then it is the authority of Magistrate to convict the accused and decide his punishment. In case the accused does not plead guilty, trial will commence.
  7. Recalling Prosecution’s witness (Section 246(5) of CrPC): Under this section, the accused has right to recall prosecution’s witness for examination or cross examination
  8. Defence Evidence (Section 247 of CrPC): After the prosecution presents his evidence, it is the chance of defendant to prove his innocence. In case of any written statement filed by defendant the Magistrate records it in his file.
  9. Conclusion of trial: Based on the evidence provided & witnesses presented, the magistrate can order acquittal or conviction of the accused. This is a fair trial that ensures that justice is delivered.

LANDMARK JUDGEMENTS

  1. Rasik Behri vs. State of U.P (Cr. LJ 1648 off 1973): In this case, the Magistrate held that it is a right of accused to get a reasonable time to produce evidence and the accused has right to defend himself with a counsel of his choice.
  2. Shiva Kumar vs. Humum Chand ((1999) 7 SCC 467): The Court in this case held that only a Public prosecutor can conduct prosecution in Sessions Court and no other person is allowed to do so.
  3. State of Mizoram vs. K. Lalruata (1992 Cr. L.J. 970): A case was filed under Section 409 of Indian Penal Code. The Magistrate held that there was no sufficient ground to prove the guilt of accused and hence discharged him. Also, the copies of required documents mentioned under Section 173 of Code of Criminal Procedure were not provided to the accused violating Section 207 of Code of Criminal Procedure hence the accused was discharged.
  4. Ajoy Kumar Ghose vs. State of Jharkhand ((2009) 3 Cr. L.J. 2824 (S.C.): In this case it was held that every accused has the right to cross examine witness under Section 244(1) of Code of Criminal Procedure and this is a statutory right.

CONCLUSION

The Code of Criminal Procedure as the name suggests is a procedural code. It provides the procedure for punishing offenders and the punishment is prescribed under Indian Penal Code, 1860. The evidence & witness from both the prosecution & defence is important and necessary to determine the judgement of the case. If the accused is acquitted, prosecution can file for an appeal. The procedure provided under Code of Criminal Procedure elaborates every step related to investigation, inquiry & trial. The procedure followed for criminal appeals is: investigation, inquiry & trial.

  • Investigation is the beginning of the process. It is conducted by police official and it starts when a First Information Report (FIR) is filed. If the officer registering the FIR suspects commission of offence or is directed by Magistrate, he is duty bound to start the investigation.
  • Inquiry implies receiving of a police report by the Magistrate.
  • Trial is the final stage in this procedure and a judgement regarding acquittal or conviction of the accused is decided. Criminal trials under Code of Criminal Procedure can be further sub divided into three kinds: warrant, summons & summary trials.

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