Trial of warrant cases by Magistrates
In our last article (Stages of the criminal trial in India under Cr.P.C.) we discussed the pre-trial stage of the criminal trial. Now in this article, we will discuss the warrant case.
Warrant case means a case relating to an offence punishable with death, imprisonment for life or imprisonment for a term exceeding two years.
Trial of warrant case begins either by the filing of FIR in a police station by filing a complaint before a Magistrate. The division of warrant case and summon case in only for the purpose of a procedure for trial.
Stages of the trial of warrant case:-
Trail of warrant case is also divided into two types:-
1. Cases instituted on a police report
2. Cases instituted otherwise than on police report
Now we will discuss in detail as follows:-
A. Compliance with section 207:-
When a warrant case instituted on a police report and after that the accused appears or is brought before a Magistrate at the commencement of the trial, the Magistrate shall satisfy himself that he has complied with the provisions of section 207.
B. When accused shall be discharged:-
After the compliance with the sec 238, the next step is the discharging to the accused. After considering the police report and the documents sent with it under Section 173 and making such examination of the accused, and after giving the prosecution and the accused an opportunity of being heard, the Magistrate considers the charge against the accused to be groundless, he shall discharge the accused, and record his reasons for so doing.
This section should be read with the framing of charge.
C. Framing of charge:-
Framing of the charge is the duty of the court, that’s why the court must consider over the matter judiciously. After considering our matter, examination, hearing, if any, the magistrate of opinion that there is a ground for presuming that accused has committed an offence triable under this chapter, which such magistrate is competent to try and which, in the opinion of, could be adequately punished by him, he shall frame in writing a charge against the accused. and after that, the charge shall then be read and explained to the accused and he shall be asked whether he pleads guilty of the offence charged or claims to be tried.
Trial court under which section frames charge after generally giving a brief survey of the evidence which is sought to be adduced against the accused. This section also authorises the magistrate to examine the accused if he thinks it necessary.
After the framing of charge, if the accused pleads guilty, the magistrate shall record the plea and may, in his discretion, convict him thereon.
D. Evidence for prosecution section 242:-
After the framing of charge if accused refused to plead or not plead, or claims to be tried or Magistrate does not Convict the accused the Magistrate shall fix a date for the examination of witnesses.
In a criminal trial, the state presents its case first. The burden of proving the accused guilty, including all the elements of the alleged offence beyond all reasonable doubt, is on the prosecution. The prosecution can call witnesses and other evidence in order to prove the offence. The process of proving guilty by witnesses is called examination in chief. The Magistrate has the power to summon any person as a witness and order him to produce any document.
E. Statement of accused:-
Under section 313 of the Criminal Procedure Code accused has an opportunity to be heard and explain the fact and circumstances of the case.
F. Defence evidence:-
When the prosecution closes his case after the examine the witnesses the next stage start that is evidence for defence. In this stage accused has an opportunity of cross-examination of witnesses who are examined by the prosecution in examination in chief. Defence can produce both oral and documentary evidence. Here it is the duty of the prosecution and to establish the case beyond all reasonable doubt.
After the closing of the evidence any party to a proceeding may produce a concise oral argument, and may before he concludes the oral arguments, submit a memorandum to the court setting forth concisely and under the distinct heading.
A copy of every such the memorandum shall be simultaneously furnished to the opposite party.
The court has also the power to interfere if the oral arguments are not to the point, concise and relevant. This section gives power to the parties to submit a memorandum of argument. The memorandum must be submitted before the close of oral evidence.
The trial ends either in conviction or acquittal of the accused. The conviction and acquittal of the accused decided by the court with reasons is known as the judgment. In case of the acquittal of the accused the prosecution is given time to appeal against the order of the court, and in case of conviction both sides are invited to give arguments on punishment which is to be awarded. This is usually done when the decision is in conviction adverse punishment is life imprisonment or capital punishment.
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