JOINDER OF CHARGES (SECTION 218-224)

by | Oct 25, 2023

JOINDER OF CHARGES (SECTION 218-224)

“Joinder of Charges” as outlined in Sections 218-224 of the Criminal Procedure Code is a legal provision that allows multiple criminal charges to be combined and tried in one case, making it a fundamental concept  to understand how different offenses can be addressed within a single trial.

SECTION 218 – SEPARATE CHARGES FOR DISTINCT OFFENSES

  • Every distinct offense must have a separate charge and trial.
  • The accused can request to try multiple charges together if it won’t harm them.
  • Exceptions provided in Sections 219, 220, 221, and 223.

SECTION 219 – COMBINING OFFENSES OF THE SAME KIND

  • If someone is accused of similar offenses within a year, up to three of them can be tried together.
  • Offenses are considered the same kind if they have similar punishment under Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860) or of any special or local laws:

SECTION 220 – TRIAL FOR MULTIPLE OFFENSES 

  • If multiple offenses are part of the same transaction, they can be tried together.
  • If acts constitute offenses under different definitions of the law, the accused can be charged and tried for each of these offenses together.
  • If several acts, when combined, create a different offense, the person can be charged for this new offense.
  • Includes offenses of criminal breach of trust and related acts.
  • Exceptions to Section 71 of the Indian Penal Code still apply.

SECTION 221 – WHEN OFFENSE IS UNCLEAR

  • If it’s unclear which offense an act or series of acts constitutes, the accused can be charged with multiple possible offenses.
  • Can be convicted of an offense even if not initially charged with it.

SECTION 222 – CONVICTION FOR MINOR OFFENSE

  • If a charge has multiple particulars and only some are proven, the accused can be convicted of a minor offense.
  • Can be convicted of an attempt to commit an offense even if not separately charged.

SECTION 223 – JOINT CHARGES FOR CERTAIN OFFENSES

Lists conditions where people can be charged and tried together.Persons who may be jointly charged and tried –

  • Accused of the same offense in a single transaction.
  • Accused of the main offense, abetment, or attempt.
  • Accused of similar offenses of the same kind within 12 months.
  • Accused of different offenses in a single transaction.
  • Accused of a compound offense and those aiding or receiving.
  • Accused of specific theft-related offenses.
  • Accused under Chapter XII of Indian Penal Code involving counterfeit coins.

Exceptions: If a group doesn’t fit these categories, they can request a joint trial if it’s not prejudicial and deemed expedient.

SECTION 224 – WITHDRAWAL OF CHARGES ON CONVICTION

  • If multiple heads are charged and a conviction happens, the remaining charges can be withdrawn with court consent.
  • Withdrawal is treated as an acquittal, unless the conviction is set aside.

In conclusion, Sections 218 to 224 deal with the ‘Joinder Of Charges’ under Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) . They allow for the combination of multiple charges in a single trial under certain circumstances, provided they are logically connected. These sections also outline conditions for when a person can be charged with multiple offenses in one trial. The overarching principle is to ensure fairness, efficiency, and the avoidance of prejudice in criminal proceedings.

Reference

1-https://m.timesofindia.com/india/separate-offences-cant-be-clubbed-sc/articleshow/24800672.cms -THE TIMES OF INDIA

2-https://m.timesofindia.com/city/indore/charges-framed-against-mla-mendola-others-in-sugni-devi-scam/amp_articleshow/52442365.cms -THE TIMES OF INDIA

3-https://m.timesofindia.com/city/bengaluru/hc-quashes-proceedings-against-event-manager-in-2-drug-cases-citing-lapses/amp_articleshow/89049277.cms -THE TIMES OF INDIA

4-https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/woman-convicted-by-delhi-court-of-attempting-to-throw-acid/article67169784.ece/amp/ -THE HINDU

5-https://m.timesofindia.com/city/nagpur/is-the-law-stipulating-presence-of-all-accused-a-loophole/articleshow/15286806.cms -THE TIMES OF INDIA

Written By Archana Singh

I am Archana Singh, a recent law master's graduate with a strong aspiration for the judicial service. My passion lies in elucidating complex legal concepts, disseminating legal news, and enhancing legal awareness. I take immense pride in introducing my new legal website - The LawGist. Through my meticulously crafted blogs and articles, I aim to empower individuals with comprehensive legal insights. My unwavering dedication is to facilitate a profound comprehension of the law, enabling people to execute judicious and well-informed choices.

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