TENDER OF PARDON (SECTION 306-308)

by | Nov 3, 2023

TENDER OF PARDON TO ACCOMPLICE : A LEGAL MECHANISM IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE (SECTION 306-308)

INTRODUCTION – THE ROLE OF PARDON IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE

The process of Tendering Pardon to an accomplice, as outlined in Sections 306 to 308 of the Criminal Procedural Code, is a vital legal provision that offers immunity to an accused person in return for their cooperation in a criminal investigation or trial. This article delves into the intricacies of this legal process, exploring its principles, sections, and procedures.

UNDERSTANDING THE ACCOMPLICE’S ROLE

An accomplice, at the core of this legal mechanism, is generally someone involved in a crime, either actively or passively, who admits their involvement. Section 133 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, recognizes the competency of an accomplice as a witness against an accused person. Acknowledging their participation is a pivotal step for their potential role in the legal process.

CORE PRINCIPLES GUIDING PARDON

Several fundamental principles guide the granting of Pardons To Accomplices:-

  • Initiating a Trial, Not Establishing Guilt:- The primary objective of a pardon is to initiate a trial, not to establish the accused’s guilt. It serves to uncover the truth by obtaining essential information about the crime.
  • Obtaining the Accomplice’s Agreement:- Prior to granting a pardon, the court must secure the accomplice’s agreement to become an approver, a key witness in the case. This step ensures their cooperation throughout the proceedings.
  • The Transformation of the Approver:- Upon receiving a pardon, the accomplice undergoes a transformation. They become an approver, transitioning from a participant in the crime to a pivotal witness in the trial.
  • Revocation for Violation:– Violating the terms of the pardon can lead to its revocation. This mechanism holds the accomplice accountable, guaranteeing their continued cooperation until the trial’s conclusion. The accomplice remains in custody throughout this period.

SECTION 306 – THE TENDER OF PARDON TO AN ACCOMPLICE UNDER CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE 

Section 306 is a cornerstone of this legal process, addressing the Tender of Pardon To An Accomplice. This section applies to offenses that are either triable by a Special Judge under the Criminal Amendment Act, 1952, or carry a sentence of seven years or more. The presiding magistrate must meticulously record the reasons for granting the pardon and whether the accomplice has accepted it. If the pardon is accepted, the accomplice is summoned as a witness and detained until the trial’s conclusion.

SENDING THE CASE FOR TRIAL

The final stage involves sending the case for trial, determined by specific scenarios. This decision depends on whether the offense is triable by the Court of Session or if the magistrate taking cognizance of the offense is the Chief Judicial Magistrate or the Session Court. Alternatively, in cases triable by a Special Judge, it is sent to the Special Judge. In other circumstances, the case is transferred to the Chief Judicial Magistrate, who personally conducts the trial.

SECTION 307 – PARDON AFTER COMMITMENT BUT BEFORE JUDGMENT

Section 307 confers the court with the authority to grant a pardon to a person related to the offense after the case’s commitment but before the judgment. This section designates the authorities, including the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Metropolitan Magistrate, Judicial Magistrate First Class, Session Court, and Special Judge, who possess this power.

QUALIFYING FOR APPROVER STATU

To qualify for becoming an approver under both Section 306 and Section 307, the individual must have committed specified offenses and provide a truthful and comprehensive confession of the crime. Generally, accomplices with a history of heinous crimes or multiple charges against them are not granted a pardon. This mechanism is designed to target the primary culprits while encouraging cooperation from those with lesser involvement.

SECTION 308 – CONSEQUENCES OF FAILING TO MEET CONDITIONS

Section 308 addresses the consequences when a person who has accepted a pardon fails to meet the specified conditions. In such cases, the public prosecutor can try the person for the same or related offenses. Additionally, the individual may be charged with providing false evidence, but this necessitates permission from the High Court and does not fall under the provisions of Section 195 and 340. Statements recorded by the Magistrate under Section 164 of the Court under Section 306(4) can be employed as evidence.

THE TRIAL PROCESS FOR THE APPROVER

During the trial, the person who has accepted the pardon must demonstrate compliance with the conditions. The burden of proof is on the prosecution to demonstrate any non-compliance. The court plays a crucial role in overseeing this process. If the accused attests that they have met the conditions of the pardon, the court records the statement and proceeds with the trial. If, at the end of the trial, it is determined that the accused has fulfilled the requirements, the court can issue an order of acquittal.

CONCLUSION – A CRUCIAL LEGAL MECHANISM FOR JUSTICE

In conclusion, the granting of Pardon To An Accomplice is a legal mechanism aimed at uncovering information related to serious offenses. Courts meticulously consider whether to grant such pardons and utilize their judicial discretion to determine the suitability of the accused for a pardon. This process is instrumental in bringing those responsible for serious crimes to justice while fostering cooperation from those with lesser involvement.

Reference

1-https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/nagpur/plea-to-be-approver-cant-be-withdrawn-after-pardon-hc/amp_articleshow/103147486.cms -THE TIMES OF INDIA

2-https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/hc-accepts-nia-plea-to-pardon-man-who-agrees-to-be-approver/article25693289.ece/amp/ -THE HINDU

3-https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bengaluru/hc-quashes-cong-mlas-challenge-to-approver-nod/articleshow/101230502.cms -THE TIMES OF INDIA 

4-https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/murder-robbery-elderly-couples-house-two-more-third-accomplice-run-8897345/lite/ -INDIAN EXPRESS

 

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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