TRIAL BEFORE A COURT OF SESSION (Section 225-237)

by | Oct 26, 2023

INITIATION AND COGNIZANCE (SECTIONS 190 AND 209)

  • Initially, a Magistrate takes cognizance of an offense.
  • Section 190 empowers the Magistrate to take cognizance upon receiving a complaint, a police report, information from a non-police source, or based on their knowledge.
  • Section 209 allows the Magistrate to commit the case to the Court of Sessions if it’s exclusively triable by the Court of Session, and all relevant documents are sent to it.

ROLE OF COURT OF SESSION (SECTION 193)

  • The Court of Session cannot directly take cognizance of an offense.
  • It can do so when the Magistrate commits the case to it or when it acts as a special Court.

DOCUMENT SUPPLY TO ACCUSED (SECTIONS 207 AND 208)

  • The Magistrate, as per Section 207 and Section 208, is required to provide the accused with copies of documents like the First Information Report (FIR) and statements recorded by the police or Magistrate.

COMMITTAL AND NOTIFICATION (SECTION 209)

  • Under Section 209, if it appears that the offense is exclusively triable by the Court of Session, the Magistrate may commit the case to it.
  • The Magistrate sends all documents and records to the Court of Session, can grant bail or remand the accused, and notifies the Public Prosecutor.

PROCEDURE FOR TRIAL BEFORE COURT OF SESSION (SECTIONS 225 TO 237)

  • PARTIES (SECTION 225)
  • In a trial before a Court of Session under Criminal Procedure Code , the prosecution is led by a public prosecutor.
  • The accused has the right to engage counsel of their choice, or if they can’t afford one, the court provides one.
  • The accused receives copies of relevant documents before the trial begins.
  • OPENING THE CASE (SECTION 226)
  • The public prosecutor initiates the trial by describing the accusations against the accused and outlining the evidence they intend to use.
  • The prosecutor’s duty is to present the facts of the case to the tribunal, not necessarily to secure a conviction.
  • DISCHARGE OF THE ACCUSED (SECTION 227)
  • After hearing from both parties, if the court finds insufficient grounds to proceed against the accused, they discharge the accused, with reasons recorded.
  •  At this stage, there’s no examination of witnesses, but both sides can argue in favor of framing charges or discharge.
  • FRAMING OF CHARGE (SECTION 228)
  • If the court believes the accused may have committed the offenses –
  • A written charge is framed if the offense is exclusively triable by the Court of Session.
  • If the offense isn’t exclusively triable by the sessions court, a charge is framed, and the case is transferred to the Chief Judicial Magistrate.
  • EXPLAINING THE CHARGE AND INQUIRY ABOUT PLEA (SECTION 228(2)
  • The contents of the charge are explained to the accused to enable them to plead guilty or claim to be tried.
  • Failure to read or explain the charge properly doesn’t vitiate the trial unless it’s shown to have caused prejudice to the accused.
  • CONVICTION ON PLEA OF GUILTY (SECTION 229)
  • If the accused pleads guilty, the judge may convict at their discretion.
  • The plea of guilty must be unambiguous, as any ambiguity is treated as a plea of not guilty.
  • There are restrictions on convicting in cases where the punishment is death or life imprisonment based solely on a guilty plea.
  • DATE FOR PROSECUTION EVIDENCE (SECTION 230)
  • If the accused refuses to plead, doesn’t plead, or claims to be tried, the judge schedules the examination of witnesses or orders the production of documents.
  • EVIDENCE FOR PROSECUTION (SECTION 231)
  • This involves the judge taking evidence in support of the prosecution.
  • The judge can permit deferral of cross-examination or recall of witnesses for further cross-examination.

ARGUMENTS OF THE PROSECUTION (SECTION 314(2)

  • After the close of witnesses, the prosecution submits a memorandum of oral arguments.
  • A copy is provided to the opposite party.

EXAMINATION OF THE ACCUSED

  • The accused is examined without taking an oath to explain the circumstances alleged by the prosecution.
  • ACQUITTAL (SECTION 232)
  • If the judge finds the accused not guilty after hearing both parties, they record an order of acquittal.
  • ENTERING UPON DEFENSE (SECTION 233)
  • If the accused is not acquitted, they are called upon to present their defense.
  • ARGUMENTS (SECTION 234)
  • After recording the defense, the prosecutor sums up the case, and the accused or their pleader has the right to reply.
  • The prosecutor may make submissions if a legal point is raised by the defense.
  • JUDGMENT OF ACQUITTAL OR CONVICTION (SECTION 235)
  • The court delivers the judgment of acquittal or conviction.
  • In the case of conviction, the accused is heard on the question of sentencing.
  • PREVIOUS CONVICTION (SECTION 236)
  • In cases where a previous conviction is charged, the judge may take evidence when the accused denies it.
  • Restrictions exist on when this charge can be mentioned.
  • PROCEDURE IN CASES UNDER SECTION 199(2) (SECTION 237)
  • A Court of Session handles these cases following the procedure for warrant cases, similar to how they are tried before a magistrate.
  • The trial can be held in camera if requested by either party or deemed fit by the court.
  • If the court discharges or acquits the accused and finds the accusation baseless, it can order the accused person to explain why they should not pay compensation to the accused.
  • The court assesses the situation and may order compensation, capped at Rs. 1000, to be paid by the person responsible.
  • Compensation awarded is recovered like a magistrate’s fine.
  • Those directed to pay compensation are not immune from civil or criminal liability related to the complaint.
  • The person ordered to pay compensation can appeal to the High Court.
  • Compensation is withheld until the appeal period elapses or, if an appeal is made, until the appeal is decided.

CONCLUSION

In summary, sections 225-237 of the Criminal Procedure Code pertain to the ‘Trial Before The Court of Session’, which is a critical aspect of the criminal justice system. These sections outline the procedures, rights of the accused, and the powers of the Court of Session in handling criminal cases. The conclusion is that these provisions play a crucial role in ensuring a fair and just trial, which is fundamental to upholding the principles of justice and the rule of law in the criminal justice system.

Reference:-

1-https://m.timesofindia.com/india/sc-to-decide-on-complainants-right-while-framing-charges/articleshow/140063.cms -THE TIMES OF INDIA 

2-https://m.timesofindia.com/india/person-summoned-as-accused-cannot-seek-discharge-sc/articleshow/48353463.cms – THE TIMES OF INDIA

3-https://m.timesofindia.com/city/ahmedabad/high-court-remind-judges-of-crpc-provisions-/amp_articleshow/81938597.cms -THE TIMES OF INDIA 

4-https://m.timesofindia.com/city/goa/public-notice-for-louis-berger-official/articleshow/65314669.cms -THE TIMES OF INDIA

5-https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/onchiyam-case-verdict-on-acquittal-on-september-11/article5096237.ece -THE HINDU

 

 

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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