TRIAL OF WARRANT AND SUMMON CASES BY MAGISTRATE (SECTION 238-259)

by | Oct 28, 2023

TRIAL OF WARRANT AND SUMMON CASES BY MAGISTRATE (SECTION 238-259)

Criminal cases are categorized into two main types: Summons Cases and Warrant Cases. A Summons Case involves offenses with relatively less severe punishments, while Warrant Cases pertain to offenses carrying more substantial penalties, such as the death penalty, life imprisonment, or imprisonment exceeding two years. The key factor distinguishing a Summons Case from a Warrant Case is the severity of punishment associated with the particular offense.

TRIAL OF WARRANT CASES BY MAGISTRATE (SECTION 238-250)

  • Section 238 – Compliance with section 207 : When an accused is brought before a Magistrate in a warrant-case initiated based on a police report, the Magistrate must ensure that the provisions of section 207 have been followed.
  • Section 239 – When Accused Shall Be Discharged : After considering the police report and relevant documents under section 173, and examining the accused if necessary, the Magistrate, if finding the charge groundless, shall discharge the accused and record reasons.
  • Section 240- Framing of Charge : If the Magistrate believes there is a case for the accused to be tried under this Chapter and the punishment is within the Magistrate’s jurisdiction, they shall frame a written charge. The charge is then read and explained to the accused, who is asked for their plea.
  • Section 241 – Conviction on Plea of Guilty : If the accused pleads guilty, the Magistrate may, at their discretion, record the plea and convict the accused.
  • Section 242 – Evidence for Prosecution : If the accused doesn’t plead guilty or the Magistrate doesn’t convict under section 241, a date is set for the examination of prosecution witnesses. The Magistrate must provide the accused with statements of witnesses recorded during the police investigation.
  • Section 243 – Evidence for Defense : The accused is given the opportunity to present their defense, including producing evidence. The Magistrate records any written statements by the accused.
  • Section 244 – Evidence for Prosecution :In warrant-cases not initiated by a police report, the Magistrate hears the prosecution and takes evidence supporting their case.
  • Section 245 – When Accused Shall Be Discharged :If, after considering the evidence from section 244, the Magistrate believes there is no case against the accused warranting conviction, they shall discharge the accused.
  • Section 246 – Procedure Where Accused Is Not Discharged :If the Magistrate believes there is a case, they frame a charge. The accused is asked for a plea. If the accused pleads guilty, the Magistrate can convict.
  • Section 247 – Evidence for Defense :The accused presents their defense, and the procedures are similar to Section 243.
  • Section 248 – Acquittal or Conviction : If the Magistrate finds the accused not guilty, they record an acquittal. If the accused is found guilty, the Magistrate passes a sentence according to the law.
  • Section 249 – Absence of Complainant :If the proceedings are based on a complaint, and the complainant is absent, the Magistrate may, at their discretion, discharge the accused.
  • Section 250 – Compensation for Accusation Without Reasonable Cause : If the Magistrate discharges or acquits an accused and believes the accusation was groundless, they may order the complainant to pay compensation. The complainant can be directed to pay this to the accused. Appeals are allowed.

TRIAL OF SUMMONS-CASES BY MAGISTRATES (SECTION 250-259)

  • Section 251 – Substance of Accusation to Be Stated :In a summons-case, the Magistrate informs the accused of the particulars of the accusation and asks for their plea without the need for a formal charge.
  • Section 252 – Conviction on Plea of Guilty :If the accused pleads guilty, the Magistrate records this plea and may convict.
  • Section 253 – Conviction on Plea of Guilty in Absence of Accused in Petty Cases : In cases where a summons was issued and the accused desires to plead guilty without appearing in court, the Magistrate may convict the accused based on their plea and sentence them.
  • Section 254 – Procedure When Not Convicted :If the accused is not convicted under the previous sections, the Magistrate hears the prosecution, examines evidence, and allows the accused to present their defense.
  • Section 255 – Acquittal or Conviction :If the Magistrate finds the accused not guilty, they record an acquittal. If found guilty, the Magistrate passes a sentence as per the law.
  • Section 256 – Non-Appearance or Death of Complainant :If the complainant doesn’t appear on the specified date, the Magistrate can acquit the accused or adjourn the case if they deem it necessary.
  • Section 257 – Withdrawal of Complaint :The complainant may request to withdraw their complaint, and the Magistrate can permit this, leading to the acquittal of the accused.
  • Section 258 – Power to Stop Proceedings in Certain Cases :A Magistrate, for recorded reasons, can stop proceedings in a summons-case without a judgment, leading to the release of the accused.
  • Section 259 – Power of Court to Convert Summons-Cases into Warrant Cases :If the Magistrate believes, in the interests of justice, a summons-case should be tried as a warrant-case, they can re-hear the case as per the warrant-case procedure and recall witnesses if needed.

In conclusion, the Criminal Procedure Code prescribes distinct procedures for warrant and summons cases, reflecting the varying degrees of offense severity. This legal framework ensures a fair and efficient trial process, ultimately upholding the principles of justice in our legal system.

Reference:

1-https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/ahmedabad/ex-dgp-sreekumar-seeks-discharge-in-gujarat-riots-evidence-case-8598774/lite/ – THE INDIAN EXPRESS

2-https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/ahmedabad/man-gets-6-months-in-jail-for-cow-slaughter/ – THE INDIAN EXPRESS 

3-https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kejriwal-put-on-trial-on-charges-of-defamation/article6089474.ece/amp/ -THE HINDU

4-https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/jaipur/srk-pleads-guilty-to-smoking-at-sms-stadium-to-pay-fine/articleshow/13538153.cms -THE TIMES OF INDIA

5-https://www.indiatoday.in/amp/law/story/ashok-ghelot-defamation-case-delhi-court-bjp-gajendra-singh-shekhawat-2437846-2023-09-19 -INDIA TODAY

6-https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/facing-arrest-rajini-kin-settle-case-out-of-court/articleshow/7464004.cms -THE TIMES OF INDIA

7-https://m.timesofindia.com/india/law-ministry-draws-policy-to-withdraw-frivolous-cases/articleshow/45948050.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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