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Complaints to Magistrates

Complaints to Magistrates :

A Magistrate taking cognizance of an offence on complaint examines the complainant and the witnesses if any upon oath and then the substance of such examination is reduced to writing and signed by the complainant and witnesses and also by the Magistrate.

However, when the complaint is made in writing, the Magistrate need not examine the complainant and the witnesses. If a public servant in the discharge of his official duties or a Court has made the complaint or if the Magistrate makes over the case for inquiry or trial to another Magistrate under Section 192. Further, if the Magistrate makes over the case to another Magistrate, under Section 192 after examining the complainant and the witnesses, they need not to be re-examined by the latter Magistrate. (Section 200)

If a complaint is made to a Magistrate who is not competent to take cognizance of the offence, he shall return it for presentation to the proper Court if the complaint is in writing, and if the complaint is oral, he should direct the complainant to the proper Court. (Section 201)

The Magistrate enquiring into a case may take evidence of witnesses on oath but where the offence is triable by
the Court of Session, he shall call upon the complainant to produce all his witnesses and examines them on
oath. He may dismiss the complaint if after considering the statement on oath and the result of the investigation
or enquiry, there is no sufficient ground for proceeding and may record his reasons for doing so. (Sections 201
to 203)

On the other hand if the Magistrate is of opinion that there is sufficient ground for taking cognizance of an offence he may either issue summons for attendance of the accused if the case appears to be a summons-case or he may in a warrant case issue a warrant or summons for the accused to be produced at a certain time before such Magistrate. It is important that no summon or warrant shall be issued against the accused unless a list of prosecution witnesses has been filed. In a proceeding instituted on the complaint in writing a copy of the complaint is to be sent with every summons or warrant. (Section 204)

Every charge under this Code shall state the offence with which the accused is charged specifying the law and the name of the offence, particulars of time and place of the alleged offence (Sections 211 and 212). For every distinct offence of which any person is accused there shall be a separate charge and every such charge shall be tried separately (Section 218). If more than one offence is committed by the same person in one series of acts so connected together as to form the same transaction, he may be charged with and tried at one trial for every such offence (Section 220). Persons accused of the same offence, committed in the course of the same transaction, or abetment of such offence may be charged jointly and tried together.

A person who has once been tried by a Court of competent jurisdiction for an offence and is convicted or acquitted of such offence shall while such conviction or acquittal remains in force not be liable to be tried again for the same offence, nor on the same facts for any other offence A person discharged under Section 258 (i.e. a summons-case where there is judgement of acquittal by a Judicial Magistrate) shall not be tried again for the same offence except with the consent of the Court by which he was discharged or of any other Court to which such Court is subordinate.

The judgement in every trial in any Criminal Court of original jurisdiction shall be pronounced by the presiding officer by delivering or reading out the whole of the judgement or the operative part of the judgement in open Court. (Section 353) Every judgement should be written in the language of the Court and should contain the point or points for determination, the decision thereon and the reasons for the decision. It should specify the offence and the Section of Indian Penal Code or other law under which the accused is convicted and the punishment to which he is sentenced (Section 354). Except as otherwise specified in the Code, no court when it has signed its judgement or final order disposing of a case, shall alter or review the same except to correct a clerical or arithmetical error (Section 362). A copy of the judgement and also if so desired a certified copy are to be given to the accused free of cost. (Section 363)

No appeal shall lie from any judgement or order of Criminal Court except as provided for by this Code (Section 372). In the case of an acquittal, the State. Government may direct the Public Prosecutor to present an appeal to the High Court from an original or appellate order of acquittal passed by any Court other than a High Court. Every appeal in the case of appealable orders shall be made in the form of a petition in writing presented by the appellant or his pleader and shall be accompanied by a copy of the judgement or order appealed against. No appeal shall be dismissed summarily unless the appellant or his pleader has had a reasonable opportunity of being heard in support of the same (Section 384). After perusing such record and hearing the parties, the apellant Court may dismiss the appeal if there are no sufficient grounds for interfering or alter the findings and acquit or discharge the accused or order re-trial by a competent court subordinate to the Appellate Court (Section 386). An Appellate Court may if it thinks additional evidence to be necessary shall record its reasons and may either take such evidence itself or direct it to be taken by a Magistrate. (Section 391)

A Court may refer a case to High Court if it is of the opinion that is involves a question as to validity of any Act, Ordinance or Regulation and the Court is of opinion that such Act, Ordinance, or Regulation is in-operative or invalid but has not been declared so by the High Court or the Supreme Court. The Court has to state setting out its opinion and the reasons therefor, and refer the same for the decision of the High Court. The High Court passes such order as it deems fit and causes a copy of such order to be sent to the Court making the reference which shall dispose of the case conformably to the said order. The High Court may in its discretion exercise any of the powers conferred on a Court of Appeal by Sections 386, 389, 390 and 391 or on a Court of Session by Section 307 in the case of any proceeding the record of which has been called for by itself or which otherwise comes to its knowledge. If an appeal lies, but an applications for revision has been made to the High Court by any person and the High Court is satisfied that such application was made under the erroneous belief that no appeal lies thereto, the High Court may treat the application for revision as a petition of appeal and deal with the same accordingly.

Under Section 438, provisions have been made for a person who has reason to believe that he may be arrested on an accusation of having committed a non-bailable offence, he may apply to the High Court or the Court of Session for a direction and that Court may if it thinks fit direct that in the event of such arrest, the person shall be released on bail on such conditions which the Court may include in such directions.

Bail may be taken when any person other than a person accused of a non-bailable offence, is arrested or detained without warrant by an officer-in-charge of a police station or is brought before a Court, and is prepared at anytime while in custody or at any stage of the proceedings before such Court to give bail, such person shall be released on bail. Such police officer or the Court if it thinks fit may instead of taking bail from such person discharge him on executing a bond without sureties for his appearance as may be required (Section 436). In case any surety becomes insolvent or dies, the Court by whose order such bond was taken, or a Magistrate (First class) may order the person from whom such security was demanded to furnish, fresh security in accordance with the directions of the original order. (Section 447)

 

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