Contents of a Charge

Contents of a Charge

Sections 221 to 224 specify the particulars that should be stated in the charge. Particulars are      as follows:

# Particulars as to the time and place of the alleged offence, and the person (if any) against whom, or the thing (if any) in respect of which, it was committed.

# Statement of the offence with which the accused is charged.

# Particulars of the manner in which the alleged offence was committed, when the particular of nature of the case do not give the accused sufficient notice of the matter with which he is charged.

#A statement of law and the section of the law against which the offence is said to have been committed.

#If the law which creates the offence does not give it any specific name so much of the definition of the offence must be stated as to give the accused notice of the matter with which he is charged.

#The previous convictions of the accused, if any, where such conviction is sought to be proved at the trial.

#In case of particular offences such as criminal breach of trust of dishonest misappropriation of money, the dates between which the offence is alleged to have been committed and the gross amount involved, together with such particulars as may be necessary to give the accused notice of the manner in which the offence was committed, should also be given.

Form and requirements

  1. The charge should be precise but should give the necessary particulars required by law.
  2. Every charge shall state the offence with which the accused is charged.
  3. The charge shall be written either in English or in the language of the Court.
  4. For every distinct offence of which any person is accused there shall be a separate charge and every such charge shall be tried separately.
  5. The law and section of the law against which the offence is said to have been committed shall be mentioned in the charge.
  6. The court framing charge should avoid all unnecessary words. Abbreviations or recondite words should as far as possible be also avoided.
  7. An omission, defect or error in the charge which does not prejudice or mislead the accused and does not result in any failure of justice cannot be regarded as material.

Illustration

 (a) A is charged, under section 326 of the penal Code with voluntarily causing grievous hurt to B by means of an instrument for shooting. This is equivalent to a statement that the case was not provided for by section 335 of the penal Code and that the general exceptions did not apply to it.

 (b)A is accused of murder, cheating, theft, extortion, adultery or criminal intimidation, or using a false property mark. The charge may state that A committed murder or cheating or theft, or extortion or adultery or criminal intimidation or that he used a false property mark, without reference to the definitions of those crimes contained in the Penal Code; but the sections under which the offence is punishable must, in each instance be referred to in the charge.

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