Trial steps (Criminal Procedure)
The person who listens to the criminal cases as presented by police or by any other party (i.e victim or his/her relatives) is known as “Magistrate” (Judge). Before the start of a trial (Criminal) the magistrate takes cognizance of the offence in different three ways, which are mentioned in section 190 of the criminal procedure code and are as follow:
- upon complaint.
- upon police report or FIR
- upon information of any person other than police.
A trial is conducted by the magistrate in accordance with the following procedure provided in CrPC.
1. Submission of charge sheet or challan or inquiry report:
The procedure in court for conducting a trial of an offence begins after the inquiry or investigation. Under section 173 CrPC, the police officer made charge sheet which is also known as challan or completion report, and forward the same through public prosecutor to the magistrate who has jurisdiction for conducting the trial.
2. Commencement of proceeding:
According to section 204, if in the opinion of the court taking cognizance of an offence, there are sufficient grounds for proceedings, then if the case appears a summon case, summon shall be issued for the attendance of accused, and if the case appears a warrant case, a warrant may be issued for causing the accused to be brought before the court.
3. Procedure in trial of a case
According to chapter 20 of the CrPC, section 241-A states that the court shall supply free of cost all statements and documents to the accused, not less than seven days before the commencement of trial.
4. Charge to be framed.
According to sections 242 and 243 CrPC, when the accused appears or is brought before the magistrate, a formal charge shall be framed relating to the offence of which he is accused. And he shall be asked whether he pleads guilty or not, If he pleads guilty, his admission shall be recorded in words used by him. If the accused says “I do not plead guilty I claim trial”, then the court is bound to proceed according to law by examining the witnesses of the prosecution and defence.
5. Examination of witnesses:
According to section 244, the magistrate shall on the application of complainant or accused, issue summon to any witness directing him to attend or to produce any documents or materials.
So firstly it is the duty of complainant to call his witnesses for recording evidence under section 164 CrPC, for the purpose of proving his allegations, which he has imposed on accused.
Secondly, the magistrate is bound to examine all the witnesses produced by the accused in his defence.
At the time of recording statement of every witness, the following are the rights of either party:-
- To examine-in-chief, the witness, “the party who call it”
- To cross-examine, ” every witness of adverse party”.
- To re-examine the witness, ” the party who called it if necessary”.
6. An opportunity to the accused of giving statement.
At this stage of the trial the court gives an opportunity to the accused, that if he wants to prove himself innocent, he may record his statement in this behalf.
According to section 340 subsection 2 of CrPC, Any person accused of an offence before a criminal court, such accused if he does not plead guilty may record his statement on oath in disproof of the charges or allegations levelled against him, and after this, the accused shall be cross-examined by the prosecution.
The accused should be at liberty at all times to be defended by a pleader, and at this stage of the trial, the pleader of the accused and public prosecutor may give their arguments in respect of legal and factual questions involved in the case.
8. Order of acquittal or sentence.
According to section 245 CrPC, if the magistrate upon taking the evidence referred in section (244), and such further evidence if any, and after examining the accused, finds the accused not guilty, the magistrate shall record an order of his acquittal.
Where the magistrate upon taking the evidence referred in section (244), and such further evidence if any, and after examining the accused, finds the accused guilty of an offence, he shall pass a sentence upon him.