Trial of Warrant Case – 5

CONVICTION ON A GUILTY PLEA-

The accused can plead guilty to cut short the procedure of law and reduce the punishment for his offence. The Magistrate records the guilty plea and convicts the accused on his discretion. (Section 241)

EVIDENCE OF PROSECUTION-

Section 242 of CrPC characterizes the procedure with regards to the gathering of evidence against the offender and recording the evidence after examination and cross-examination to vindicate or convict a accused person. In a criminal trial, the case of the state is introduced first. The burden of demonstrating the accused guilty is on the prosecution and the evidence must be beyond a sensible uncertainty. The prosecution can summon witnesses and present other evidence so as to demonstrate the offense and link it to the wrongdoer. This process of demonstrating a accused individual liable by examining witnesses is called examination in chief. The Magistrate has the power to summon any individual as an witness and order him to create any document. State vs Suwa[1], is a case where the orders of the Magistrate to acquit the accused were set aside and a retrial was ordered by sending the case to a District-Magistrate who sent them for a trial to a Magistrate other than the one that tried the case originally.

STEPS IN EVIDENCE PRESENTATION OF PROSECUTION

FIXING DATE FOR THE EXAMINATION OF WITNESSES-

Section 242(1) declares that once the charge is confined and perused to the accused and he doesn’t plead guilty and wishes to continue with the trial, the Magistrate shall fix a date for the examination of witnesses.

EXAMINATION OF WITNESSES-

As per Section 242(2), the Magistrate, on the application of the prosecution, has the power to issue summons to any witnesses and direct them to attend or produce any document or thing relevant to the case. The cross-examination by the defence is permitted by the Magistrate before some different witness has been examined. This is done to ensure that no perjury is committed and the prosecuting witness doesn’t criticize the accused and gets him convicted on false information. Also, that the relevant information can be refused by the defence or further clarified in a defensive manner.

PRESENTATION OF EVIDENCE-

The testimonies of witnesses once they are cross-examined by the defence are considered as evidence. And other documents or relevant things are brought to the Magistrate to connect the accused to the offence. The defence is informed of the evidence introduced and may challenge the evidence as might be considered necessary.

RECORD THE EVIDENCE-

Section 242(3) declares that on the date fixed, the Magistrate will continue to take all pieces of evidence produced in support of the prosecution and record them based on their relevance to the case. The testimonies of witnesses and any evidence provided to demonstrate the accused had committed the offense by the prosecution is recorded by the Magistrate. The Magistrate may allow the cross-examination of any witness to be deferred until any other witness or witnesses have been examined or recall any witness for additional interrogation by the defence.

EVIDENCE FOR THE DEFENCE-

Section 243 of CrPC describes the procedure with regards to collecting and presenting evidence in the defence of the accused. After the prosecution is done with the examination of the witness, the accused may enter his defence in a written statement and the Magistrate shall file it with the record. Or on the other hand defence can be created orally. After the accused has entered his defence, an application might be put to the Magistrate to perform cross-examination of any witness presented by the prosecution. The Magistrate may then summon any witness under Sub-section 2 to be cross-examined by the defence. The prosecution must establish the case beyond a reasonable doubt and if the defence can prove a reasonable doubt then the evidence submitted by the prosecution is not valid and cannot be recorded in court against the accused.


[1] AIR 1962 Raj 134

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