The word Faujdari is a Persian word. Originally Fauj is an Arabic word and Dari is a Persian word. A criminal case refers to the provision of criminal prosecution for doing or not doing what is considered a crime in the eyes of the law.
We common people understand criminal cases better than faujdari cases. Today’s discussion will cover how a criminal case can be filed and how these cases are tried in different courts.
Types of criminal case
Criminal cases can generally be in two ways. Police station and court. There is a provision in the law to take cases to the police station for those crimes which are serious.
Besides, there is also a provision in the law to file a case with the magistrate even if the police station does not take the case.
The cases which are filed in the police station are called G.R Cases (General Registered Cases) and the cases which are filed in court or Magistrate are called C.R Cases (Complaint Registered Cases).
Dear reader, what are G.R. and C.R. cases? We have a previous discussion on that. If you want to know more about GR and CR cases before reading this whole article then read the previous article given in the link.
In which court is the trial of criminal cases?
Criminal cases are tried in two ordinary courts. Magistrate’s Court and Court of Session. Basically, criminal cases are tried in these two courts according to the Code of Criminal Procedure.
Now another question may come to Magistrate Court and Sessions Court. Before this, we have another discussion about the constitution and judicial powers of these two criminal courts. If you have no idea about these two courts, please read the previous discussion by clicking on the link.
Proceedings in the Magistrate’s Court
The code of Criminal Procedure is a complete set of rules that define how criminal cases are to be conducted or tried.
When the Magistrate Court receives a complaint, it may order a search/investigation on merits if doubts arise as to the veracity of the case.
Or if there is no doubt about the case, the court may directly take cognizance of the case and issue a direct summons/warrant of arrest to the accused as per the provisions mentioned in column 4 of the 2nd Schedule to the Code of Criminal Procedure.
After that, if the defendant appears, the case will start trial itself according to the judicial power or send it to another court for trial.
If the case is within the jurisdiction of the Magistrate’s Court itself, the Magistrate’s Court shall initiate the formal trial by framing the charge or framing the complaint.
Another point is important to discuss here. During the preliminary hearing to frame the charge, the Magistrate Court can discharge the accused from the case if it so wishes.
When did the defendant discharge from the case?
Section 241(A) of the Code of Criminal Procedure states that, while framing the charge, the Magistrate, after considering the case record and other documents of the case and hearing the counsel for the accused, if the court is of the opinion that there is no sufficient cause to proceed against the accused person, then the accused person can be discharged from the case.
However, according to the provisions of the law, the court will not consider any documents or papers given by the defendant in the application for relief.
Framing of Charges and Taking of Evidence
Now if the Magistrate on consideration of the documents of the case feels that there is sufficient reason to suspect that the accused has committed the offense, he shall frame the formal charge against the accused for the offense.
At the time of framing the charge, the court basically asks the accused whether he admits the time, date, place, and the persons against whom the crime has been charged.
The accused may or may not plead guilty at this stage. If the accused pleads guilty, the court will sentence the accused under section 243 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
If the accused does not plead guilty at the time of framing of charges, the Magistrate will begin taking the prosecution’s witnesses.
Moreover, the defense testimony of the accused will also be accepted at this stage.
After receiving all the evidence, the magistrate court will judge the merits of the case and acquit the accused if proven innocent or sentence him if proven guilty.
Proceedings of cases in Sessions Courts
The trial process of the Court of Session is almost the same as the trial process of the Magistrate’s Court.
However, separate sections of the Code of Criminal Procedure provide for the proceedings of the Magistrate’s Court and the Sessions Court.
Generally, PP or public prosecutor conducts the case on behalf of the government in the session court.
Sections 265(a) to 265(k) of the Code of Criminal Procedure deal with how a case should be tried in a Sessions Court.
Sessions Courts usually do not take cognizance of any case. It is only a judicial court.
The Magistrate takes ordinary cases into consideration. That is after the Magistrate’s Court has taken cognizance of a case and is ready for trial, if the Judicial Court is a Sessions Court in the 8th column of the 2nd Schedule of the Code of Criminal Procedure, then the Magistrate will send the case to the Sessions Court for framing charges.
All the proceedings till the framing of charges are done by the Magistrate Court and this is the pre-trial process.
When a case is transferred from a Magistrate’s Court to a Sessions Court, Section 265(c) of the Code of Criminal Procedure provides that if the court after the preliminary hearing is of the opinion that there is no sufficient cause to proceed against the accused, he may acquit the accused.
The Sessions Court, like the Magistrate’s Court, if it finds that there is sufficient reason to believe that the accused has committed the offense charged, shall frame the charge or complaint.
The process of framing charges in the Sessions Court is also the same as that of the Magistrate’s Court.
If the accused pleads guilty then the session court will punish her accordingly and if he does not plead guilty then the trial court will start taking the evidence of the plaintiff.
Then the court will accept the testimony of the defendant. Both sides will argue the merits of the case after taking the evidence of both sides.
After the argument, the court will acquit or convict. After the court takes the testimony of the plaintiff/state party and after hearing the statement of the defendant, if there is no evidence that the defendant has committed the crime, the court will acquit the defendant.
Or if the State cannot produce the witnesses, the accused will be acquitted under Section 265(h).
Time to disposal of criminal cases
Section 339(c) of the Code of Criminal Procedure states that the Magistrate shall complete the trial of the case within 180 days of receiving it for trial.
And the Sessions Courts shall dispose of the case within 360 days of its receipt for trial.
Although there is this provision in the law, the actual picture is completely different. We often find that no case is settled before five to ten years.
In this case, it is said in the same section that if the court cannot complete the trial of the case within the mentioned period, then the court can grant bail to the accused under the non-bailable section subject to satisfaction.
Provisions for taking evidence in court
When the court takes evidence in a case, it must take evidence in the presence of the accused. If the accused is detained in jail at that time, then he must be present in court.
Or if on bail the accused must be present.
In the above discussion, I have tried to give some idea about how a criminal case is normally tried in Magistrate Court and Sessions Court.
However, there are many other issues that need to be discussed in this article. These issues will be discussed step by step later. Thank you.
Watch on video: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzKL7AcBsC06qCPb3sEKX4Q