This article on ‘CHARGE UNDER CRPC, 1973‘ is written by Jayansh, a 2nd year student from Manipal University, Jaipur and an intern at Legal Upanishad.
In this short article, we will discuss the salient provisions of the criminal procedure code of 1973. The main idea of this article is around “charge under CrPC”, in other words, the article gives you an idea about what does “charge” means under this code, what are the provisions related to it, what is the purpose of framing charges against someone, what happens when a person is held accountable of the charges, the article also provides you what are the exception given to the person of the charges and what situation constitutes an exception and what is the withdrawal of the charge because it further helps in a fair trial in the matter related to criminal “ charges”.
WHAT IS THE CHARGE UNDER CrPC??
The term “charge” is mentioned under section 2[b] of the criminal procedure code, 1973. In simple words, it means on what grounds or rules the person is accused of violation of a crime. The idea of “charge” is to give clear information to the accused person that what is the nature of the crime he or she has committed. Based on the charges further proceedings, an investigation is held.
WHAT ARE THE PROVISIONS RELATED TO CHARGE UNDER CrPC
Some provisions specifically talk about what is a procedure, and rules related to the term “charge”. This is mentioned under chapter 17 of the CrPC, 1973. If we talk about Sections 211 to 214 of the code the given information the sections is related to “contents of charges”.
The charge under CrPC shall contain the name of the offence, and if the law does not provide a specific name, so much of the definition of the offence must be stated, the law and section of the law against offence have been committed, the charge under CrPC shall be written in the language of the court. If the accused was previously convicted of any offence, is liable by such reason of such previous conviction, to enhance punishment or to a punishment of a different kind, it is intended to prove that the punishment of subsequent offence was affecting to it.
The charge under CrPC made against the accused should include the time and place of the offence and the person against the offence who has been committed.
The manner of committing the offence should be mentioned in the “charge” as it will be sufficient for the purpose.
In the charge under CrPC, the words used in describing the offence shall be deemed to have been used in the sense attached to them respectively by the law under which offence is punishable.
There should be no error in either stating the offence or the particulars required to be stated in the charge and no offence to state the offence or those particulars, shall be regarded at any stage of the case as material unless the accused was mislead by such error or omission, and it has occasioned a failure of justice.
Any court can alter or add to any charge before the judgment is announced and every alternation made in the charge shall be read and explained to the accused.
Whenever something is altered in charge, the prosecutor and the accused is allowed to recall and examine concerning such alter made in the charge any witness who was examined during the trial, also to call any further witness that can be considered to be material in the related matter.
If a person is accused of two separate offences, there shall be a separate charge and for every such charge there shall be a separate trial.
EXCEPTIONS TO THE BASIC RULE OF CHARGE UNDER CrPC
There are some exceptions in some conditions or situations that can change the given sections above in the matter of charge under CrPC.
It is mentioned in this section if an individual is accused of more offences than one; but he has not crossed the limit of three; and the committed offences are same in the nature within 1 year; the accused can be charged and tried just in 1 trial for all the offences he has committed.
Section 220 states that when the person is accused and it can be one and more than the number of offences in the matter related to criminal breach of trust, dishonest misappropriation the person can be tried on only 1 trial for such crimes and according to section 220 if a person is accused is charged and the definition of the charge under CrPC is falling under different definitions under the law the person can be tried a 1 trial for all the crimes.
Another exception is given in section 220 if the acts committed by the accused is more than one and one of them can be considered as an offence and in the situation of combining it with other acts it constitutes a different offence mentioned in the law the person can be tried in one trial for all the offences he has committed.
If a single act or series of acts is ambiguous in coming to the conclusion under which offence the person can be charged and to the extent of committing all the acts, the person can be tried in one trial for the entire situation.
In such case, the person is charged with one offence and by looking into the evidence that it can be the case that he has committed more than one offence, he can be convicted of the offence which he is shown to have committed, although the person was not charged with it.
Section 223 provides some rules for charge under CrPC, which the persons committing the offence can be tried together.
1. If the committed offence is the same and the course of the transaction is the same.
2. The offence committed by the accused and attempt of committing such.
3. The number of offences is more than one but same in the nature and committed in 1 year.
4. Different offences committed by the person, in the same course of the transaction.
5. If the person is accused of offence including cheating, theft, criminal misappropriation, and the offence of a property that is concealed.
6. If the person is accused of following sections of IPC 411,414.
When the person is charged with more than one offence and a few of the conditions when combined and constitutes as a minor offence. As a result of that, the person can be charged with the same offence; but although on the first glance he was not charged with it. In the situation of a person being accused of some offence and he can also be charged with attempting such offence.
WITHDRAWAL OF THE CHARGE UNDER CrPC
There are some provisions related to withdrawal of the charge under CrPC; but under some conditions, when a charge containing more heads than one is framed against the same person; and when a conviction has been had on one or more of them; the complaint or the officer conducting the prosecution may wit the consent of the court can drop off the remaining charges on the same person.
The current idea of criminal trials is based around “charge”. So, there should be proper care and focus on the process when you are framing “charges” against a person. The evidence that is relevant in the factor of framing “charges” against someone should be examined very carefully because someone can temper the evidence and as result of that an innocent person can be held guilty of the “charges”. The main purpose of the law will be defeated.
The punishment of the crime should be according to the nature of the act, not according to what the other party wants. There shall be a fair trial based on the charges. Life is precious so it should be taken away from someone only in the rarest of rare chances.
As a result of all the above-mentioned sections we can conclude that “ charge” is the basis of a criminal trial. The mentioned charge under CrPC should be specific and in the language of the court. It should also include particulars as to time, place and the person against offence has been committed. If the number of crimes committed is more than once and; the nature of all the crimes is the same; there can be one trial for all of these to function smoothly and save the time of the court. In framing a charge based upon, the court needs to pay attention to those documents.
The provisions dealing with charges do not specify that who is responsible to frame the charges, but the provisions provide or imply that it is always the court responsible for it. Furthermore, the court can alter the charge before announcing the judgment. In the situation of altering the charge the prosecutor and accused shall be allowed to re-summon reference to such alteration.
- Nayak, s. (2013, August 13). India: Framing Of Charges: An Overview. Retrieved from Mondaq Ltd: https://www.mondaq.com/india/crime/257582/framing-of-charges-an-overview
2. Garg, r. (2021, March 17). All you need to know about ‘charge’ under the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973. Retrieved from Ipleaders: https://blog.ipleaders.in/need-know-charge-criminal-procedure-code-1973/#:~:text=A%20charge%20is%20defined%20under%20Section%202%20%28b%29,one%20head.%20The%20case%20of%20V.C%20Shukla%20v.