Procedures followed by a Magistrate in the Trail of a Warrant Case under Indian Criminal Laws

Under the old Code, this duty was cast on the Police; now under the present Code, the duty to ensure that the documents referred to above are supplied has been cast on the Magistrate, instead of on the Police.

If, after considering the Police Report and other documents, and after examining the accused, and after giving the prosecution and the accused an opportunity of being heard in the matter, the Magistrate considers that the charge preferred against the accused is groundless, he must discharge him and record his reasons for doing so.

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If, on the other hand, the Magistrate is of the opinion that there is ground for presuming that the accused has committed an offence which can be tried under this Chapter, and which the Magistrate is competent to try, and which in his opinion, can be adequately punished by him, he must frame a charge in writing against the accused. This charge must then be read and explained to the accused, and he must be asked whether he pleads guilty of the offence which he is charged with, or whether he claims to be tried.

If the accused pleads guilty, the Magistrate must record his plea, and the Magistrate may, in his discretion, convict him on such plea.

If, however, the accused refuses to plead, or does not plead, or claims to be tried, or if the Magistrate does not convict him despite pleading guilty, the Magistrate must fix a date for the examination of witnesses. On the application of the prosecution, the Magistrate may issue a summons to any of the prosecution witnesses, directing such persons to attend, or to produce any document or other thing on the date so fixed.

The Magistrate must then proceed to take all such evidence as may be produced in support of the prosecution. The Magistrate may also permit the cross-examination of any witness to be postponed until other witness or witnesses have been examined.

The next step is that the accused must be called upon to enter his defence and produce his evidence. If the accused submits any written statement, the Magistrate must file it with the record. If, after entering his defence, the accused applies to the Magistrate to issue the process for compelling the attendance of any witnesses for the purpose of examination or cross-examination, or for the production of any document or other thing, the Magistrate must issue such process, unless he feels that such an application should be refused on the ground that it is made for the purpose of vexation, or for delaying or defeating the ends of justice. Before summoning any witness as aforesaid, the Magistrate may also require that the reasonable expenses incurred by the witnesses for attending the trial should be deposited in the Court.