Framing of Charge in CRPC

By Team Legal Helpline India, September 29, 2019

Process of criminal trial and framing of charge in CRPC explained by an expert criminal lawyer briefly. Contact us for online legal advice on criminal laws by expert criminal lawyer for online legal advice.

Framing of charge in CRPC Explained

Framing of charge in CRPC is an important adjunct mandating and regulating the criminal trial of a case . CRPC as the name suggests, regulates the entire process of a criminal trial before a criminal court. Framing of charge in CRPC is defined under chapter XVII of the CRPC mainly starting from Section 211 up to Section 228.

Section 211 of the CRPC which reads as under:

“211. Contents of charge.

(1) Every charge under this Code shall state the offense with which the accused is charged.

(2) If the law which creates the offense gives it any specific- name, the offense may be described in the charge by that name only.

(3) If the law which creates the offense does not give it any specific name, so much of the definition of the offense must be stated as to give the accused notice of the matter with which he is charged.

(4) The law and section of the law against which the offense is said to have been committed shall be mentioned in the charge.

(5) The fact that the charge is made is equivalent to a statement that every legal condition required by law to constitute the offense charged was fulfilled in the particular case.

(6) The charge shall be written in the language of the Court.

(7) If the accused, having been previously convicted of any offense, is liable, by reason of such previous conviction, to enhanced punishment, or to punishment of a different kind, for a subsequent offense, and it is intended to prove such previous conviction for the purpose of affecting the punishment which the Court may think fit to award for the subsequent offense, the fact, date and place of the previous conviction shall be stated in the charge; and if such statement has been omitted, the Court may add it at any time before sentence is passed. Illustrations

(a) A is charged with the murder of B. This is equivalent to a statement that A’ s act fell within the definition of murder given in sections 299 and 300 of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860 ); that it did not fall within any of the general exceptions of the said Code; and that it did not fall within any of the five exceptions to section 300, or that, if it did fall within Exception 1, one or other of the three provisos to that exception applied to it.

(b) A is charged under section 326 of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860 ), with voluntarily causing grievous hurt to B by means of an instrument for shooting. This is equivalent to a statement that the case was not provided for by section 335 of the said Code-, and that the general exceptions did not apply to it.

(c) A is accused of murder, cheating, theft, extortion, adultery or criminal intimidation, or using a false property- mark. The charge may state that A committed murder, or cheating, or theft, or extortion, or adultery, or criminal intimidation, or that he used a false property- mark, without reference to the definitions of those crimes contained in the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860 ); but the sections under which the offense is punishable must, in each instance, be referred to in the charge.

(d) A is charged under section 184 of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860 ) with intentionally obstructing a sale of property offered for sale by the lawful authority of a public servant. The charge should be in those words.”

Section 212 of CRPC also deals with framing of charge in CRPC which reads as under:

“Particulars as to time, place and person-

The charge shall contain such particulars as to the time and place of the alleged offence, and the person (if any) against whom, or the thing (if any) in respect of which, it was committed, as are reasonably sufficient to give the accused notice of the matter with which he is charged.

When the accused is charged with criminal breach of trust or dishonest misappropriation of money or other moveable property, it shall be sufficient to specify the gross sum or, as the case may be, described the movable property in respect of which the offense is alleged to have been committed, and the dates between which the offence is alleged to have been committed, without specifying particular items or exact dates, and the charge so framed shall be deemed to be a charge of one offense within the meaning of section 219:

Provided that the time included between the first and last of such dates shall not exceed one year.”

STAGES OF FRAMING OF CHARGE IN CRPC:

Framing of charge in CRPC is at the stage when the police has completed its investigation and submitted the charge sheet alleging the offense against the accused person. The court thereafter scrutinizes the charge sheet and proposes to frame charge against the accused person.

This is so done as the charge serves the purpose of notice or intimation to the accused, drawn up according to the specific language of the law, giving clear and unambiguous or precise notice of the nature of accusation that the accused is called upon to meet in the course of the trial. Framing of charge in CRPC thus makes the clarity on the charges on which the accused is to be tried before the court and prosecution are to lead the evidence on it. For a criminal trial, one needs the services of an expert criminal lawyer.

The entire chapter XVII deals with framing of charge in CRPC and narrates the eventualities described to deal with the charge by the court. The Section 211 deals with the contents of the charge, Section 212 deals with the particulars as to time, place and person of the charge, Section 213 deals with the manner of committing offense and mandates that the same should be specifically mentioned during the framing of charge in CRPC.

Section 214 further prescribes that the words in charge are to be taken in sense of law under which offense is punishable, Section 215 deals with the effects of error in framing of charge and Section 216 mandates that court may alter charge at any stage of the criminal trial and recall the witnesses when charge is altered by the court. The Section 218 or CRPC further mandates that separate charges should be framed for distinct offenses.

Further Section 228 deals with framing of charge in CRPC by Court of Sessions.

REASONS FOR FRAMING OF CHARGE IN CRPC:

CRPC prescribes the framing of charges and various eventualities attached to the trial of a criminal case. Under the law, the object of the framing of charge in CRPC is to give clear notice to the accused persons about the definite charges under which he is going to be tried by the court.

Framing of charge in CRPC is very important as the necessary information on the charges is conveyed to him and no prejudice is caused to him because of the charges, the accused cannot succeed by merely showing that the charges framed were defective.  

It has been however been established by the courts that mere a defect in the charge is no ground for setting aside a conviction.  It is also established that while framing of charge in CRPC the judge has to only take a prima facie view whether the charges are made out against the accused or not on the mere reading of the allegations.

The judge has to confine to documents referred to under Section 173, i.e. the documents filed along with the charge sheet.

ATTENTION:

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