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Procedure to be adopted in Warrant cases instituted

on police report
According to Section 2(x), ‘warrant case’ means a case relating to an offence
punishable with death, imprisonment for life or imprisonment for a term
exceeding two years.
When in any warrant case instituted on a police report, the accused appears or is
brought before a Magistrate at the commencement of the trial, the Magistrate shall
satisfy himself that he has complied with the provisions of Section 207, viz.,
copies of the police report, first information report recorded under Section 154;
the statements recorded by the police, excluding there from any part in regard to
which a request for such exclusion has been made by the police officer, the
confessions and statements, if any, recorded under Section 164 and any other
document or relevant extract thereof forwarded to the Magistrate with the police
report has been furnished to the accused. (Section 238)

If upon consideration of the police report and the documents and making such
examination, if any, of the accused as the Magistrate thinks necessary and after
giving the prosecution and the accused an opportunity of being heard, the
Magistrate considers the charge against the accused to be groundless, he shall
discharge him. (Section 239).

But if, upon such consideration, he is of opinion that there is ground for
presuming that the accused has committed an offence triable under this Chapter
(Chap. XIX), which such Magistrate is competent to try, and which, in his
opinion, could be adequately punished by him, he shall frame in writing a charge
against the accused.

The charge shall be read and explained to the accused and he shall be asked
whether he pleads guilty, or claims to be tried. (Section 240) If the accused pleads
guilty, the Magistrate shall record the plea and may in his discretion, convict him
thereon. If he refuses to plead, or claims to be tried, the Magistrate shall fix a date
for the examination of witnesses. The Magistrate may, on the application of the
prosecution, issue a summons to any of its witnesses directing him to attend or to
produce any document or other thing.

On the date so fixed, the Magistrate shall proceed to take all such evidence as
may be produced in support of the prosecution. The Magistrate may permit the
cross-examination of any witnesses to be deferred until any other witness or
witnesses have been examined; or recall any witness for further cross-
examination. (Section 242)

The accused shall then be called upon to enter upon his defence and produce his
evidence; and if the accused puts in any written statement, the Magistrate shall
file it with the record.

The Magistrate may issue any process for the attendance of any witness for
examination or cross-examination or the production of any document or other
thing, if the accused, after he has entered upon his defense, applies to the
Magistrate. The Magistrate shall not issue such process if he considers that such
application should be refused on the ground that it is made for the purpose of
vexation or delay or for defeating the ends of justice.

The Magistrate shall also not compel the attendance of a witness if the accused
has cross-examined or had the opportunity of cross-examining him before
entering on his defense, unless he is satisfied that it is necessary for the purpose
of justice. The Magistrate may require the deposit of reasonable expenses before
summoning any witness. (Section 243)
If, in any case under this chapter in which a charge has been framed, the
Magistrate finds the accused not guilty, he shall record an order of acquittal.
[Section 248 (1)]

Where in any case under this chapter the Magistrate does not proceed in

accordance with the provision of Section 325 (i .e., where the Magistrate cannot

pass adequate sentence) or Section 360 (where the Magistrate of the second class
not specially empowered by the High Court to exercise the powers relating to
release of convicted offenders on probation of good conduct or after admonition)
he shall if he finds the accused guilty, after hearing the accused on the question
of sentence, pass sentence, upon him according to law. [Section 248 (2)]

Procedure in case of previous convictions.—In a case where a previous


conviction is charged under the provisions of Section 211, sub-section (7), and
the accused does not admit that he has been previously convicted as alleged in
the charge, the Magistrate may, after he has convicted the said accused, take
evidence in respect of the alleged previous conviction, and shall record a finding
thereon, provided that no such charge shall be read out by the Magistrate nor shall
the accused be asked to plead thereto nor shall the previous conviction be referred
to by the prosecution or in any evidence adduced by it, unless and until the
accused has been convicted under sub-section (2). [Section 248 (3) [B. Cases
instituted otherwise than on police report]