Different Stages of Criminal Trial.

1. First Information Report: (FIR) U/S 154 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, A First Information Report is registered. A FIR is information given by someone (complainant) to the police relating to an offense.

2. Investigation:  The purpose of a criminal investigation is to gather evidence to identify a suspect and support an arrest. Probable causeis the standard of proof required for a search. Probable cause means there are facts or apparent facts indicating that evidence of criminality can be found in a specific place.

3. Arrest of a suspect by the police:  An arrest involves taking a person into custody for the purpose of holding the suspect until court. Probable cause is the legal requirement for an arrest. It means that there is a reasonable link between a specific person and a particular crime.

4. Charges: If after considering the charge sheet and other important documents the accused is not discharged then the court frames CHARGES.

Criminal Trial

5. Plea of guilty: Section 241 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 talks about the plea of guilty, after framing of the charges the accused is given an opportunity to plead guilty, and the responsibility lies with the judge to ensure that the plea of guilt was voluntarily made. The judge may upon its discretion convict the accused.

6. Prosecution evidence: After the charges are framed, then the court requires the prosecution to produce evidence to prove the guilt of the accused. The prosecution is required to support their evidence with statements from its witnesses. This process is called “examination in chief”. The magistrate has the power to issue summons to any person as a witness or orders him to produce any document.

7. Statement of the accused: Section 313 of the Criminal Procedure Code gives an opportunity to the accused to be heard and explain the facts and circumstances of the case. The statements of accused are not recorded under oath and can be used against him in the trial.

8. Defence evidence: An opportunity is given to the accused in a case where he is not being acquitted to produce so as to defend his case. The defense can produce both oral and documentary evidence. In India, since the burden of proof is on the prosecution, in general, is not required to give any defense evidence.

9. Judgement: The final decision of the court with reasons given in support of the acquittal or conviction of the accused is known as judgement. In case the accused is acquitted, the prosecution is given time to appeal against the order of the court. When the person is convicted, then both sides are invited to give arguments on the punishment which is to be awarded. This is usually done when the person is convicted of an offense whose punishment is life imprisonment or capital punishment.

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