CrPC Section 218: Separate Charges for Distinct Offences – Explained

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CrPC Section 218: Separate Charges for Distinct Offences

1. Code

Section 218: Separate Charges for Distinct Offences

(1) When a person is accused of more than one offence, he shall be charged separately for each offence, unless the offences are of such a nature that they can be conveniently tried together.

(2) When offences are of such a nature that they can be conveniently tried together, the Court may, if it thinks fit, order them to be tried together.

2. Explanation

This section of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) deals with the situation when a person is accused of committing multiple offences. It outlines the procedure for charging and trying such individuals.

The general rule is that a person should be charged separately for each offence they are accused of. However, there is an exception to this rule. If the offences are “of such a nature that they can be conveniently tried together”, the court may order them to be tried together.

The decision on whether or not to try offences together is ultimately left to the discretion of the court.

3. Illustration

Imagine a person is accused of robbery and assault.

  • If the robbery and assault are connected events, the court might decide to try them together.
  • However, if the robbery took place in Delhi and the assault occurred in Mumbai, the court might decide to try them separately.

This is because the offences are geographically distinct and trying them together could lead to confusion.

4. Common Questions and Answers

Q: What does “conveniently tried together” mean?

A: This phrase is not defined in the CrPC. However, courts have interpreted it to mean that the offences should have a common element, such as the same victim, location, or time period.

Also Read  CrPC Section 197: Prosecution of Judges & Public Servants - Explained

Q: Who decides whether or not to try offences together?

A: The court has the final say in this decision.

Q: What are the benefits of trying offences together?

A: Trying offences together can be more efficient and cost-effective. It also avoids the need for multiple trials, which can be stressful for victims and witnesses.

Q: What are the drawbacks of trying offences together?

A: If the offences are complex or unrelated, trying them together could lead to confusion and prejudice.

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