CrPC Section 240: Framing of Charge – Explained

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CrPC Section 240: Framing of Charge – Explained

1. State the Code

Section 240 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (CrPC) deals with the framing of charges against an accused person.

2. Explanation

This section outlines the procedure for the Magistrate to frame charges against the accused after the prosecution has presented its evidence and the accused has had the opportunity to respond.

  • The Magistrate examines the evidence presented by the prosecution and considers the accused’s response.
  • If the Magistrate finds sufficient grounds to proceed against the accused, they will frame the charges, specifying the offenses alleged against the accused.
  • The charges must be read out to the accused in a language they understand, and the accused is given the opportunity to plead guilty or not guilty.

3. Illustration

Imagine a case where a person is accused of theft. The prosecution presents evidence, including witness testimony and physical evidence, to prove the accused’s involvement in the theft. After the defense presents its case, the Magistrate reviews the evidence and determines if there is sufficient ground to proceed. If the Magistrate finds sufficient ground, they would frame charges against the accused, specifying the offense of theft, and read the charges to the accused.

4. Common Questions and Answers

What is the significance of framing charges?

Framing charges marks a crucial stage in the criminal justice process. It formalizes the accusations against the accused, defining the specific offenses they are alleged to have committed. This allows the accused to understand the charges against them and prepare their defense.

Also Read  Section 399 CrPC: Sessions Judge's Revision Powers - Code of Criminal Procedure

What happens if the Magistrate finds insufficient grounds to frame charges?

If the Magistrate does not find sufficient grounds to frame charges, they will discharge the accused. This means that the accused is released from the case and the prosecution cannot proceed.

Can the accused plead guilty at this stage?

Yes, the accused has the right to plead guilty at the stage of framing charges. If the accused pleads guilty, the Magistrate will proceed to determine the sentence based on the guilty plea.

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