Section 220 CrPC: Trial for Multiple Offences – Code of Criminal Procedure

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Section 220 CrPC: Trial for Multiple Offences

1. Code Statement

Section 220 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) deals with the trial of multiple offenses committed by the same person.

2. Explanation

This section lays down the procedure for trying multiple offenses when the accused is charged with more than one offense. It states that:

  • When a person is accused of more than one offense, the Magistrate or Court may try all the offenses together if they are of the same kind and are triable by the same Court.
  • If the offenses are not of the same kind or are not triable by the same Court, the Magistrate or Court may try them separately.
  • The Magistrate or Court can also order the separate trial of any offense, even if it is of the same kind and triable by the same Court, if it is in the interests of justice to do so.

3. Illustration

Imagine a person is accused of both theft and assault. Both offenses are triable by the same Court. According to Section 220, the Court can decide to try both offenses together, or to try them separately. If the Court feels that separating the trials would be fairer or more efficient, it can choose to do so.

4. Common Questions and Answers

Here are some frequently asked questions about Section 220:

  • Q: What does “of the same kind” mean?
  • A: This refers to offenses that are similar in nature, for example, multiple instances of theft or several cases of assault.
  • Q: When would it be in the interests of justice to separate trials?
  • A: This might be the case if the evidence for one offense is complex or requires different witnesses compared to the other offense, or if there is a risk of prejudicing the accused in a joint trial.
  • Q: Can the accused choose to be tried separately for different offenses?
  • A: The accused does not have an absolute right to separate trials. It is the Magistrate or Court that ultimately decides.
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