Section 236 CrPC: Previous Conviction – Code of Criminal Procedure

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Section 236 CrPC: Previous Conviction

This section deals with the situation when a person is already convicted of an offense and is facing another trial for a different offense.

1. Code

Section 236. Previous conviction.- Where, in any inquiry, trial or appeal, the question arises whether the accused person has been previously convicted of any offence, the Court may, if it thinks fit, order the accused person to be brought before it and to be examined upon oath, or to produce any document in his possession or power, and may, for the purpose of such examination or production, issue a summons or warrant in the manner hereinafter provided.

2. Explanation

  • This section empowers the court to inquire about previous convictions of the accused in a case.
  • This inquiry is relevant when the previous conviction impacts the current case, such as in sentencing or determining the accused’s character.
  • The court has discretion to decide whether to order such an inquiry.
  • The accused can be examined under oath or asked to produce relevant documents.
  • The court can issue summons or warrant to ensure the accused’s presence for the inquiry.

3. Illustration

A person is being tried for theft. The prosecution wants to prove that the accused is a habitual thief with previous convictions for similar offenses. The court can use Section 236 to inquire about the accused’s past convictions and use this information to determine the sentence.

4. Common Questions and Answers

Q: What is the purpose of Section 236?

A: To allow the court to inquire about the accused’s previous convictions to determine their character and sentence.

Also Read  CrPC Section 229: Conviction on Plea of Guilty - Explained

Q: Is the court obligated to order an inquiry under Section 236?

A: No, the court has discretion to decide if an inquiry is necessary.

Q: How is the accused’s previous conviction proved?

A: Through documents like certified copies of the conviction order or by examining the accused.

Q: Can the accused refuse to answer questions about their previous convictions?

A: The accused can refuse to answer, but their refusal can be considered by the court.

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