Section 245 CrPC: Discharge of Accused – Code of Criminal Procedure


Section 245 CrPC: Discharge of Accused

1. Code:

Section 245 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (CrPC) deals with the discharge of an accused person during a criminal trial.

2. Explanation:

This section empowers the Magistrate to discharge an accused if, after considering the evidence presented by the prosecution, the Magistrate finds that there is “no sufficient ground” to proceed with the trial. This means that the evidence presented is insufficient to establish a prima facie case against the accused. A prima facie case is a case that, on the face of it, appears to be true and sufficient to prove guilt.

3. Illustration:

Consider a case where a person is accused of theft. The prosecution presents evidence like witness statements and CCTV footage, but these are inconsistent and unreliable. The Magistrate, after examining the evidence, finds that it is not strong enough to establish a prima facie case against the accused. In this scenario, the Magistrate can discharge the accused under Section 245 CrPC.

4. Common Questions and Answers:

Q: Can the prosecution appeal against a discharge order?

A: Yes, the prosecution can appeal against a discharge order under Section 245 CrPC. The appeal can be filed before the higher court, which has the power to either uphold the discharge order or set it aside and order a trial.

Q: What is the difference between “discharge” and “acquittal”?

A: Discharge occurs before the trial begins, while acquittal happens after the trial is completed. Discharge means that the accused is released because there is insufficient evidence for a trial, whereas acquittal means that the accused is found not guilty after the trial has taken place.

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Q: Can an accused be discharged in all types of criminal cases?

A: No, Section 245 CrPC does not apply to all criminal cases. This section is only applicable to cases where the Magistrate is the presiding officer and not to cases tried by Sessions Courts or High Courts.


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