Section 248 CrPC: Acquittal or Conviction – Code of Criminal Procedure

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Section 248 CrPC: Acquittal or Conviction

This section of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) deals with the pronouncement of the judgment by the Magistrate or Judge in a criminal trial.

1. Code:

Section 248 CrPC:

“When, upon consideration of all the evidence, the Magistrate or Judge is of opinion that the accused is not guilty of the offence charged, he shall acquit him; but if he is of opinion that the accused is guilty, he shall convict him.”

2. Explanation:

  • This section outlines the two possible outcomes of a criminal trial: **acquittal** or **conviction.**
  • The Magistrate or Judge, after examining all the evidence presented during the trial, decides whether the accused is guilty or not.
  • If the Judge finds **insufficient evidence** to prove the accused’s guilt beyond reasonable doubt, they must **acquit** the accused.
  • However, if the Judge is convinced that the accused committed the crime, they must **convict** the accused.

3. Illustration:

Imagine a case where a person is accused of theft. During the trial, the prosecution presents evidence like witness statements and CCTV footage. However, the defense presents a strong alibi, proving the accused was elsewhere during the time of the crime. The Judge, after considering all the evidence, finds the prosecution’s case weak and insufficient to prove guilt beyond reasonable doubt. In this scenario, the Judge will **acquit** the accused.

4. Common Questions and Answers:

  • Q: What is the burden of proof in a criminal trial?
  • A: The burden of proof lies with the prosecution. They must prove the accused’s guilt beyond reasonable doubt. This means the evidence presented must be so strong that there is no reasonable possibility of the accused being innocent.
  • Q: Can the accused be convicted without a trial?
  • A: No. Section 248 CrPC explicitly states that the Judge must consider all evidence before deciding on acquittal or conviction. This means a trial is essential to determine guilt or innocence.
  • Q: What happens after an acquittal?
  • A: An acquittal means the accused is deemed not guilty of the charges. They are free to leave and cannot be retried for the same offense.
  • Q: What happens after a conviction?
  • A: A conviction means the accused is found guilty of the crime. The Judge will then proceed to pronounce the sentence, which may include imprisonment, fines, or other penalties.
Also Read  Section 251 CrPC: Substance of Accusation - Code of Criminal Procedure
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