Section 255 CrPC: Acquittal or Conviction – Code of Criminal Procedure

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Section 255 CrPC: Acquittal or Conviction

This section of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) deals with the judgment pronounced by the court after trial in a criminal case. It outlines the procedures for acquittal or conviction of the accused.

1. Code:

Section 255 CrPC:

(1) If, upon consideration of the evidence, the Magistrate or Court is of opinion that the accused is guilty of the offence of which he is accused, it shall convict him and pass sentence according to law.

(2) If, upon consideration of the evidence, the Magistrate or Court is of opinion that the accused is not guilty of the offence of which he is accused, it shall acquit him.

2. Explanation:

Section 255 lays down the two primary outcomes of a criminal trial:

  • Conviction: When the court finds the accused guilty, it convicts them and imposes a sentence according to the law. This means the court finds that the prosecution has proven the accused’s guilt beyond reasonable doubt.
  • Acquittal: If the court finds the accused not guilty, it acquits them. This implies that the prosecution failed to prove the accused’s guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

3. Illustration:

Let’s say a person is accused of theft. After the trial, the court examines the evidence presented by both the prosecution and the defense. If the court finds that the evidence proves beyond reasonable doubt that the accused committed theft, it will convict them and sentence them according to the law, such as imprisonment or a fine. However, if the evidence is insufficient to prove the accused’s guilt, the court will acquit them.

Also Read  CrPC Section 319: Power to Proceed Against Other Persons Appearing Guilty of Offence

4. Common Questions and Answers:

  • Q: What is the standard of proof required for conviction?A: The prosecution must prove the accused’s guilt beyond reasonable doubt. This means the evidence presented should be convincing and leave no room for any reasonable doubt about the accused’s guilt.
  • Q: Can the court convict an accused based on suspicion or probability?A: No. The court can only convict an accused based on concrete evidence that establishes their guilt beyond reasonable doubt. Mere suspicion or probability is not enough.
  • Q: What happens if the court is unable to reach a conclusion about the guilt or innocence of the accused?A: In such cases, the court may order a retrial or may acquit the accused due to lack of sufficient evidence.
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