Section 256 CrPC: Non-Appearance or Death of Complainant – Code of Criminal Procedure

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Section 256 CrPC: Non-Appearance or Death of Complainant

This section deals with the situation where the complainant in a criminal case is absent or has died during the trial.

1. Code

Section 256 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973

2. Explanation

The section states that if the complainant in a case is absent or has died, the Magistrate can still proceed with the case if:

  • The offence is non-compoundable
  • The Magistrate considers that the evidence already recorded is sufficient to proceed with the case.

The Magistrate can also issue a warrant for the arrest of the accused or summon the accused to appear before the court if the Magistrate thinks it is necessary.

3. Illustration

Imagine a case where ‘A’ files a complaint against ‘B’ for theft. During the trial, ‘A’ falls ill and is unable to attend court. The Magistrate, after reviewing the evidence already recorded, decides that it is sufficient to proceed with the case and issues a warrant for the arrest of ‘B’.

4. Common Questions & Answers

  • Q: Can the Magistrate drop the case if the complainant dies?
  • A: No, the Magistrate can proceed with the case if the offence is non-compoundable and the evidence already recorded is sufficient.
  • Q: What if the complainant is absent but wants to continue the case?
  • A: The Magistrate can proceed with the case even if the complainant is absent, if the Magistrate thinks it is necessary.
  • Q: Can the accused benefit from the absence of the complainant?
  • A: The accused cannot automatically benefit from the complainant’s absence. The Magistrate will assess the evidence and make a decision based on its sufficiency.
Also Read  CrPC Section 449: Appeal from Orders Under Section 446
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