Section 257 CrPC: Withdrawal of Complaint – Code of Criminal Procedure


Section 257 CrPC: Withdrawal of Complaint

This section of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) deals with the withdrawal of complaints in criminal cases.

1. The Code

Section 257 CrPC states that a complainant can withdraw a complaint at any stage of the proceedings before the final order is passed.

2. Explanation

This section allows the complainant, the person who filed the complaint, to withdraw their complaint, even if the accused has been arrested or charged. This right, however, is subject to certain conditions:

  • The complainant must make an application in writing to the Magistrate.
  • The Magistrate can refuse to allow the withdrawal if they believe that it is being done to “screen offenders” or that the withdrawal is against the “ends of justice”.
  • If the Magistrate allows the withdrawal, the case is dropped, and the accused is discharged.
  • Even if the withdrawal is allowed, the Magistrate can order an inquiry into the matter to ensure the accused is not being shielded.

3. Illustration

Imagine someone files a complaint against their neighbor for assault. During the trial, the complainant realizes they had misunderstood the situation and decides to withdraw the complaint. They make a written application to the Magistrate, who, after considering the circumstances, allows the withdrawal. The case is then dropped, and the accused is discharged.

4. Common Questions and Answers

Q: Can the accused prevent the complainant from withdrawing the complaint?

A: No, the accused cannot directly prevent the withdrawal but can argue before the Magistrate that the withdrawal is being done to screen offenders and should not be allowed.

Also Read  Section 234 CrPC: Arguments - Code of Criminal Procedure Explained

Q: Can the complainant withdraw the complaint after the final order is passed?

A: No, once a final order is passed in the case, the complaint cannot be withdrawn.

Q: What happens if the Magistrate refuses to allow the withdrawal?

A: The trial continues, and the accused can be convicted if found guilty.


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