Section 321 CrPC: Withdrawal from Prosecution in India’s Code of Criminal Procedure

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Section 321 CrPC: Withdrawal from Prosecution in India’s Code of Criminal Procedure

1. The Code:

Section 321 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) deals with the power of the Public Prosecutor to withdraw from prosecution in a criminal case.

2. Explanation:

  • This section empowers the Public Prosecutor to withdraw from prosecution at any stage of the trial, with the permission of the court.
  • The Public Prosecutor can decide to withdraw from prosecution if they believe there is insufficient evidence to secure a conviction, or if there are other compelling reasons for doing so.
  • The court will consider the reasons given by the Public Prosecutor before granting permission for withdrawal.
  • The accused person is usually informed of the withdrawal and given an opportunity to be heard before a final decision is made.

3. Illustration:

Consider a case where a person is accused of theft. During the trial, the Public Prosecutor discovers that the key witness is unreliable and their testimony cannot be relied upon. In this situation, the Public Prosecutor may seek permission from the court to withdraw from the prosecution, citing lack of evidence as the reason.

4. Common Questions and Answers:

Q: What are the grounds for withdrawal from prosecution?

A: The grounds for withdrawal can be varied, but generally include insufficient evidence, lack of public interest, or other compelling reasons.

Q: Does the accused have any rights in this process?

A: Yes, the accused has the right to be informed of the withdrawal and to be heard before a final decision is made.

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Q: Can the accused challenge the withdrawal?

A: While the accused cannot directly challenge the withdrawal, they can raise concerns or seek further investigation.

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