Section 328 CrPC: Procedure for Accused Found Lunatic – Indian Criminal Procedure Code

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Section 328 CrPC: Procedure for Accused Found Lunatic – Indian Criminal Procedure Code

1. State the Code

Section 328 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (CrPC) deals with the procedure to be followed when an accused person is found to be of unsound mind during the course of criminal proceedings.

2. Explain the Code

This section outlines the steps to be taken when a court finds an accused person to be of unsound mind. It mandates that:

  • If at any stage of the proceedings, the court finds the accused to be of unsound mind, the court shall order that the accused be sent to a mental hospital for observation and medical examination.
  • The medical superintendent of the mental hospital shall examine the accused and submit a report to the court within the specified time.
  • Based on the report, the court can take one of the following actions:
    • If the report finds the accused to be of unsound mind, the court shall order the accused to be detained in a mental hospital until they recover.
    • If the report finds the accused to be of sound mind, the trial shall proceed as per the normal procedure.

3. Illustrate the Code

Imagine a case where an accused is facing charges of murder. During the trial, the accused exhibits erratic behavior and makes incoherent statements. The court, suspecting that the accused may be of unsound mind, orders them to be sent to a mental hospital for examination. The medical superintendent submits a report confirming the accused’s lunacy. The court then orders the accused to be detained in the mental hospital until recovery. The trial will be stayed until the accused is deemed fit to stand trial.

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4. Common Questions and Answers

Q: Who can order the accused to be sent for medical examination?

A: Only the court can order the accused to be sent for medical examination.

Q: What if the medical report finds the accused to be of sound mind?

A: The trial will proceed as normal, and the accused will be held responsible for their actions.

Q: What are the rights of the accused if they are found to be of unsound mind?

A: The accused has the right to be represented by a lawyer and the right to challenge the findings of the medical report.

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