Section 464 CrPC: Impact of Charge Omission, Absence, or Error – Indian Criminal Procedure Code

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Section 464 CrPC: Impact of Charge Omission, Absence, or Error

This section deals with the consequences of omitting, being absent, or making errors in the charge during a criminal trial.

1. The Code:

Section 464 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) states:

“If, upon the trial of any person for an offence, it appears to the Court that the person has been charged with an offence different from that for which he is being tried, or that the charge is defective or erroneous in any material particular, the Court may, if it thinks fit, amend the charge, or may, if necessary, discharge the accused and direct that he be retried.”

2. Explanation:

  • This section gives the court the power to rectify errors in the charge during trial.
  • It applies when a person is charged with the wrong offense or when the charge is incorrect or incomplete.
  • The court has discretion to either amend the charge (correct the error) or discharge the accused and order a retrial.

3. Illustration:

Let’s say someone is charged with theft but the evidence suggests it was robbery. The court can amend the charge to “robbery” under Section 464. If the court finds the original charge significantly misleading, it can discharge the accused and order a retrial with the corrected charge.

4. Common Questions & Answers:

Q: Can the court amend a charge even if the accused objects?

A: Yes, the court has the discretion to amend the charge even if the accused objects, provided it is deemed necessary for a fair trial.

Also Read  Section 2 CrPC: Definitions - Indian Code of Criminal Procedure Explained

Q: Does the court have to amend the charge if it finds an error?

A: No, the court has the discretion to either amend the charge or discharge the accused and order a retrial.

Q: What happens if the accused is discharged and a retrial is ordered?

A: The accused will be released from custody pending the retrial, and a new trial will be held with the corrected charge.

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