Framing of Charge

Application of mind

Framing of charge is the first major step in a criminal trial where the court is expected to apply its mind to the entire record and documents placed therewith before the court. Taking cognizance of an offence has been stated to necessitate an application of mind by the court but framing of charge is a major event where the court considers the possibility of discharging the accused of the offence with which he is charged or requiring the accused to face trial. There are different categories of cases where the court may not proceed with the trial and may discharge the accused or pass such other orders as may be necessary keeping in view the facts of a given case.

In a case where, upon considering the record of the case and documents submitted before it, the court finds that no offence is made out or there is a legal bar to such prosecution under the provisions of the Code or any other law for the time being in force and there exists no ground to proceed against the accused, the court may discharge the accused. There can be cases where such record reveals the matter to be so predominantly of a civil nature that it neither leaves any scope for an element of criminality nor does it satisfy the ingredients of a criminal offence with which the accused is charged. In such cases, the court may discharge him or quash the proceedings in exercise of its powers under the provisions.

[Source: CBI vs Anup Kumr Srivastava, decided on  4 August, 2017 by Supreme Court]

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