Criminal Justice in Agency Areas :
In scheduled tracks of Andhra Pradesh there is no separation
of judiciary and executive as such the Executive Officers have the judicial
functions to perform. In these Agency areas, for the time being the
Cr.P.C.1898 (Old Cr.P.C.) is in vogue. All the Mandal Revenue Officers
exercising the judicial functions in agency areas are 2nd class Magistrates.
The powers of the Magistrate of 2nd class is indicated
under Schedule III, II of Cr.P.C.1898. With regard to competence of
Magistrates of 2nd class to try offences, Schedules II of Cr.P.C.1898
is to be looked into with reference to Column 8. Such are the offences
triable by Magistrate indicated in Col 8 of Schedule II are to be tried
by the Mandal Revenue Officers in the capacity of 2nd class Magistrates
in Agency areas.
The Courts of Magistrates may pass the following sentences
(Section 32 of Cr.P.C.1898)
of Presidency Magistrate and or Magistrates of Ist order.
for a term not exceeding two years, including such solitary confinement
as is authorised by Law. Fine not exceeding two thousand rupees.
Courts of Magistrates of the Second order.
for a term not exceeding Six months, including such solitary confinements
as is authorised by Law. Fine not exceeding Five Hundred Rupees.
The Mandal Revenue Officers
in Agency as Executive Magistrates cannot invoke powers U/s. 107, 108,
109, 145 & 146 of the Cr.P.C. But they can exercise powers U/s.
SUMMONS CASES AND WARRANT CASES
Summons Case : means a case relating to an offence and
not being a warrant case.
Warrant Case : means a case relating to an offence punishable
with death, imprisonment for life or imprisonment for a term exceeding
Trail : In trail of cases, there are 3 procedures viz.,
Summary Trial : In summary trial, it is sufficient to
record the substance of evidence and may dispense with the examination
of the accused u/s 342 Cr.P.C. (Section 260 Cr.P.C. 1898 under Chapter
Summons Trial : Procedure for Summons trial is given under
Chapter XX of the Code of Section 241 to 250 Cr.P.C.1898.
When the accused appears or is brought before the Magistrate,
the particulars of the offence of which he is accused shall be stated
to him, and he shall be asked if he has any cause to show why he should
not be convicted; but it shall not be necessary to frame a formal charge.
Warrant Cases : (Chapter XXI of the Code Section 251 to
Procedure U/s 251, Cr.P.C.1898 is deals with private complaints
and it is known as private warrant procedure. In this procedure, on
the evidence produced, the Magistrate frames a charge under the appropriate
provisions of law. The accused has a right to cross examine the witnesses
before charge or after charge. The accused can waive the right of further
cross-examination after the charge.
U/s 251 of the Code, the procedure to be adopted in cases
instituted on Police report is given. Since prosecution Agency investigates
the case, on examination of the accused, charge is framed based on the
The difference between procedure U/s 251 and 251-A is
only that of relating to framing of charge under both sections, opportunity
has to be given to both the sides to argue for discharge.
COMMITTAL PROCEEDINGS (CHAPTER XVIII)
Under Chapter XVIII, old Cr.P.C. procedure of inquiry
into cases triable by the court of Sessions or High Court is indicated.
Here also, the proceedings can be started either on private complaint
or on a police report.
U/s. 207-A of the Code, after report is filed U/s 173
Cr.P.C. by a police officer, the accused is supplied with document and
the prosecution examines witnesses to the occurrence to establish prima-facie
case against the accused. Based on the material available and on hearing
both sides, Charges are to be framed either under one head or under
two or more heads under Schedule V in forms XXVIII (1) and (2) respectively.
The accused are to be supplied with copy of Charge under seal and signature
of the Magistrate. On being satisfied that a prima-facie case is made
out, the Magistrate has to commit the accused for trial to the Court
of Sessions to take the trial. The Magistrate has to commit the accused
for trial subject to provisions of the court regarding the taking of
bail, warrant to custody as laid down u/s. 207-A (16). A committal order
is to be passed bringing out the brief history of the case, evidence
adduced before him and the fact of considering both the evidence and
record. It shall also contain the stages of the enquiry like supply
of documents, framing of charges etc. The Magistrate has to ascertain
from the accused during his examination whether he is competent to defend
him self or "Legal Aid" to be provided. He should also ascertain
whether the accused has any defense and the particulars of the witnesses
if stated or inform the accused that he can furnish the information
before the Sessions Court. The Magistrate should not give any findings
on the facts since it is only an enquiry at committal stage.
Only with the committal of the accused by a Magistrate,
the Sessions Court will have the jurisdiction to try the accused. This
procedure is envisaged to save the valuable time of the Sessions Court
and High Court.
Compoundable Offences :
Certain offences under I.P.C. are compoundable U/s 345
Cr.P.C. (Old Cr.P.C.). Those offences indicated U/s 345 (1) Cr.P.C.
can be compounded with out the permission of the court by the persons
indicated in the sub-section. The other offences covered under Section
345(2) Cr.P.C. of the Code are to be compounded with the permission
of the court by the persons indicated in sub-sections.
will be produced for remand before a Magistrate, if the police cannot
complete investigation within 24 hours as laid down U/s 167 Cr.P.C.
along with remand report. When the accused is produced, it is the duty
of the Magistrate to question him whether he was subjected to any harassment
by the police before granting remand. The period of remand should not
exceed 15 days.
procedure for granting bails is indicated in Chapter XXXIX of the Code.
Section 496 Cr.P.C. deals with bailable offences and Section 447 Cr.P.C.
deals with non-bailable offences.
In bailable offences, on arrest, even police officer can
grant bail. In bails U/s 497 Cr.P.C. of the Code, the opinion of prosecution
if any is to be heard by giving a notice either to the prosecutor
or the Station House Officer concerned. A bail may be granted with or
without sureties subject to the satisfaction of the Magistrate about
the attendance of the accused before him for subsequent proceedings.
In non-bailable cases, it is discretion of the Magistrate. In bailable
cases, it is a right of the accused. Discretion is to be exercised judiciously
as liberty of the individual is a constitutional right. The bail conditions
if any should not be improper in relation to status and means of the
accused. When bail is granted with conditions that cannot be fulfilled,
it tantamount to denying the bail. Even in P.R.C. cases, the Magistrate
can exercise his discretion in granting the bail, if offence is not
objectionable with death or imprisonment for life but as a matter of
prudence, it is left to the discretion of the Sessions Court.
M.R.O's in Agency areas shall also function as Judicial
Magistrates exercising II class powers. They can discharge the functions
of a II class Magistrate. They can entertain and try the cases under
sections 135 to 147, 153 to 160, 165, 170,172 to 180, 182 to 190, 202,
203, 206, 217, 225B, 254, 262, 264 to 280, 282 to 291, 294, 294A, 295
to 298, 309, 323, 334 to 347, 352 to 358, 379 to 381, 384, 385, 403
to 406, 408, 414, 417, 418, 421 to 432, 434, 45 to 454, 456, 457, 461,
462, 482, 483, 486 to 489, 491, 498, 504, 508, 510 and 511 of Indian
The cases u/s's 302,307,333,395,436 and other sections
or be tried in Sessions Court, have to be taken on file, the witnesses
examined after framing charges and the case to be committed to Sessions
if there is a primafacie case and a decision sent to the sessions court
within five days from the date of decision.
Note : The court of a llnd Class Magistrate may pass a
sentence of imprisonment not exceeding a term of one year or fine not
exceeding a sum of Rs.1000/- or both, subject to the provisions of the
In every case, there are three factors to be taken into
consideration for determining the appropriate punishment.
ii) Magnitude of the Offence : and
iii) Character of the accused.
Award of sentence is a discretion of the judge which cannot
be capricious or arbitrary.
In default of payment of fine, the Magistrate is competent
to inflict 1/4th of the term of imprisonment, which he is competent
to inflict, as punishment for the offence, in addition to the substantive
sentence of imprisonment.
Benefit of doubt must always go in favour of the accused.
Doctrine of mensrea should invariably be considered and assessed.