KANTILAL KESHAVLAL Vs. PRABODHCHANDRA PANACHAND
HIGH COURT OF GUJARAT
KANTILAL KESHAVLAL SHAH
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(1.) One Lohar Babu Jakhu was committed to the Sessions Court on a charge under section 307 I. P. Code but the learned Sessions Judge of Kutch at Bhuj framed a charge under section 324 Indian PenaL Code. To such a charge the accused pleaded guilty and thereupon he was convicted under section 224 I. P. Code and sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for three months and to pay a fine of Rs. 50/in default rigorous imprisonment for two months.
(2.) Under section 207(7) Criminal Procedure Code if a Magistrate is of the opinion that an accused person should be committed for trial be shall frame a charge under his hand declaring with what offence the accused is charged. Under section 271 of the same Code that charge has to be read out in Court and explained to the accused at the commencemet of the proceedings in the Sessions Court and the accused should be asked whether he pleads guilty to the charge or claims to be tried. The proceedings before the Sessions Court therefore open with the charge already framed by the committing Magistrate.
(3.) But it is open to the Sessions Judge after commencing the proceedings to alter the charge. It is provided in section 227 of the Criminal Procedure Code as follows:- (1) Any Court may alter or add to any charge at any time before judgment is pronounced or in the case of trials by jury before the Court of Sessions or High Court before the verdict of the jury is returned. (2) Every such alteration or addition shall be read and explained to the accused. The learned counsel for the accused relies on section 226 of the Criminal Procedure Code which reads as follows:- When any person is committed for trial without a charge or with an imperfect or erroneous charge the Court or in the case of a High Court. the Clerk of the State may frame a charge or add to or otherwise alter the charge as the case may be having regard to the rules contained in this Code as the form of charges. This section contemplates three alternatives in which a charge can be framed by the Sessions Court or the High Court as the case may be first namely: (1) where a person is committed for trial without a charge; (2) where a person is-committed for trial with an imperfect charge; and (3) where a person is committed for trial with an erroneous charge. In the first case the section provides that the Sessions Court or the High Court as the case may be may frame a charge. In the second and third cases the section provides that the Sessions Court or the High Court as the case may be may add to or otherwise alter the charge having regard to the rules contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure as to the form of charges;
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