July 22, 2024

Mitter Sain Meet

Novelist and Legal Consultant

ਦੋਸ਼ ਪੱਤਰ(Framing of charges)

                                           ਦੋਸ਼ ਪੱਤਰ(Framing of charges)

(Sections 227, 228, 239, 240, 245 & 246 Cr.P.C.)


ਦੋਸ਼ੀਆਂ ਨੂੰ ਚਲਾਨ ਦੀਆਂ ਨਕਲਾਂ ਆਦਿ ਦੇਣ ਦੀ ਮੁੱਢਲੀ ਕਾਰਵਾਈ ਕਰਨ ਬਾਅਦ ਅਦਾਲਤ ਵੱਲੋਂ ਦੋਸ਼ੀ ਉੱਪਰ ਬਣਦੇ ਦੋਸ਼ਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਨਿਰਧਾਰਿਤ ਕਰਨ ਦੀ ਕਾਰਵਾਈ ਸ਼ੁਰੂ ਕੀਤੀ ਜਾਂਦੀ ਹੈ। ਦੋਸ਼ ਤੈਅ ਕਰਨ ਦੇ ਨਿਰਧਾਰਿਤ ਮਾਪਦੰਡ ਹਨ।

  1. ਦੋਸ਼ੀ ਉੱਪਰ ਦੋਸ਼ ਤੈਅ ਕਰਨੇ ਬਣਦੇ ਹਨ ਜਾਂ ਨਹੀਂ ਇਸਦਾ ਮੂਲ ਮਾਪਦੰਡ (ਬaਸਚਿ ਟeਸਟ) ‘ਸਰਸਰੀ ਨਜ਼ਰ’ ਨਾਲ ਹੀ ਦੋਸ਼ੀ ਵੱਲੋਂ ਦੋਸ਼ ਕੀਤੇ ਨਜ਼ਰ ਆਉਣਾ ਹੈ।

Case : R.S. Nayak v/s A.R. Antulay, 1986 Cri.L.J.1922 (SC)

Para “44. ….. Notwithstanding this difference in the position there is no scope for doubt that the stage at which the Magistrate is required to consider the question of framing of charge under S.245(1) is a preliminary one and the test of “prima facie” case has to be applied. In spite of the difference in the language of the three sections, the legal position is that if the trial Court is satisfied that a prima facie case is made out, charge has to be framed.”

2. ‘ਦੋਸ਼ਾਂ ਦਾ ਸਰਸਰੀ ਨਜ਼ਰ ਹੋਏ ਨਜ਼ਰ ਆਉਣ’ ਦਾ ਭਾਵ:

Case : State of Maharashtra v/s Som Nath Thapa, 1996 Cri.L.J. 2448 (SC – FB)

Para “30. In our view, better and clearer statement of law would be that if there is ground for presuming that the accused has committed the offence, a Court can justifiably say that a prima facie case against him exists, and so, frame charge against him for committing that offence“.

3. ਸ਼ਬਦ ‘ਮੰਨ ਲੈਣਾ’ (presume) ਦਾ ਅਰਥ:

Case : State of Maharashtra v/s Som Nath Thapa, 1996 Cri.L.J. 2448

Para “31. Let us note the meaning of the word “presume”. In Black’s Law Dictionary, it has been defined to mean “to believe or accept upon probable evidence”. (Emphasis ours). In Shorter Oxford English Dictionary it has been mentioned that in law “presume” means “to take as proved until evidence to the contrary is forthcoming”, Stroud’s Legal Dictionary has quoted in this context a certain judgment according to which “A presumption is a probable consequence drawn from facts (either certain, or proved by direct testimony) as to the truth of a fact alleged”. (Emphasis supplied). In Law Lexicon by P. Ramanath Aiyer the same quotation finds place at page 1007 of 1987 edition.

4. ਦੋਸ਼ੀ ਵੱਲੋਂ ਜ਼ੁਰਮ ਕੀਤਾ ਗਿਆ ਹੈ ਜਾਂ ਨਹੀਂ ਇਹ ਜਾਂਚਣ ਵਾਲੇ ਮਾਪਦੰਡਾਂ ਦਾ ਪੱਧਰ, ਦੋਸ਼ ਤੈਅ ਕਰਦੇ ਸਮੇਂ ਉਹ ਨਹੀਂ ਹੁੰਦਾ ਜੋ ਫੈਸਲਾ ਕਰਦੇ ਸਮੇਂ ਹੁੰਦਾ ਹੈ।

Case: State of Bihar v. Ramesh Singh, (1978) 1 SCR 257: (AIR 1977 SC 2018) (SC)

“… We may just illustrate the difference of the law by one more example. If the scales of pan as to the guilt or innocence of the accused are something like even at the conclusion of the trial, then, on the theory of benefit of doubt the case is to end in his acquittal. But, if on the other hand, it is so at the initial stage of making an order under S.227 or S.228, then in such a situation ordinarily and generally, the order which will have to be made will be one under S.228 (charge to be framed) and not under S.227 (of discharge)”.

5. ਦੋਸ਼ੀ ਉੱਪਰ ਲੱਗੇ ਦੋਸ਼ਾਂ ਬਾਰੇ ਜੇ ਉਹਨਾਂ ਦੇ ਸੱਚੇ ਹੋਣ ਬਾਰੇ ਕੇਵਲ ਪੱਕਾ ਸ਼ੱਕ (mere strong suspicion) ਹੀ ਪੈਂਦਾ ਹੋਵੇ ਤਾਂ ਵੀ ਦੋਸ਼ੀ ਉੱਪਰ ਦੋਸ਼ ਤਹਿ ਕੀਤੇ ਜਾਣੇ ਬਣਦੇ ਹਨ।

Case : In Superintendent and Remembrancer of Legal Affairs, West Bengal v. Anil Kumar, (1979) 4 SCC 274: (AIR 1980 SC 52) (SC – FB)

“… At this stage, even a very strong suspicion founded upon materials before the Magistrate which leads him to form a presumptive opinion as to the existence of the factual ingredients constituting the offence alleged may justify the framing of charge….”

6. ਜੇ ਅਦਾਲਤ ਇਸ ਸਿੱਟੇ ਤੇ ਪੁੱਜਦੀ ਹੈ ਕਿ ਦੋਸ਼ੀ ਵੱਲੋਂ ‘ਜ਼ੁਰਮ ਜ਼ਰੂਰ ਕੀਤੇ ਗਏ ਹਨ’ (might have committed the offence) ਤਾਂ ਦੋਸ਼ੀ ਉੱਪਰ ਦੋਸ਼ ਤੈਅ ਕੀਤੇ ਜਾਣੇ ਬਣਦੇ ਹਨ।

Case : State of Maharashtra v/s Som Nath Thapa, 1996 Cri.L.J. 2448 (SC – FB)

Para “32. …… To put it differently, if the Court were to think that the accused might have committed the offence it can frame the charge, though for conviction the conclusion is required to be that the accused has committed the offence. It is apparent that at the stage of framing of charge, probative value of the materials on record cannot be gone into; the materials brought on record by the prosecution has to be accepted as true at that stage.”

7. ਜੇ ਦੋਸ਼ਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਸਿੱਧ ਕਰਨ ਲਈ ਪ੍ਰਾਸੀਕਿਊਸ਼ਨ ਵੱਲੋਂ ਜੋ ਸਬੂਤ ਪੇਸ਼ ਕੀਤੇ ਗਏ ਹਨ ਜੇ ਉਹਨਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਸੱਚੇ ਮੰਨ ਕੇ ਵੀ ਦੋਸ਼ੀ ਵਿਰੁੱਧ ਕੋਈ ਜ਼ੁਰਮ ਸਿੱਧ ਨਾ ਹੁੰਦਾ ਹੋਵੇ ਤਾਂ ਦੋਸ਼ੀ ਉੱਪਰ ਦੋਸ਼ ਤਹਿ ਨਹੀਂ ਕੀਤੇ ਜਾ ਸਕਦੇ।

Case : Smt. Omwati v/s State 2001 Cri.L.J. 1723(1) (SC)

Para “8. Only in a case where it is shown that the evidence which the prosecution proposes to adduce to prove the guilt of the accused, even if fully accepted before it is challenged in cross-examination or rebutted by defence evidence cannot show that the accused committed the crime, then and then alone the Court can discharge the accused.

8. ਦੋਸ਼ੀ ਉੱਪਰ ਦੋਸ਼ ਤਹਿ ਕਰਨੇ ਬਣਦੇ ਹਨ ਜਾਂ ਨਹੀਂ, ਇਸ ਸੁਣਵਾਈ ਦੌਰਾਨ ਦੋਸ਼ੀ ਆਪਣੇ ਆਪ ਨੂੰ ਬੇਕਸੂਰ ਸਿੱਧ ਕਰਨ ਲਈ ਰਿਕਾਰਡ ਪੇਸ਼ ਨਹੀਂ ਕਰ ਸਕਦਾ।

Case : State of Orissa v/s Debendra Nath Padhi 2005 (1) RCR Criminal 297 (SC – FB)

“As a result of aforesaid discussion, in our view, clearly the law is that at the time of framing charge or taking cognizance the accused has no right to produce any material. Satish Mehra’s case holding that the trial court has powers to consider even materials which accused may produce at the stage of Section 227 of the Code has not been correctly decided.”

9. ਦੋਸ਼ੀ ਉੱਪਰ ਦੋਸ਼ ਤਹਿ ਕਰਨੇ ਬਣਦੇ ਹਨ ਜਾਂ ਨਹੀਂ, ਇਸ ਸੁਣਵਾਈ ਦੌਰਾਨ ਕੇਵਲ ਉਹਨਾਂ ਸਬੂਤਾਂ ਅਤੇ ਦਸਤਾਵੇਜ਼ਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਹੀ ਵਿਚਾਰਿਆ ਜਾ ਸਕਦਾ ਹੈ ਜੋ ਪ੍ਰਾਸੀਕਿਊਸ਼ਨ ਵੱਲੋਂ ਪੇਸ਼ ਕੀਤੇ ਗਏ ਹਨ। ਦੋਸ਼ੀ ਵੱਲੋਂ ਪੇਸ਼ ਕੀਤੇ ਗਏ ਸਬੂਤਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਨਹੀਂ ਵਿਚਾਰਿਆ ਜਾ ਸਕਦਾ।

Case : State of Orissa v/s Debendra Nath Padhi 2005 (1) RCR Criminal 297

“All the decisions, when they hold that there can only be limited evaluation of materials and documents on record and sifting of evidence to prima facie find out whether sufficient ground exists or not for the purpose of proceeding further with the trial, have so held with reference to materials and documents produced by the prosecution and not the accused. The decisions proceed on the basis of settled legal position that the material as produced by the prosecution alone is to be considered and not the one produced by the accused.”

10. ਦੋਸ਼ੀ ਉੱਪਰ ਦੋਸ਼ ਤੈਅ ਕਰਨੇ ਬਣਦੇ ਹਨ ਜਾਂ ਨਹੀਂ, ਇਸ ਸੁਣਵਾਈ ਦੌਰਾਨ ਦੋਸ਼ੀ ਨੂੰ ਕੇਵਲ ਆਪਣਾ ਪੱਖ ਪੇਸ਼ ਕਰਨ (of being heard) ਦਾ ਹੀ ਅਧਿਕਾਰ ਹੈ। ਇਸ ਤੋਂ ਅੱਗੇ ਉਹ ਹੋਰ ਕੁਝ ਨਹੀਂ ਕਰ ਸਕਦਾ।

Case : State of Orissa v/s Debendra Nath Padhi 2005 (1) RCR Criminal 297

“Suryaprakasam [1999 SCC (Crl.) 373] where considering the scope of Sections 239 and 240 of the Code it was held that at the time of framing of charge, what the trial court is required to, and can consider are only the police report referred to under Section 173 of the Code and the documents sent with it. The only right the accused has at that stage is of being heard and nothing beyond that (emphasis supplied).”

11. ਦੋਸ਼ੀ ਉੱਪਰ ਦੋਸ਼ ਤੈਅ ਕਰਨੇ ਬਣਦੇ ਹਨ ਜਾਂ ਨਹੀਂ, ਇਸ ਸੁਣਵਾਈ ਦੌਰਾਨ ਦੋਸ਼ੀ ਨੂੰ ਆਪਣਾ ਸਫਾਈ ਪੱਖ ਪੇਸ਼ ਕਰਨ ਦੀ ਇਜਾਜ਼ਤ ਦੇਣਾ, ਫੌਜਦਾਰੀ ਕਾਨੂੰਨ ਵਿਗਿਆਨ (criminal jurisprudence) ਦੀ ਉਲੰਘਣਾ ਹੈ।

Case : State of Orissa v/s Debendra Nath Padhi 2005 (1) RCR Criminal 297

“Further, at the stage of framing of charge roving and fishing inquiry is impermissible. If the contention of the accused is accepted, there would be a mini trial at the stage of framing of charge. That would defeat the object of the Code. It is well-settled that at the stage of framing of charge the defence of the accused cannot be put forth. The acceptance of the contention of the learned counsel for the accused would mean permitting the accused to adduce his defence at the stage of framing of charge and for examination thereof at that stage which is against the criminal jurisprudence.”

12. ਦੋਸ਼ੀ ਉੱਪਰ ਦੋਸ਼ ਤੈਅ ਕਰਨੇ ਬਣਦੇ ਹਨ ਜਾਂ ਨਹੀਂ, ਇਸ ਸੁਣਵਾਈ ਦੌਰਾਨ ਦੋਸ਼ੀ ਧਾਰਾ ੯੧ ਸੀ.ਆਰ.ਪੀ.ਸੀ. ਅਧੀਨ ਰਿਕਾਰਡ ਤਲਬ ਨਹੀਂ ਕਰ ਸਕਦਾ।

Case : State of Orissa v/s Debendra Nath Padhi 2005 (1) RCR Criminal 297

“…The application filed by the accused under Section 91 of the Code for summoning and production of document was dismissed and order was upheld by High Court and this Court. But observations were made in para 6 to the effect that if the accused could produce any reliable material even at that stage which might totally affect even the very sustainability of the case, a refusal to look into the material so produced may result in injustice, apart from averting an exercise in futility at the expense of valuable judicial/public time, these observations are clearly obiter dicta and in any case of no consequence in view of conclusion reached by us hereinbefore.”

13. ਤਫਤੀਸ਼ ਦੌਰਾਨ ਜੇ ਦੋਸ਼ੀ ਵੱਲੋਂ ਕੁਝ ਦਸਤਾਵੇਜ਼ ਪੇਸ਼ ਕੀਤੇ ਗਏ ਹੋਣ ਅਤੇ ਉਹਨਾਂ ਦਸਤਾਵੇਜ਼ਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਤਫਤੀਸ਼ੀ ਅਫਸਰ ਵੱਲੋਂ ਵਿਚਾਰਿਆ ਗਿਆ ਹੋਵੇ ਪਰ ਉਹਨਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਸਬੂਤ ਵਜੋਂ ਅਦਾਲਤ ਵਿੱਚ ਪੇਸ਼ ਨਾ ਕੀਤਾ ਗਿਆ ਹੋਵੇ ਤਾਂ ਅਦਾਲਤ ਉਹਨਾਂ ਦਸਤਾਵੇਜ਼ਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਮੰਗਵਾ ਕੇ ਘੋਖ ਸਕਦੀ ਹੈ।

Case : State of M.P. v/s Mohan Lal Soni 2000 Cri.L.J. 3504 (SC)

Para “12. From the decisions referred to in the same paragraph and the decisions already referred to above there was no bar to consider the material on record in the case on hand, which was collected during the course of investigation and produced before the Court and particularly in view of the directions given earlier by the High Court.”

14. ਦੋਸ਼ੀ ਉੱਪਰ ਦੋਸ਼ ਤੈਅ ਕਰਨੇ ਬਣਦੇ ਹਨ ਜਾਂ ਨਹੀਂ, ਇਸ ਸੁਣਵਾਈ ਦੌਰਾਨ ਡਾਕਟਰ ਦੀ ਰਾਏ ਦੀ ਥਾਂ ਚਸ਼ਮਦੀਦ ਗਵਾਹਾਂ ਦੀ ਗਵਾਹੀ ਨੂੰ ਤਰਜੀਹ ਦਿੱਤੀ ਜਾਂਦੀ ਹੈ।

Case : Smt. Omwati v/s State 2001 Cri.L.J. 1723(1) (SC)

Para “11. ….. It is not safe, at this stage, to deprive the prosecution in proving its case on the basis of the direct evidence, the statement of the deceased claimed to be admissible under S. 32 of the Evidence Act and the other documents including the inquest report allegedly disclosing the infliction of the injuries on the person of the deceased which resulted in his death. The acceptance of the opinion of the doctors, as incorporated in the post-mortem report for the cause of death of the deceased being “hepatic failure following viral hapatites” cannot be accepted on its face value at this initial stage.….”

15. ਕਿਸੇ ਦਸਤਾਵੇਜ਼ ਦੀ ਕਾਰਬਨ ਕਾਪੀ ਦੇ ਅਧਾਰ ਤੇ ਦੋਸ਼ ਤਹਿ ਕੀਤੇ ਜਾ ਸਕਦੇ ਹਨ।

Case : Amrit Lal v/s State of Rajasthan 1999 Cri.L.J.1794 (Rajsthan HC)

Para “7. It is obvious that the cover note which was filed by the petitioner in order to get token from the Transport Department was found to be a forged document. From where the petitioner obtained the cover note filed by him is the fact which is in the special knowledge of the petitioner. In these circumstances, on the ground that the original has not been filed by the prosecution, the charges cannot be quashed.”

16. ਜੇ ਮ੍ਰਿਤਕ ਵਿਅਕਤੀ ਦੇ ਮਰਦੇ ਸਮੇਂ ਦੇ ਬਿਆਨ (dying declaration) ਵਿੱਚ ਦੋਸ਼ੀ ਵਿਰੁੱਧ ਕੋਈ ਦੋਸ਼ ਨਾ ਲਗਾਇਆ ਗਿਆ ਹੋਵੇ ਪਰ ਮਿਸਲ ਉੱਪਰ ਉਸਨੂੰ ਦੋਸ਼ੀ ਸਿੱਧ ਕਰਨ ਲਈ ਹੋਰ ਸ਼ਹਾਦਤ ਮੌਜੂਦ ਹੋਵੇ ਤਾਂ ਵੀ ਦੋਸ਼ੀ ਉੱਪਰ ਦੋਸ਼ ਤੈਅ ਹੋ ਸਕਦੇ ਹਨ।

Case : Sangram Keshari Dass v/s State of Orrisa, 1996, Cri.L.J.2170 (Orissa HC)

Para “7. Let me now apply the principles mentioned above to the facts and circumstances of the case in order to find out whether the learned trial Judge was justified in refusing to discharge the petitioner. It is true that the dying declaration does not implicate the petitioner in any manner, but there are other materials which cannot be lost sight of. The FIR lodged by the father of the deceased unfolds the story of dowry demand and the torture noted out to the deceased. Statements of certain persons received under Section 161 Cr. P.C. reveal that everything was not well with the spouse. The deceased was upset because the petitioner had licentious affairs with some other ladies. I may note here that the post mortem report shows that the deceased had sustained 75 per cent of burn injuries. From the aforesaid circumstances, inference of strong suspicion can legitimately be drawn and as such, framing of charge against the petitioner cannot be held to be illegal…”

17. ਦੋਸ਼ੀ ਉੱਪਰ ਐਫ.ਆਈ.ਆਰ. ਜਾਂ ਸ਼ਿਕਾਇਤ ਵਿੱਚ ਲੱਗੇ ਦੋਸ਼ ਸੱਚੇ ਹਨ ਜਾਂ ਨਹੀਂ ਇਸਦਾ ਫੈਸਲਾ ਮੁਕੱਦਮੇ ਦੀ ਸੁਣਵਾਈ ਦੇ ਦੌਰਾਨ ਹੀ ਹੋ ਸਕਦਾ ਹੈ।

Case : Vijay Kumar & others v/s State of Punjab, 1996 Cri.L.J. 3070 (PH- HC)

Para “9.  The question as to whether the allegations contained in the first information report or in the statements of the witnesses examined under Section 161 of the Code are correct or not, is the subject-matter of the trial and no opinion can be expressed at this stage only on affidavits filed by the parties.”

18. ਦੋਸ਼ੀ ਦਾ ਇਹ ਪੱਖ ਕਿ ਉਹ ਘਟਨਾ ਸਮੇਂ ਉੱਥੋਂ ਗੈਰ-ਹਾਜ਼ਿਰ (alibi) ਸੀ ਦਾ ਨਿਪਟਾਰਾ ਮੁਕੱਦਮੇ ਦੀ ਸੁਣਵਾਈ ਦੌਰਾਨ ਹੀ ਹੋ ਸਕਦਾ ਹੈ।

Case : Chandrika Vs. Rajaram, 1995 Cri.L.J.2587 (M.P. – HC)

Para “13.  The impugned order of discharge of the non-applicants 1 and 2, on the plea of their alibi defence, at the stage of Ss. 227/228 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, is premature assessment of the evidence which is not only against the canon of justice but is also against the rule of prudence.”

19. ਜੇ ਦੋਸ਼ੀ ਦੇ ਬਚਾਅ ਪੱਖ ਉੱਪਰ ਪ੍ਰਤੀਕੂਲ ਪ੍ਰਭਾਵ (prejudiced) ਨਾ ਪੈਂਦਾ ਹੋਵੇ ਤਾਂ ਦੋਸ਼ ਪੱਤਰ ਵਿੱਚ ਵਰਤੀ ਗਈ ਨੁਕਸਦਾਰ ਭਾਸ਼ਾ ਅਤੇ ਤੱਥਾਂ ਦੀ ਗਲਤ ਵਿਆਖਿਆ ਕਾਰਨ ਸਾਰਾ ਮੁਕੱਦਮਾ ਰੱਦ (vitiate) ਨਹੀਂ ਕੀਤਾ ਜਾ ਸਕਦਾ।

Case : Chandru Parappa Kumbhar v/s The State of Maharashtra, 1995 Cri.L.J. 290 (Bombay – HC, DB)


Para “7. ….. A mere defect in the language or in the narration or in the sequence or, for that matter, in the form of the charge would not necessarily vitiate the trial. It is in those circumstances that though we accept the position that a better job could have been done while framing the charge, we are not prepared to hold that the accused were either handicapped, prejudiced or adversely affected in the conduct of the evidence as a result of the manner in which the charges have been framed. The basic ingredients are present and to that extent, therefore, the objection that has been canvassed by Shri Pradhan with regard to the applicability of the principle of a defective charges that vitiate a trial must necessarily be overruled.”

  1. Standard of test applicable at the time of final judgment is not to be applied at the stage of framing of charge.
  2. At the stage of framing of charge accused cannot produce record u/S 91 of Cr.P.C.

If there is ground for presuming that the accused has committed the offence, a Court can justifiably say that a prima facie case against him exists.