Criminal Trial & Appellate Side

Many a times we come across the term called criminal trial. we understand trial means that a person is facing a case in court of law. But generally people are not aware of the process of criminal trial in India. So here is the procedure for criminal trial that generally takes place in India.

Types of Criminal Trials

Before we proceed further, we must note that according to Criminal Procedure Code, criminal trial can be of tree types namely Trial in Warrant cases, Trial in Summon Cases and Summery Trial

Trial in Warrant Cases

Warrant cases are those cases in which an offence attracts a penalty of imprisonment for more than seven years and it includes offences punishable with death and life imprisonment. In such cases, the trial starts either by filing of FIR or by filing a complaint before a magistrate. And if the magistrate finds that the case relates to an offence carrying a punishment for more than two years, the case is sent to the sessions court for trial.

Section 193 of the Criminal Procedure Code clearly states that the session court can not take cognizance of any offence unless the case has been sent to it by a magistrate. The process of sending it to sessions court is generally calledcommitting it to sessions court.

Trial in Summon Cases

A summon case is a case which is not a warrant case. So in simple words, those cases in which an offence is punishable with an imprisonment of less than two years is a summon case. In this case, one must understand that if a magistrate, after looking into the case, thinks that a case is not a summon case, he may convert it into a warrant case. In respect of summons cases, there is no need to frame a charge. The court gives substance of the accusation, which is called “notice”, to the accused when the person appears in pursuance to the summons.

Summary Trial

Case of offenses punishable with an imprisonment of not more than six months can be tried in a summary way. It is also to be noted that if the case has been tried in a summary way, a person can not be awarded a punishment of imprisonment for more than three months.

On the criminal side, jurisdiction is exclusively derived from the criminal procedure code. As per this code the maximum sentence a district court may award to a convict is capital punishment.

The district court has appellate jurisdiction over all subordinate courts situated in the district on both civil and criminal matters. Subordinate courts, on the civil side (in ascending order) are, Junior Civil Judge Court, Principal Junior Civil Judge Court, Senior Civil Judge Court (also called sub-court). Subordinate courts, on the criminal side (in ascending order) are, Second Class Judicial Magistrate Court, First Class Judicial Magistrate Court, Chief Judicial Magistrate Court.

Certain matters on criminal side or civil side cannot be tried by a lesser court than a district court. This gives the District Court original jurisdiction in such matters.

Appeals from the district courts lie to the High Court of the concerned state.