Charge Sheet Filing doesn't justify the framing of charges by the Trial Court: HC of Madhya Pradesh

Charge Sheet Filing doesn’t justify the framing of charges by the Trial Court: HC of Madhya Pradesh

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In the case of Ramnaresh and Ors. v. State of M.P., the Gwalior bench of High Court of Madhya Pradesh stated that, the mere filing of charge sheet by the police does not validate the formation of charges by the Trial Court.

The revision petition is filed by the persons against whom the charges were framed by the Trial Court under Section 306. Referring to different Supreme Court decisions the court stated that- “Section 228(1) Cr.P.C makes it essential for the Trial Court to arrive at the “opinion” that there is ground for presuming that the accused has committed an offence. An opinion is formed on the “basis” of the existence of certain facts or circumstances. In KantiBhadra Shah’s case, it is only the giving of “Reason” that the Supreme Court has held as being unnecessary, where the Trial Court frames charges against the accused. Therefore, an opinion in terms of section 228(1) can only be formed by the Trial Court, on the “basis” of the material on record. Therefore, it is absolutely essential for the Trial Court to summarily state the “basis” on which it forms an opinion justifying the framing of charges against an accused.

This can be done without giving “Reasons”, elaborate or otherwise and it would suffice if the Trial Court refers to the evidence on record without any elaboration of its contents. Statements of witnesses can be referred to by the name of the witness without discussing the contents of the statements or how the same prima facie implicates the accused. This way, the Superior Court sitting in Revision over the order framing charges, when such orders are challenged, would at least be in a position to refer to the material adverted to by the Trial Court and assess if the same does indeed reveal a case against the accused. Thus briefly giving the “basis” for the “opinion” arrived at by the Trial Court at the stage of framing charges, will ensure compliance with the judgements of the Supreme Court in KantiBhadra Shah and in Som Nath Thapa’s case. Thus, the impugned order is deficient in not having given the basis for the opinion as to why charges u/s. 306 IPC ought to be framed against the Petitioners and therefore bad in law.”

By – Simran Arora

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