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Concept of Summary Trial (Sec. 260-265) under Criminal Procedure Code, 1973

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Summary Trial

Summary Trial (Sec.260-265)

Scope & Object

  • Summery trial implies speedy disposal of cases.
  • A case can be tried and disposed of at once.
  • Summary trial is not intended for a contentious and complicated case which necessitates a lengthy trial.
  • The object of summary trial is to have a record sufficient for the purpose of justice but not so long as to impeded speedy disposal of cases.
  • Summary trial is an abridges form of regular trial and is a short cut in procedure.
  • The maximum punishment that can be given in a summary trial is 3 months.

Judicial Officer Empowered to try summarily – S.260(1)

  • It is pertinent to note that the very nature of summary trial requires that experienced and senior judicial officers shall try the case in a summary manner, the same is mentioned as follows:
  • Chief Judicial Magistrate;
  • Metropolitan Magistrate;
  • Judicial Magistrate of the First Class       Can only exercise such powers upon
  • Any other Magistrate                                  being empowered by the High     
  • If any judicial magistrate who tries a case in a summary manner is not empowered to do so, such proceedings shall be void.

Offences Triable in a Summary Way – S.260(2)

The following offences are triable in a summary way:

  1. Any offence punishable with imprisonment for less than 2 years;
  2. Theft, where the value of property is less than Rs. 2000;
  3. Receiving stolen property, where the value of property is less than Rs. 2000;
  4. Concealing or Disposing stolen property, where the value of property is less than Rs. 2000;
  5. House trespass or house breaking;
  6. Insult with intent to provoke a breach of peace;
  7. Abetment of any of the above-mentioned offences;
  8. Attempt to commit any offence mentioned above;
  9. Any offence under Section 20, Cattle Trespass Act, 1871

Procedure to be followed in Summary Trials – S.262

Summons Case Procedure subject to Ss. 262 to 265 – S.262(1)

  • The procedure affixed for a summons case shall be followed.
  • However, the provisions of Ss.262 to 265 will have an overriding effect on the already existing provision of summons case.
  • Even if a case happens to be a warrants case still the abovementioned procedure shall be followed because of the summary nature of the case.

Punishment Awardable – S.262(2)

  • In a summary trial the maximum punishment that the authorized court can ward is imprisonment up to three months.
  • However, there is no restriction on the amount of fine that can be imposed upon conviction.

Summary Trial to be given up in favor of Regular Trial

  • In case the Magistrate is confronted with such compelling reasons that he deems undesirable to try the case in a summary manner, in such a case he may order a regular trial to take place.
  • In such scenario, the Magistrate shall start the trial de novo and examine all the witnesses even those who have been examined earlier under the summary trial procedure.

Record in Summary Trials – S.263

The record of the summary trial shall contain the following particulars of the case:

  1. Serial number;
  2. Date of commission of offence;
  3. Date of report or complaint;
  4. Name of the complainant;
  5. Details of the accused;
  6. Value of the property;
  7. Details of the offence;
  8. Pleas of the accused;
  9. Findings;
  10. Sentence & final order;
  11. Date on which the proceedings terminated.

Judgment in cases tried Summarily – S.264

  • The Magistrate shall record the following in case the accused does not plead guilty:
  • Substance of Evidence;
  • A Judgment
  • The Judgment shall be such that the Court of appeal or revision should be able to peruse the contents of the same and understand the same.
  • Every record shall be written in the language of the Court.  S.265(1)
  • The record and the judgment shall be prepare and signed by the Magistrate.

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