How Long Do Magistrates Court Cases Last?

Indian judiciary is one of the effective judicial systems, its powers have been stated under the Constitution of India. Even the legal system of our country refers to a procedure or process for interpreting and enforcing the law, it clearly states the responsibilities in a variety of ways. There is civil or criminal justice system in which the working of the court has been divided. Criminal Justice is the system of practice and part of government Institution which focus on social control and giving punishments those who violates the laws. The Criminal Justice system is very different around the world depending on the country to country. Even different trials procedure and codes are made for them

It is the prime duty of the State to protect the rights and liberties of its people, which means to secure the innocent and punish the guilty. In every civilized society governed by rule of law, there is a criminal justice system in place for this purpose, its function is to adjudicate legal disputes between parties and carry out the administration of justice in accordance with the laws.

The criminal system in India is used to known as the “Adversarial System”. In our country prior to 1882, there was no uniform Criminal Code, there used to separate acts which were applicable in erstwhile Provinces and the Presidency Towns. For the first time in 1882, the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898. This code of 1898 has been amended by various Amending Acts. The fundamental consideration which was kept in mind while framing this Criminal justice and code is that:

  1. An accused person should get a fair trial in accordance with the accepted principles of natural justice;
  2. Every effort should be made to avoid delay in investigation and trial which is harmful not only to individuals involved but also to the society;
  3. The procedure should not be complicated and should, to the utmost extent possible, ensure a fair deal to the poorest sections of the community.

Criminal Courts are being followed by a magistrate, it is a person who can enforce laws within a particular area. In India, there are four kinds of magistrates: Chief Judicial Magistrate; Judicial Magistrate First Class; Judicial Magistrate Second Class and Executive magistrate. The judicial magistrate is appointed by the High Courts and executive magistrate are appointed and controlled by the State Government. In case of a metropolitan area, the term also gets change from Judicial to Metropolitan Magistrate. These Magistrate deals in three kinds of cases:

  1. Summary offences: These are less serious and these cases take short time in magistrate court, such as minor assault, where the defendant is not entitled to be trail by the magistrate.
  2. Either way of offences: These are offences which are no less serious and tries before a magistrate. These offences include Theft, robbery etc.;
  3. Indictable offences: These are also known as “Heinous Offences” which are murder, manslaughter, rape and robbery.

If any criminal offence takes place the case will be tried in magistrate court and crime is a wrong not only against the individual victim but also against the state. Therefore, the state takes upon itself, at least in case of serious offences, the responsibility of prosecuting the accused persons. As per the rules of magistrate all the proceedings of the magistrate in the magistrate court office in the country.

Every Criminal case begins with a complaint filed in the police station and then an investigation begins for that case, the investigation is an attempt to recreate the unknown from the known, by collection and presentation of pieces of evidence, with a view to aid the court in arriving at a conclusion and punish the wrong, in every investigation the inquiry is the first step in it and in those case where there is a sufficient grounds to presume commission of offense then the only trial will take place which is the next step in which the evidence is examined which are collected during the investigation and on the basis of which the case reaches to a conclusion.

There are basically five stages on which the magistrate court work which is:

Stage 1: Soon after the registration of FIR the investigation is started by the police and if the offence is triable than the only cognizance is taken and

Stage 2:  In cases where the arrest is effected by the Investigating officer, on his production before the court and while deciding the question of the validity of the arrest and need for further custody either Judicial or Police or if bail is available.

Stage 3: Magistrate intervention while deciding the applications for the recording of statements under section 164 of the CrPC and charges are framed on the police report

Stage 4:  Monitoring of investigation.

Stage 5: Further investigation if required, post-filing of police report u/s 173 of the CrPC

Stage 6: On the basis of all investigation the proceedings continue and the evidence which is collected during the investigation, are used in order to prove or disprove and find guilt or innocence of the accused.

Stage 7: Argument if any take place and in the last Order of Acquittal or punishment will be given

These are the stages of the trials and it depends on which trial to determine how long it will last as if it is Warrant Trial then it will take 7 years or more if it is Summon Trial than it will take maximum 2 years and if it is Summary Trial it will take maximum 6 months not more than that, but the same stages are followed stated above only the hearing of cases decide how much time it will take and what type of offense it is in order to decide the trial and time period of the case in magistrate court. All these trials and procedure is stated under our Code of Criminal Procedure, 1908.

This Article is Authored by Anant Rao, 4th Year, BB.A LL.B, Student of Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University (College name – Gitarattan Internation Business School).

Also Read – What are the Powers of Magistrate in India?

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