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Bare Act: Section 248 to Section 273 of The Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS)|Trial

Updated: Mar 2

CHAPTER XX

TRIAL BEFORE A COURT OF SESSION


Section 248 of The Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS):


Trial to be conducted by Public Prosecutor.


In every trial before a Court of Session, the prosecution shall be conducted by a Public Prosecutor.


Section 249 of The Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS):


Opening case for prosecution.


When the accused appears or is brought before the Court, in pursuance of a commitment of the case under section 232, or under any other law for the time being in force,

the prosecutor shall open his case by describing the charge brought against the accused and stating by what evidence he proposes to prove the guilt of the accused.


Section 250 of The Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS):


Discharge.


(1) The accused may prefer an application for discharge within a period of sixty days from the date of committal under section 232.


(2) If, upon consideration of the record of the case and the documents submitted therewith, and after hearing the submissions of the accused and the prosecution in this behalf, the Judge considers that there is not sufficient ground for proceeding against the accused, he shall discharge the accused and record his reasons for so doing.


Section 251 of The Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS), Bare Act:


Framing of charge.


(1) If, after such consideration and hearing as aforesaid, the Judge is of opinion that there is ground for presuming that the accused has committed an offence which—


(a) is not exclusively triable by the Court of Session, he may, frame a charge against the accused and, by order, transfer the case for trial to the Chief Judicial Magistrate, or any other Judicial Magistrate of the first class and direct the accused to appear before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, or the Judicial Magistrate of the first class, on such date as he deems fit, and thereupon such Magistrate shall try the offence in accordance with the procedure for the trial of warrant-cases instituted on a police report;


(b) is exclusively triable by the Court, he shall frame in writing a charge against the accused within a period of sixty days from the date of first hearing on charge.


(2) Where the Judge frames any charge under clause (b) of sub-section (1), the charge shall be read and explained to the accused present either physically or through audio-video electronic means and the accused shall be asked whether he pleads guilty of the offence charged or claims to be tried.


Section 252 of The Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS):


Conviction on plea of guilty.


If the accused pleads guilty, the Judge shall record the plea and may, in his discretion, convict him thereon.


Section 253 of The Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS):


Date for prosecution evidence.


If the accused refuses to plead, or does not plead, or claims to be tried or is not convicted under section 252, the Judge shall fix a date for the examination of witnesses, and may, on the application of the prosecution, issue any process for compelling the attendance of any witness or the production of any document or other thing.


Section 254 of The Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS):


Evidence for prosecution.


(1) On the date so fixed, the Judge shall proceed to take all such evidence as may be produced in support of the prosecution:

Provided that evidence of a witness under this sub-section may be recorded by audio-video electronic means.


(2) The deposition of evidence of any police officer or public servant may be taken through audio-video electronic means.


(3) The Judge may, in his discretion, permit the cross-examination of any witness to be deferred until any other witness or witnesses have been examined or recall any witness for further cross-examination.


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Section 255 of The Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS):


Acquittal.


If, after taking the evidence for the prosecution, examining the accused and hearing the prosecution and the defence on the point, the Judge considers that there is no evidence that the accused committed the offence, the Judge shall record an order of acquittal.


Section 256 of The Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS):


Entering upon defence.


(1) Where the accused is not acquitted under section 255, he shall be called upon to enter on his defence and adduce any evidence he may have in support thereof.


(2) If the accused puts in any written statement, the Judge shall file it with the record.


(3) If the accused applies for the issue of any process for compelling the attendance of any witness or the production of any document or thing, the Judge shall issue such process unless he considers, for reasons to be recorded, that such application should be refused on the ground that it is made for the purpose of vexation or delay or for defeating the ends of justice.


Section 257 of The Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS):


Arguments.


When the examination of the witnesses (if any) for the defence is complete, the prosecutor shall sum up his case and the accused or his pleader shall be entitled to reply:

Provided that where any point of law is raised by the accused or his pleader, the prosecution may, with the permission of the Judge, make his submissions with regard to such point of law.


Section 258 of The Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS):


Judgment of acquittal or conviction.


 (1) After hearing arguments and points of law (if any), the Judge shall give a judgment in the case, as soon as possible, within a period of thirty days from the date of completion of arguments, which may for specific reasons extend to a period of sixty days.


(2) If the accused is convicted, the Judge shall, unless he proceeds in accordance with the provisions of section 401, hear the accused on the questions of sentence, and then pass sentence on him according to law.


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Section 259 of The Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS):


Previous conviction.


In a case where a previous conviction is charged under the provisions of sub-section (7) of section 234, and the accused does not admit that he has been previously convicted as alleged in the charge, the Judge may, after he has convicted the said accused under section 252 or section 258, take evidence in respect of the alleged previous conviction, and shall record a finding thereon:


Provided that no such charge shall be read out by the Judge nor shall the accused be asked to plead thereto nor shall the previous conviction be referred to by the prosecution or in any evidence adduced by it, unless and until the accused has been convicted under section 252 or section 258.


Section 260 of The Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS):


Procedure in cases instituted under sub-section (2) of section 222.


(1) A Court of Session taking cognizance of an offence under sub-section (1) of section 222 shall try the case in accordance with the procedure for the trial of warrant-cases instituted otherwise than on a police report before a Court of Magistrate:

Provided that the person against whom the offence is alleged to have been committed shall, unless the Court of Session, for reasons to be recorded, otherwise directs, be examined

as a witness for the prosecution.


(2) Every trial under this section shall be held in camera if either party thereto so desires or if the Court thinks fit so to do.


(3) If, in any such case, the Court discharges or acquits all or any of the accused and

is of opinion that there was no reasonable cause for making the accusation against them or

any of them, it may, by its order of discharge or acquittal, direct the person against whom the offence was alleged to have been committed (other than the President, Vice-President or

the Governor of a State or the Administrator of a Union territory) to show cause why he should not pay compensation to such accused or to each or any of such accused, when there are more than one.


(4) The Court shall record and consider any cause which may be shown by the person so directed, and if it is satisfied that there was no reasonable cause for making the accusation,

it may, for reasons to be recorded, make an order that compensation to such amount not exceeding five thousand rupees, as it may determine, be paid by such person to the accused or to each or any of them.


(5) Compensation awarded under sub-section (4) shall be recovered as if it were a fine imposed by a Magistrate.


(6) No person who has been directed to pay compensation under sub-section (4) shall, by reason of such order, be exempted from any civil or criminal liability in respect of the complaint made under this section:


Provided that any amount paid to an accused person under this section shall be taken into account in awarding compensation to such person in any subsequent civil suit relating

to the same matter.


(7) The person who has been ordered under sub-section (4) to pay compensation may appeal from the order, in so far as it relates to the payment of compensation, to the High Court.


(8) When an order for payment of compensation to an accused person is made, the compensation shall not be paid to him before the period allowed for the presentation of the appeal has elapsed, or, if an appeal is presented, before the appeal has been decided.


CHAPTER XXI

TRIAL OF WARRANT-CASES BY MAGISTRATES


A.—Cases instituted on a police report


Section 261 BNSS| Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS):


Compliance with section 230.


When, in any warrant-case instituted on a police report, the accused appears or is brought before a Magistrate at the commencement of the trial, the Magistrate shall satisfy himself that he has complied with the provisions of section 230.


Section 262 BNSS| Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS):


When accused shall be discharged.


(1) The accused may prefer an application for discharge within a period of sixty days from the date of supply of copies of documents under section 230.


(2) If, upon considering the police report and the documents sent with it under section 193 and making such examination, if any, of the accused, either physically or through audio-video electronic means, as the Magistrate thinks necessary and after giving the prosecution and the accused an opportunity of being heard, the Magistrate considers the charge against the accused to be groundless, he shall discharge the accused, and record his reasons for so doing.


Section 263 of The Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS):


Framing of charge.


(1) If, upon such consideration, examination, if any, and hearing, the Magistrate is of opinion that there is ground for presuming that the accused has committed an offence triable under this Chapter, which such Magistrate is competent to try and which, in his opinion, could be adequately punished by him, he shall frame in writing a charge against the accused within a period of sixty days from the date of first hearing on charge.


(2) The charge shall then be read and explained to the accused, and he shall be asked whether he pleads guilty of the offence charged or claims to be tried.


Section 264 of The Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS):


Conviction on plea of guilty.


If the accused pleads guilty, the Magistrate shall record the plea and may, in his discretion, convict him thereon.


Section 265 of The Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS):


Evidence for prosecution.


(1) If the accused refuses to plead or does not plead, or claims to be tried or the Magistrate does not convict the accused under section 264, the Magistrate shall fix a date for the examination of witnesses:


Provided that the Magistrate shall supply in advance to the accused, the statement of witnesses recorded during investigation by the police.


(2) The Magistrate may, on the application of the prosecution, issue a summons to any of its witnesses directing him to attend or to produce any document or other thing.


(3) On the date so fixed, the Magistrate shall proceed to take all such evidence as may be produced in support of the prosecution:


Provided that the Magistrate may permit the cross-examination of any witness to be deferred until any other witness or witnesses have been examined or recall any witness for further cross-examination:


Provided further that evidence of a witness under this sub-section may be recorded by audio-video electronic means.


Section 266 of The Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS):


Evidence for defence.


(1) The accused shall then be called upon to enter upon his defence and produce his evidence; and if the accused puts in any written statement, the Magistrate shall file it with the record.


(2) If the accused, after he has entered upon his defence, applies to the Magistrate to issue any process for compelling the attendance of any witness for the purpose of examination or cross-examination, or the production of any document or other thing, the Magistrate shall issue such process unless he considers that such application should be refused on the ground that it is made for the purpose of vexation or delay or for defeating the ends of justice and such ground shall be recorded by him in writing:


Provided that when the accused has cross-examined or had the opportunity of cross-examining any witness before entering on his defence, the attendance of such witness shall not be compelled under this section, unless the Magistrate is satisfied that it is necessary for the ends of justice.


Provided further that the examination of a witness under this sub-section may be done by audio-video electronic means at the designated place to be notified by the State Government.


(3) The Magistrate may, before summoning any witness on an application under sub-section (2), require that the reasonable expenses incurred by the witness in attending for the purposes of the trial be deposited in Court.


B.—Cases instituted otherwise than on police report


Section 267 of The Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS):


Evidence for prosecution.


(1) When, in any warrant-case instituted otherwise than on a police report, the accused appears or is brought before a Magistrate, the Magistrate shall proceed to hear the prosecution and take all such evidence as may be produced in support of the prosecution.


(2) The Magistrate may, on the application of the prosecution, issue a summons to any of its witnesses directing him to attend or to produce any document or other thing.


Section 268 of The Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS):


When accused shall be discharged.


(1) If, upon taking all the evidence referred to in section 267, the Magistrate considers, for reasons to be recorded, that no case against the accused has been made out which, if unrebutted, would warrant his conviction, the Magistrate shall discharge him.


(2) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to prevent a Magistrate from discharging

the accused at any previous stage of the case if, for reasons to be recorded by such Magistrate, he considers the charge to be groundless.


Section 269 of The Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS):


Procedure where accused is not discharged.


(1) If, when such evidence has been taken, or at any previous stage of the case,

the Magistrate is of opinion that there is ground for presuming that the accused has committed an offence triable under this Chapter, which such Magistrate is competent to try

and which, in his opinion, could be adequately punished by him, he shall frame in writing a charge against the accused.


(2) The charge shall then be read and explained to the accused, and he shall be asked whether he pleads guilty or has any defence to make.


(3) If the accused pleads guilty, the Magistrate shall record the plea, and may, in his discretion, convict him thereon.


(4) If the accused refuses to plead, or does not plead or claims to be tried or if the accused is not convicted under sub-section (3), he shall be required to state, at the commencement of the next hearing of the case, or, if the Magistrate for reasons to be recorded in writing so thinks fit, forthwith, whether he wishes to cross-examine any, and, if so, which, of the witnesses for the prosecution whose evidence has been taken.


(5) If he says he does so wish, the witnesses named by him shall be recalled and, after cross-examination and re-examination (if any), they shall be discharged.


(6) The evidence of any remaining witnesses for the prosecution shall next be taken, and after cross-examination and re-examination (if any), they shall also be discharged.


(7) Where, despite giving opportunity to the prosecution and after taking all reasonable measures under this Sanhita, if the attendance of the prosecution witnesses under sub-sections (5) and (6) cannot be secured for cross examination, it shall be deemed that such witness has not been examined for not being available, and the Magistrate may close

the prosecution evidence for reasons to be recorded in writing and proceed with the case

on the basis of the materials on record.


Section 270 of The Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS):


Evidence for defence.


The accused shall then be called upon to enter upon his defence and produce his evidence; and the provisions of section 266 shall apply to the case.


C.—Conclusion of trial


Section 271 of The Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS):


Acquittal or conviction.


(1) If, in any case under this Chapter in which a charge has been framed, the

Magistrate finds the accused not guilty, he shall record an order of acquittal.


(2) Where, in any case under this Chapter, the Magistrate finds the accused guilty, but does not proceed in accordance with the provisions of section 364 or section 401, he shall, after hearing the accused on the question of sentence, pass sentence upon him according to law.


(3) Where, in any case under this Chapter, a previous conviction is charged under the provisions of sub-section (7) of section 234 and the accused does not admit that he has been previously convicted as alleged in the charge, the Magistrate may, after he has convicted

the said accused, take evidence in respect of the alleged previous conviction, and shall record a finding thereon:


Provided that no such charge shall be read out by the Magistrate nor shall the accused be asked to plead thereto nor shall the previous conviction be referred to by the prosecution or in any evidence adduced by it, unless and until the accused has been convicted under sub-section (2).


Section 272 of The Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS):


Absence of complainant.


When the proceedings have been instituted upon complaint, and on any day fixed for the hearing of the case, the complainant is absent, and the offence may be lawfully compounded or is not a cognizable offence, the Magistrate may after giving thirty days' time to the complainant to be present, in his discretion, notwithstanding anything hereinbefore contained, at any time before the charge has been framed, discharge the accused.


Section 273 of The Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS):


Compensation for accusation without reasonable cause.


(1) If, in any case instituted upon complaint or upon information given to a police officer or to a Magistrate, one or more persons is or are accused before a Magistrate of any offence triable by a Magistrate, and the Magistrate by whom the case is heard discharges or acquits all or any of the accused, and is of opinion that there was no reasonable ground for making the accusation against them or any of them, the Magistrate may, by his order of discharge or acquittal, if the person upon whose complaint or information the accusation was made is present, call upon him forthwith to show cause why he should not pay compensation to such accused or to each or any of such accused when there are more than one; or, if such person is not present, direct the issue of a summons to him to appear and show cause as aforesaid.


(2) The Magistrate shall record and consider any cause which such complainant or informant may show, and if he is satisfied that there was no reasonable ground for making the accusation, may, for reasons to be recorded, make an order that compensation to such amount, not exceeding the amount of fine he is empowered to impose, as he may determine, be paid by such complainant or informant to the accused or to each or any of them.


(3) The Magistrate may, by the order directing payment of the compensation under sub-section (2), further order that, in default of payment, the person ordered to pay such compensation shall undergo simple imprisonment for a period not exceeding thirty days.


(4) When any person is imprisoned under sub-section (3), the provisions of sub-section (6) of section 8 of the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, 2023 shall, so far as may be, apply.


(5) No person who has been directed to pay compensation under this section shall, by reason of such order, be exempted from any civil or criminal liability in respect of the complaint made or information given by him:

Provided that any amount paid to an accused person under this section shall be taken into account in awarding compensation to such person in any subsequent civil suit relating to the same matter.


(6) A complainant or informant who has been ordered under sub-section (2) by a Magistrate of the second class to pay compensation exceeding one thousand rupees, may appeal from the order, as if such complainant or informant had been convicted on a trial held by such Magistrate.


(7) When an order for payment of compensation to an accused person is made in a case which is subject to appeal under sub-section (6), the compensation shall not be paid to him before the period allowed for the presentation of the appeal has elapsed, or, if an appeal is presented, before the appeal has been decided; and where such order is made in a case which is not so subject to appeal the compensation shall not be paid before the expiration of one month from the date of the order.


(8) The provisions of this section apply to summons-cases as well as to warrant-cases.




Links to important sections of Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS):


Section 30 to Section 40 of BNSS (Provisions relating to Arrest starting from Section 35):


Section 144-163 (Section 144,145,146 and 147 relate maintenance proceedings):


Section 173-Section 187 (including section 173 relating to FIR):


Section 188 to Section 209 (including section 193 relating to chargesheet/police report):


Section 210 to Section 222 (including provisions relating to cognizance):


Section 473 to Section 492) (Including Section 480, Section 481, Section 482, Section 483, Section 484, Section 485 that is, provisions relating to bail):

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