Question: A is accused of six offences of the same kind committed within a space of twelve months from the first to last of such offences in respect of the same person. Can he be tried at one trial for all those offences? [RJS 1976] Find the answer only on Legal Bites. [A is accused of six offences… Read More »

Question: A is accused of six offences of the same kind committed within a space of twelve months from the first to last of such offences in respect of the same person. Can he be tried at one trial for all those offences? [RJS 1976] Find the answer only on Legal Bites. [A is accused of six offences of the same kind committed within a space of twelve months from the first to last of such offences in respect of the same person. Can he be tried at one trial for all...

Question: A is accused of six offences of the same kind committed within a space of twelve months from the first to last of such offences in respect of the same person. Can he be tried at one trial for all those offences? [RJS 1976]

Find the answer only on Legal Bites. [A is accused of six offences of the same kind committed within a space of twelve months from the first to last of such offences in respect of the same person. Can he be tried at one trial for all those offences?]

Answer

According to Section 219 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 three offences of the same kind within a year may be charged together.

“(1) When a person is accused of more offences than one of the same kind committed within the space of twelve months from the first to the last of such offences, whether in respect of the same person or not, he may be charged with, and tried at one trial for, any number of them not exceeding three.

(2) Offences are of the same kind when they are punishable with the same amount of punishment under the same section of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860) or of any special or local law:

Provided that, for the purposes of this section, an offence punishable under section 379 of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860) shall be deemed to be an offence of the same kind as an offence punishable under section 380 of the said Code, and that an offence punishable under any section of the said Code, or of any special or local law, shall be deemed to be an offence of the same kind as an attempt to commit such offence, when such an attempt is an offence.”

A person, who is accused of more offences than one of the same kind committed within the space of twelve months, may be charged with and tried at one trial for any number of them not exceeding three. This provision governs the case where there is only one accused.

Moreover, the expression “May be charged with, and tried at one trial for, any number of them not exceeding three” simply places a statutory limit on the member of charges which may legally form part of a single trial. There is nothing in the section, however, to prevent an accused from being separately charged with and tried on the same day for any number of distinct offences of the same kind committed within a year. Thus, section 219 says it must be limited to three offences and the offences must be of the same kind.

Section 219 of CrPC limits the number of offences, not of charges. Two charges can be framed though only one offence is committed; so an accused can be tried for six charges framed in respect of three offences, whenever he can be tried jointly for those offences (i.e. when they are of the same nature committed within twelve months or in one transaction). Though there are six charges, he will be convicted of three only, and he will be convicted on each of the three counts under the same Section. He is tried for three offences only and not six. [Keshav Lal v. Emperor, AIR 1944 Bom 306 (U)]

In ‘Rex v. Daya Shanker’, AIR 1950 AIl 167 (Q), the accused was charged under Section 477A for making false entries in six registers in different transactions or, in the alternative, under Section 408, I. P. C. It was held that the trial of the six charges under Section 477A was illegal. As it was a case of offences committed in more than one transaction, Section 235 did not apply to all. Section 239 also did not apply because it was a case of only one accused.

The trial of six charges could be valid if at all only under Section 234. But not more than three offences could be tried together under that provision. Therefore, the trial for the six offences of Section 477A was illegal. The question of the joinder of the charge under Section 408 did not arise at all because regardless of the joinder of that charge the trial was illegal.

Considering the aforesaid reasoning and after bare reading of the provision contained in Section 219 of the code, it is clear that A who is accused of six offences of the same kind committed within a space of twelve months cannot be tried at one trial for all those offences.


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Updated On 2022-06-02T05:44:43+05:30
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