Question: What do you understand by the rule of Autrefois Acquit and Autrefois Convict in CrPC and what are the essentials for such defence? [U.P.H.J.S 1984] Find the answer only on Legal Bites. [What do you understand by the rule of Autrefois Acquit and Autrefois Convict in CrPC and what are the essentials for such defence?] Answer The… Read More »

Question: What do you understand by the rule of Autrefois Acquit and Autrefois Convict in CrPC and what are the essentials for such defence? [U.P.H.J.S 1984] Find the answer only on Legal Bites. [What do you understand by the rule of Autrefois Acquit and Autrefois Convict in CrPC and what are the essentials for such defence?] Answer The principle of “autrefois acquit and autrefois convict” is contained under Section 300 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. Autrefois...

Question: What do you understand by the rule of Autrefois Acquit and Autrefois Convict in CrPC and what are the essentials for such defence? [U.P.H.J.S 1984]

Find the answer only on Legal Bites. [What do you understand by the rule of Autrefois Acquit and Autrefois Convict in CrPC and what are the essentials for such defence?]

Answer

The principle of “autrefois acquit and autrefois convict” is contained under Section 300 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. Autrefois convict means that the person has been previously convicted in respect of the same offence. Autrefois acquit means that the person has been acquitted on the same charge on which he is being prosecuted. The constitution bars double punishment for the same offence. The conviction for such an offence does not bar for subsequent trial and conviction for another offence and it does not matter even if some ingredients of these two offences are common.

As per Halsbury’s Laws of England “The plea of “autrefois convict” or “autrefois acquit” avers that the defendant has been previously convicted or acquitted on a charge for the same offence like that in respect of which he is arraigned…….The question for the jury on the issue is whether the defendant has previously been in jeopardy in respect of the charge on which he is arraigned, for the rule of law is that a person must not be put in peril twice for the same offence.

The test is whether the former offence and the offence now charged have the same ingredients in the sense that the facts constituting the one are sufficient to justify a conviction of the other, not that the facts relied on by the Crown are the same in the two trials. A plea of “autrefois acquit” is not proved unless it is shown that the verdict of acquittal of the previous charge necessarily involves an acquittal of the latter”.

Section 300 of CrPC lay down that a person once convicted or acquitted cannot be tried for the same offence. It is based on the maxim nemo debet bis vexari, which means that a person cannot be tried a second time for an offence which is involved in the offence with which he was previously charged.

In order to bar the trial of any person already tried, it must be shown:

  • that he has been tried by a competent Court for the same offence or one for which he might have been charged or convicted at that trial, on the same facts,
  • that he has been convicted or acquitted at the trial, and
  • that such conviction or acquittal is in force

The whole basis of this section is that the first trial should have been before a Court competent to hear and determine the case and to record a verdict of conviction or acquittal. If the Court was not so competent, it is irrelevant that it would have been competent to try other cases of the same class or indeed the case against the particular accused in different circumstances, e.g., if a sanction had been obtained.

In the case of Baij Nath Prasad v. State of Bhopal, AIR 1957 SC 494 where the conviction of a person and the sentence passed on him are set aside on the ground of want of proper sanction, it cannot be said that there was a proper trial at all and the result of the decision cannot operate under this section as a bar to a fresh trial after receipt of a fresh sanction.


Important Mains/Long Questions for Judiciary, APO & University Exams

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  2. CRPC Mains Questions Series Part II: Important Questions
  3. CRPC Mains Questions Series Part III: Important Questions
  4. CRPC Mains Questions Series Part IV: Important Questions
  5. CRPC Mains Questions Series Part V: Important Questions
  6. CRPC Mains Questions Series Part VI: Important Questions
  7. CRPC Mains Questions Series Part VII: Important Questions
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  10. CRPC Mains Questions Series Part X: Important Questions
  11. CRPC Mains Questions Series Part XI: Important Questions
Updated On 2022-06-16T12:18:35+05:30
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