Discharge U/s. 227 Cr.P.C. : 4 Important Principles

Section 227 of the Code of Criminal Procedure Act, 1973 reads thus:


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.

In the case of Union of India Vs. Prafulla Kumar Samal, AIR 1979 SC 366, while dealing with the question of charge, it was observed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court, in paragraph 10, as under:­

“Thus, on a consideration of the authorities mentioned above, the following principles emerge:

(1) That the Judge while considering the question of framing the charges under Section 227 of the Code has the undoubted power to sift and weigh the evidence for the limited purpose of finding out whether or not a prima facie case against the accused has been made out:

(2) Where the materials placed before the Court disclose grave suspicion against the accused which has not been properly explained the court will be fully justified in framing a charge and proceedings with the trial.

(3) The test to determine a prima facie case would naturally depend upon the facts of each case and it is difficult to lay down a rule of universal application. By and large however if two views are equally possible and the Judge is satisfied that the evidence produced before him while giving rise to some suspicion but no grave suspicion against the accused, he will be fully within his right to discharge the accused.

(4) That in exercising his jurisdiction under Section 227 of the Code the Judge which under the present Code is a senior and experienced Judge cannot act merely as a Post Office or a mouth­piece of the prosecution, but has to consider the broad possibilities of the case, the total effect of the evidence and the documents produced before the court, and the basic infirmities appearing in the case and so on. This however does not mean that the Judge should make a roving enquiry into the pros and cons of the matter and weigh the evidence as if he was conducting a trial”.

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