Trial and Inquiry

‘Trial’ means determination of issues adjudging the guilt or the innocence of a person, the person has to be aware of what is the case against him and it is only at the stage of framing of the charges that the court informs him of the same, the ‘trial’ commences only on charges being framed.
Section 2(g) of the Cr.P.C. therefore clearly envisages inquiry before the actual commencement of the trial, and is an act conducted under Cr.P.C. by the Magistrate or the Court. The word ‘inquiry’ is, therefore, not any inquiry relating to investigation of the case by the investigating agency but is an inquiry after the case is brought to the notice of the court on the filing of the charge-sheet. The Court can thereafter proceed to make inquiries and it is for this reason that an inquiry has been given to mean something other than the actual trial.
Even the word “course” occurring in Section 319 Cr.P.C., clearly indicates that the power can be exercised only during the period when the inquiry has been commenced and is going on. It covers the entire wide range of the process of the pre-trial and the trial stage. The word “course” therefore, allows the Court to invoke this power to proceed against any person from the initial stage of the inquiry upto the stage of the conclusion of the trial. The Court does not become functus officio even if cognizance is taken so far as it is looking into the material qua any other person who is not an accused. The word “course” ordinarily conveys a meaning of a continuous progress from one point to the next in time and conveys the idea of a period of time, duration and not a fixed point of time. Hardeep Singh v. State of Punjab, 2014 (85) ACC 313.

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