Judgment is a judicial verdict deciding the case finally with its pronouncement pending proceedings would stand leaving nothing to be considered or re-considered in the future. It is the final decision which decides whether the accused person is innocent or guilty. It is the expression of opinion of the Judge or the Magistrate arrived after due consideration of the evidences and arguments. The characteristics of a good judgment is that it should be self-evident and self- explanatory. Judgment is dealt in the Chapter 27 of Criminal Procedure Code,1973 from section 353 to 365.
Section 353 to 365 in Criminal Procedure Code
1. In every trial in Criminal Court before the Presiding officer immediately after the termination of proceedings, notice shall be sent to the parties or their pleaders by :
a. delivering whole judgment
b. reading out whole judgment
c. reading out only the operative part of judgment and explaining the substance of it.
2. Judgment delivered under clause (a) of sub-section (1) : The Presiding officer shall sign each page of the transcript which is taken down in short-hand and write the date of the delivery of the judgment in the open court.
3. Judgment or the operative part of clause (b) or clause (c) of sub section (1) : The Presiding officer shall sign and write the date in the open court and if it is not written in his own hand then every page of the judgment has to be signed by him.
4. Judgment pronounced under clause (c) of sub section (1) : whole judgment or a copy of it shall be available to the parties or the pleader at free cost.
5. Judgment can be pronounced to accused if he is in custody
6. If the accused is not under the custody, then the Court shall require his attendance for the pronouncement of the judgment. Except in cases where his personal attendance is dispensed with and the sentence is only for one of the fine or if he is acquitted.
Provided that if there are more than one accused and one or more of them do not attend on the date on which the judgment is pronounced then the Presiding officer shall avoid undue delay and continue with the disposal of the case in their absence
7. No judgment delivered can be made invalid for mere absence of any party or pleader on the date notified for delivery or for any omission or defect in serving the notice of such day and place.
8. Nothing in the section shall limit the extent of provisions mentioned in Section 465.
1. Every judgment referred in Section 353 shall :
a. Be written in the court’s language
b. Contain points for determination and decision with its reasons.
c. Specify the offences and sections of Indian Penal Code or any other law in which the accused is convicted.
2. State the offence under which the accused has been acquitted if the judgment is of acquittal.
3. When conviction is under Indian Penal Code and it is doubtful whether under which section or which part of section does the offence falls then the Court shall express the same and pass judgment in the alternative.
4. When the offence is punishable with imprisonment for life or imprisonment for a terms of years then the judgment should contain the special reasons for giving such a sentence.
5. When the offence is punishable with imprisonment for one year of more but the Court imposes a sentence for term less than 3 moths then it should record the reasons for awarding such sentence.
6. Any person is sentenced to death then the sentence shall contain and direct the he be hanged by the neck till he is dead.
7. Point of determination and reasons for decision has to compulsorily be present in the order under Section 117 or sub section (2) of Section 138 or any final order made under Section 145, Section 125 or Section 147.
Metropolitan Magistrate’s Judgment can be recorded with the following particulars :
a. Serial number of case
b. Date of commission of offence
c. Name of the complainant
d. Name of the accused person with his parentage and residence
e. Offence complained or proved of
f. Plea of accused and his examination
g. Final order
h. Date of order
i. All cases in which appeal lies from the final order and a brief statement for the decisions.
Order for notifying address for previously convicted offender :
1. Any person convicted for an offence under section 215, section 489A section 489B, section 489C or section 489D of the Indian Penal Code or under chapter XII or chapter XVII of that code with the imprisonment for a term of 3 years or more. Then again if he convicted under any of these sections or chapters with imprisonment 3 years or more in any court other than Magistrate of 2nd class. If court think sift at the time of passing such sentence also order his residence and any change or absence from such residence after release be notified within a term not exceeding 5 years from the expiration of such sentence.
2. Sub section (1) applies even to criminal conspiracies and abetment or attempt of such offences.
3. It shall be void if such conviction is set aside on the basis of an appeal.
4. Order under this section can also be made by the Appellate Court or High Court of Court of session when they exercise its power of revision.
5. Regarding the notification of residence or change or absence from residence by released convicts, the State Government can make rules to carry out provisions.
6. Any person charged for breach of such rule it may be tried by a Magistrate of competent jurisdiction.
Order to pay compensation
1. When court imposes fine or sentence, it may pass an order for the whole or any part of the fine recovered to be applied in :
a. defraying the expenses incurred in prosecution
b. payment to any person for compensation of loss or injury caused due to offence , in the opinion of court which is recoverable
c. where any person is convicted of offence where it caused death of any person or abetted to commission of such offence the compensation has to be paid to the persons under Fatal Accidents Act and they are entitled to recover damages from the person sentenced for the loss resulting to them from such death.
d. where any person convicted of offence including theft, criminal misappropriation, cheating or criminal breach of trust or dishonestly received or retained or disposed of the stolen property knowing or having reason to believe the same has been stolen in compensating any bona fide purchaser of such property for the loss from such property is restored by giving the possession which he is entitled.
2. where a case is subject to appeal and a fine is imposed in such s case then no such payment has been elapsed before allowing the appeal or if an appeal is presented before the decision of it.
3. If fine does not become a part of a sentence imposed by court then the accused person has to pay by way of compensation of such amount specified in the order to the person who has suffered loss due to the act of the accused person.
4. Appellate Court or High Court or Court of Session can make an order under this section when its exercise its power of revision.
5. The court can take into account any sum paid or recovered as compensation under this section when the award compensation in any subsequent civil suit relating to the same matter.
Section 357 A
Compensation scheme of the victim
1. Every state Government in co-ordination with the Central Government shall prepare a scheme for providing funds to the victims or is dependants for the loss or injury that they have suffered in the result of the crime and they also require rehabilitation.
2. When the recommendation is made by Court for compensation then the quantum of compensation has to be decided by the District or State Legal Service Authority.
3. When the trail court is not satisfied with the compensation awarded under Section 357 or if the cases end in acquittal and the victim needs rehabilitation then the it may make recommendation for compensation for the same.
4. When offender is not identified and the trail does no take place but the victim is identified then the victim or his dependants can make an application to the District or State Legal Service Authority for compensation.
5. On receipt of such application or recommendation, the State or District Legal Service Authority after enquiry of 2 months can award adequate compensation.
6. The District or State Legal Services Authority shall alleviate the suffering of the victim and may order to provide them with first-aid facility or any medical benefits at free cost on the certificate of the police officer not below the rank of officer in charge or Magistrate of that area or they may provide any interim relief as the authority deems fit.
- This has been inserted by Act 5, Code of Criminal Procedure Code , 2008.
Section 357 B
There shall be additional fine payable to the victim under Section 326A, 376AB, section 376D, 376DA, 376DB of the Indian Penal Code. It is inserted by Act 13 of 2013 of Criminal Law Amendment Act.
Section 357 C
Treatment of victims
First-aid or medical treatment at free of cost, to the victims of any offence covered under section 326A, 376, 376A, 376B, 376C, 376D, 376DA, 376DB or section 376E of the Indian Penal Code shall be provided by the all hospitals ( public or private) of central or state government.
Section 358 :
Compensation paid to persons groundlessly arrested
1. When a person causes arrest of another person by police officer and if it appears to the Magistrate that there was no sufficient ground for arrest then he may award compensation not exceeding hundred rupees to be paid by the person who caused such arrest to the another person for his loss of time and expense.
2. If more than one person is arrested in such case then the Magistrate may award each of them compensation not exceeding one hundred rupees.
3. All compensation under this section may be recovered as fine and if it not recovered then the Magistrate may direct a sentence of simple imprisonment of term not exceeding 30 days unless such sum is sooner paid.
Order to pay in non-cognizable cases
1. When any complaint is made by a person for non-cognizable offence and if the Court convicts the accused then in addition to penalty imposed upon him they also order him to pay compensation to complainant for cost incurred while filling the complaint. If the accused fails to pay then he may get simple imprisonment for a term not exceeding 30 days. The costs include expenses in the process , fees of witnesses and pleader’s fees.
2. Appellate Court or High Court or Court of Session can make an order under this section when they exercise their power of revision.
Order to release on probation ( Good conduct or after admonition)
1. When any person not under 21 years of age is convicted of an offence punishable with imprisonment for term of seven years or less or with fine only or any person under 21 years or women who is convicted for an offence not punishable with death or imprisonment of life and if there is no previous conviction on the offender then the offender can be released on probation by examining the following facts:
- Age of the offender
- Character of the offender
- Antecedents of the offender
- Circumstances in which the offence has been committed.
The Court instead of punishing him, they can direct him to be released on his entering into a bond with or without sureties and they may direct him to keep the peace and be of good behavior.
Provided that when any first offender is convicted under Magistrate of second class not empowered by High Court then the Magistrate shall record his opinion and submit the proceedings to first class by forwarding the accused or taking his bail and dispose of the case in the manner provided by sub-section (2).
2. As provided in sub section (1), when the proceedings are submitted to first class Magistrate then he shall pass such sentence or make such order as if the case was originally heard by him. If he thinks there needs to be further inquiry or additional evidence on any point then he may make such inquiry himself or direct such inquiry or evidence to be taken.
3. When a person is convicted of theft or dishonest misappropriation or cheating or any other offence under the Indian Penal Code which is punishable with a term not more than 2 years imprisonment or punishable only with fine and no previous conviction against him, instead of sentencing him then can release him after due admonition on the basis of :
- Age of the offender
- Antecedents or physical and mental condition
- Trivial nature of the offence
- Circumstances of the offence
4. Appellate Court or High Court or Court of Session can make order under this section while its exercising its powers of revision.
5. The High Court or Court of session when an order is made under this section , they can appeal when there is right of appeal to such Court or when they exercise the power of revision , can set aside such order and thereof pass a sentence.
Provided that these Courts shall not inflict a greater punishment than the offender was convicted under this sub section.
7. The Court before directing release of an offender, shall be satisfied that an offender or his surety has a fixed place or regular occupation for observance of his condition.
8. If the Court thinks that the offender has not satisfied the conditions for recognizance then they may issue warrant for his apprehension.
9. An offender when apprehended on such warrant, he shall be brought before the Court and the court can either remand him or admit him to bail with surety and can pass sentence.
10. Nothing in this section shall affect the Probation of Offenders Act, Children’s Act or any other law being in force at that time for treatment and rehabilitation of youthful offenders.
Special reasons which are to be recorded in certain cases
Where in cases the Court could have dealt with:
1. Accused under Section 360/ provisions of Probation of Offenders Act,1958,or
2. Under Children Act,1960 or any other law in force at that time for treatment of youth offender or rehabilitation of the offenders and it shall record the special reason in the judgment for not having done so.
Court no to alter the Judgment
Save as otherwise provided under this code or any other law for time being in force, no court shall alter or review the judgment when it is signed its judgment or final order is made for disposing of the case except to correct a clerical or arithmetical error.
Copy of judgment which is to be given to the accused and other persons
1. When accused is sentenced to imprisonment then immediately after pronouncement the copy of judgment has to given at free of cost.
2. When on application by accused , a certified copy of judgment in his own language or in language of court shall be given without delay with free of cost.
Provided if it is sentence of death then the certified copy should be immediately given and no after he applies for it.
3. The provision of sub section (2) shall apply to an order under Section 117 .
4. When the accused is sentenced to death and if there any appeal which lies on such judgment or order then the Court shall inform him within which period he has right to appeal.
5. Save as otherwise provided in sub-section (2) any person affected by the order or judgment passed by the Court can make an application with prescribed charges and be given a copy of such judgment.
Provided that the Court should think fit for special reason and give the copy to him at free of cost
6. The High Court shall provide copies of judgment or order of the Court to any person who is no affected by a judgment with a prescribed fees and subject to certain conditions as such the rules provide.
When judgment is translated
The original is recorded in a language different from the language of the Court and if the accused require then a translation into language of the Court shall be added to the record of proceedings.
The Court of Session has to send copy of finding and sentence to District Magistrate within whose local jurisdiction the trial was held.
Illustration 1 : Ramu Alias Ram Kumar And Others v. Jagannath on 4 February, 1992[i]
In revision, High Court set aside the order of acquittal on the ground that the order of Session Court was contrary to Section 353 of the Act. They remanded the case for fresh hearing. The Supreme Court held that the interference of the High Court was not justifies.
Illustration 2 : Girdhari Lal v. State Of Punjab on 9 September, 1980[ii]
The point arising in the appeal of this case is whether the order or decision of the HIgh Court directing to pay Rs. 3000 as litigation costs to the State is sustainable in the light of the provisions of Section 357 of Criminal Procedure Code. When there is no sentence of fine or imprisonment and the convict has been let off free on probation, then there can be no direction for payment of compensation under section 357(a);
Illustration 3 : Om Prakash And Others v. State Of Madhya Pradesh on 10 April, 1981[iii]
The offence of which the appellants have been convicted in under Section 323 of Indian Penal Code. It would meet ends of justice and they can be not sent to jail but can be released on probation under Section 360(1) of the Criminal Procedure Code. The appeal can be allowed and the sentence for imprisonment can be set aside. Each of the appellant can be released on entering into a bond in the sum of Rs. 500 with one surety and keep the peace and good behavior.
Illustration 4 : Smt. Sooraj Devi v. Pyare Lal And Anr on 8 January, 1981[iv]
Inherent power of Court under Section 482 is not contemplated by saving provision in section 362.
Frequently asked question
Which expressions of the Court’s opinion does not qualify or fall under as a judgment?
All expressions of the criminal court fall under category of orders except the judgment of conviction or acquittal. An order of discharge , an order of dismissal of complaint and an interlocutory order in a criminal case do not constitute a judgment.
How is the quantum of compensation be calculated?
The quantum is determined by taking the following into consideration :
- Nature of the crime
- Loss or the injury suffered
- Convict’s capacity to pay the compensation
Why there is a need to submit the death sentence for confirmation?
Section 366 provided that the death sentence padded by the Sessions court has to be submitted for confirmation to the High Court and nit to be executed until its confirmation. It is precautionary measure for possible error in the trial because death sentence has an irrevocable character. It is mandatory and applicable in all kinds of appeal.
After hearing both the parties or sides the Judge takes a decision and give a judgment in the case. The judgment in every trial of criminal court in its own jurisdiction shall be pronounced by the presiding officer in the open court aster the termination of the proceedings of the trial or at the time at which the notice has been given to the parties or the pleaders. The provisions in Criminal Procedure Court elaborates on the topic judgment. It insists on the person who should give judgment and the language and contents of the judgment. It also specifies the scheme for compensation to victim. The alterations which can be made in judgment and conditions to it is also mentioned. The copy of judgment should be given to the parties immediately after trial or after notice and it can be translated to the courts language also. Another important thing pointed out is that the judgment of sentencing death sentence have to be submitted for confirmation, this is done to avoid errors in the trial.
Edited by Pragash Boopal
Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje
[i] AIR 1994 SC 26
[ii] AIR 1982 SC 1229 B
[iii] 1982 CriLJ 628 a
[iv] 1981 AIR 736