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Summary Trial Under Criminal Procedure Code


The 1973 Code of Criminal Procedure covers the procedural components of the law. It establishes a procedure for holding trials for crimes punishable under substantive law, such as the Indian Penal Code, 1860, and other criminal statutes. In the Code, the term “trial” is not defined.

After the ‘framing of charges,’ the trial stage begins. The degree and seriousness of the offense, as well as the jurisdiction and substantive law applicable to it, influence the manner of a trial. The goal of having different trial procedures is to expedite case disposition and hence reduce case pending time.

The parties are represented by their advocates before an impartial person who strives to determine the truth and pass judgment accordingly in the adversarial judicial system.

In the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, the term “trial” is not defined. A trial, according to Black’s Law Dictionary, is “a judicial investigation according to the law of the land, before a court that has jurisdiction, for a cause that could be either civil or criminal.”

A trial is a procedure in which the Court makes a decision after hearing both sides of the argument. It allows the witnesses in the courtroom to be examined, re-examined, and cross-examined fairly. The judge renders a decision based on the facts of the case. It is critical that the trial be impartial, prudent, and free of undue influence.

Warrant, summons, and summary trials are the three most common types of trials. Chapter XXI of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, mentions summary trials. The cases are dealt with quickly in this trial because the procedure is shortened and the recording of such cases is done summarily.

Only offenses that fall under the small/petty category are tried in this type of trial. Warrant or summons trials are intended for more complicated cases. The facts mentioned in the complaint are the key basis for determining whether a matter should be tried summarily. Summary trials are designed to reduce the strain on the judiciary by allowing cases to be resolved quickly. The trial provides people with a fair chance to obtain justice in a shorter amount of time.

Section 260 to Section 265 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, govern summary trials.

A summary trial and its complexities are explored in this article.

Powers: Section 260 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, grants the authority to try a case summarily.

The clause gives any Chief Judicial Magistrate, Metropolitan Magistrate, or first-class Magistrate empowered by the High Court the jurisdiction to trial the following offenses summarily:

Offenses that are not punishable by death, life imprisonment, or a sentence of more than two years in jail.

1.If the value of the stolen property is less than 2000 rupees, the theft is punishable under Sections 379, 380, or 381 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.

2.Under Section 411 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, a person who receives or retains stolen property valued less than 2000 rupees commits a crime.

3.Under Section 414 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, a person who assists in hiding or disposing of stolen property valued less than 2000 rupees commits an offence.

4.Sections 454 and 456 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 cover a variety of offenses.

5.Under Section 504 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, a person who insults with the goal of causing a breach of peace is guilty.

6.Under Section 506 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, criminal intimidation is punishable by up to two years in prison, a fine, or both.

Any of the above-mentioned offenses is abetted.

If an attempt is made to commit any of the aforementioned offenses, and the attempt is punished,

If an act is committed that is punishable under Section 20 of the Cattle Trespass Act, 1871, a complaint can be lodged.

If the Magistrate believes that the nature of the case cannot be handled summarily at any stage during the trial, he has the authority to recall any witness who has been examined. Following that, he might request a rehearing of the case using the procedure outlined in this Code.


The method for summary trials is outlined in Section 262 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.

The method used in summons cases must also be used in summary cases. In summary trials, the exception is that a term of more than three months cannot be imposed if convicted under this Chapter.

Briefly, the procedure for a summons case is as follows:

The first step in starting a criminal proceeding is to submit a FIR or a complaint. The police are looking into it, and evidence is being gathered. The police file a charge sheet at the conclusion of the inquiry. This is often referred to as the pre-trial stage.

The accused is subsequently brought before the Magistrate, who verbally reads the specifics of the offenses to the accused. A formal charge is not put down in summons and summary trials.

After outlining the specifics of the offense, the Magistrate asks the accused whether he pleads guilty or not. If the accused pleads guilty, the Magistrate records the accused’s statement and then proceeds to conviction.

The trial commences if the accused does not enter a plea of guilty. Both the prosecution and the defense are given an equal opportunity to present their case. The Judge may then determine whether the accused should be acquitted or convicted.

In summary, the distinction is made at this point. If the accused is found guilty and sentenced to three months in jail, the maximum term that may be imposed is three months.


In India, there are two twin laws that regulate the country’s criminal proceedings. The substantive law, along with other criminal crimes, is covered by the Indian Penal Code, 1860, while the procedural law is covered by the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.

The fundamental goal of any criminal justice system is to guarantee that individuals have the right to a fair trial. It is generally known that the number of cases pending in India is extraordinarily large, and the judiciary is overloaded. Trials can take years to complete since they are a continual and laborious procedure. As a result, it has been separated into three groups based on the seriousness of the offenses. Summary trials provide individuals with the chance to seek justice even for minor matters. It strikes a balance by delivering justice while without overburdening the higher courts with minor offenses.



Edited By: Athul Vergis Cherian

College Name: Christ University, Bangalore (3rd Semester)

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