The charge means the allegations and offences that have been hurled on the person. The charge is formal recognition granted to the act of the accused person by Magistrate to allow the person to have knowledge about his act.
Suppose there is a person A who is committing theft in the house of B by trespassing his house and after entering into the house of B, A put the B on the gunpoint. So under this A committed the offence of theft, trespass, theft in dwelling house and having illegal possession of armed forces.
In the criminal cases charge are mentioned in the charge-sheet and that is known as the form of charge. The charge-sheet is a general term used for the Final Report that the investigating authority (usually Police) is required to submit under Section 173 of the CrPC. In the charge sheet police mentioned about what type of offences committed by the accused on the basic of evidence found by the police officer. After making the final report of the charge, accused is presented before the Magistrate.
Essential of Charge:
- Stating the offence: offence must be stated in the charge-sheet. Because after getting the copy of charge-sheet accused person can shield him.
- Describing the offence by name: in the charge-sheet a person has to describe the name of the offence along with the charge.
- Defining and understanding offence: In places where the criminal law has not named the offence then a definition/ meaning of the offense must be expressed.
- Mentioning the law and section of law: The charge must contain the law or the section of the law against which the offense has been said to be committed.
- Substantive requirement of the offence to be compiled with: The charge must fulfill the requirements of the offense, whether there are any exceptions are there or not and if there are then the charge should adhere to them.
- Language of charge: It is to be noted that one of the basic essentials of charge is that the charge should be framed in English or the Court’s language or the language which is understandable by an accused.
- Accused persons previous conviction: Charge might state the fact, date, and place of the previous conviction in places where the accused is liable to enhanced punishment by virtue of his previous conviction and where such previous conviction has to be proved.
- Details of time, place and person: It is crucial for a charge to contain the time when offense happened, place where offense was committed, person against whom the offense was committed and any other object or thing against whom the offense was committed.
- Particulars of the way in which the offence was committed: In cases where the information above is not sufficient to give notice of the offense with which the alleged accused has been charged, then it is expected that the charge shall include the particulars of the manner in which the alleged offense was committed.
- Thing in respect of which offence is committed: It is important for a charge to express the property in respect of which the offence is said to have taken place.
Joinder of charge: section 218 to 222 speaks about the joinder of charge in one trial against the same accused. Under this joint trial is a rule and separate trial is the exception. Section 223 dealt with joint trial with one or more accused together. In every distinct offence there must be separate charge and separate trial for each charge.
Withdrawal of Charges: It has been stated under Section 224 states that when an accused is charged for two or more offences and if he is convicted on one or more of them, the prosecution or the complainant in that case may then with the due permission of the court, withdraw the remaining charges. In situations where the court permits withdrawal of charges, the same would amount to acquittal on the charges which are left and they cannot be inquired into except if the court order’s to set aside the conviction.
Framing of Charge: The framing of a charge is a judicial act is not mere formality and hence application of mind is crucial. The basic motto of Section 228 is to ensure that the accusation made against the accused are not false and baseless and frivolous and that there is some material aspect to proceed. It becomes clear after reading section 227 and 228 together, that what the court has to see whether it is a prima facie case against the accused and he is in any manner connected with the incident leading to the prosecution. Certain rules are given below find out that is the case is prima facie or proper evidence against the accused.