top of page

Stages of a Criminal Trial under the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) in India

The Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) in India lays down the procedural framework for the conduct of criminal trials. Understanding the various stages of a criminal trial under the CrPC is essential for both legal practitioners and individuals involved in the criminal justice system. From the initiation of the trial to the final verdict, each stage plays a crucial role in ensuring justice is served. Let's delve into the stages of a criminal trial under the CrPC:

1. Registration of FIR (First Information Report): The criminal trial typically begins with the registration of an FIR. This is a written document prepared by the police based on information received about the commission of a cognizable offense. The FIR sets the criminal justice process in motion and provides the basis for further investigation.

2. Investigation by Police: After the FIR is registered, the police conduct an investigation into the alleged offense. This may involve gathering evidence, examining witnesses, collecting documents, and other relevant activities. The investigating officer submits a report to the Magistrate upon completion of the investigation.

3. Filing of Charge Sheet: If the investigation establishes a prima facie case against the accused, the investigating officer files a charge sheet, also known as a police report or final report, before the Magistrate. The charge sheet contains details of the offense, evidence collected during the investigation, and the names of the accused.

4. Framing of Charges: Upon receipt of the charge sheet, the Magistrate examines the materials and decides whether there is sufficient evidence to proceed with the trial. If satisfied, the Magistrate frames charges against the accused. The charges specify the offenses alleged to have been committed by the accused.

5. Recording of Evidence: Once the charges are framed, the trial begins, and the prosecution presents its evidence before the court. This includes examination-in-chief of witnesses, cross-examination by the defense, and re-examination, if necessary. Both oral and documentary evidence may be presented during this stage.

6. Examination of Accused: After the prosecution presents its evidence, the accused is given an opportunity to enter a plea and present their defense. The accused may choose to remain silent or provide a statement in their defense. The court ensures that the accused's rights are protected during this process.

7. Final Arguments: Once evidence from both sides is presented, the prosecution and defense have the opportunity to make their final arguments before the court. They summarize the evidence, highlight key points, and present legal arguments supporting their respective cases.

8. Judgment: After hearing the arguments of both parties, the court evaluates the evidence and delivers its judgment. The judgment may result in the acquittal or conviction of the accused. If convicted, the court proceeds to pronounce the sentence based on the nature and gravity of the offense.

9. Appeal: If dissatisfied with the judgment, either party has the right to appeal to a higher court. The appellate court reviews the lower court's decision and may uphold, modify, or reverse the judgment based on the merits of the case and applicable laws.

In conclusion, the stages of a criminal trial under the CrPC in India constitute a systematic process aimed at ensuring fairness, impartiality, and adherence to the principles of natural justice. Each stage serves a specific purpose in the quest for truth and justice, ultimately contributing to the effective administration of criminal justice in the country.


About the author:

Chambers of Harsh Dahiya

Chambers of Harsh Dahiya is an esteemed legal practice chamber specialising in both criminal and civil litigation, founded by Advocate Harsh Singh Dahiya, who is a distinguished practitioner at the Supreme Court of India. Our dedicated team comprises accomplished legal professionals, renowned for their exceptional academic backgrounds and extensive professional expertise.

Address: Chamber No 06, CK Daphtary Lawyers Block, Supreme Court of India, New Delhi - 110001 (India)

Mobile: +91-8130467878


bottom of page