This need not be done where the Magistrate submits the entire proceedings to the Chief Judicial Magistrate, on the ground that he is of the opinion that he cannot pass a sentence which is sufficiently severe in the circumstances. Likewise, this requirement need not be complied with when, after conviction, the Magistrate orders the accused to be released on probation or after admonition. (A reference may be made to the comments on S. 235 discussed in the previous Chapter.)
If, in any such case, the accused is charged with a previous conviction, and he does not admit that he had been previously convicted as alleged in the charge, after convicting the accused, the Magistrate may take evidence in respect of the alleged previous conviction and then record a finding thereon.
Absence of Complainant:
S. 249 provides that if proceedings have been instituted on a complaint, and on the date fixed for the hearing of the case, the complainant is absent, and the offence is not a cognizable offence, or is one which can be lawfully compounded, the Magistrate may, in his discretion, discharge the accused at any time before the charge has been framed.
Compensation for accusation without reasonable cause:
S. 250 provides that if in any case instituted upon a complaint or upon information given to a Police Officer or to a Magistrate, the Magistrate by whom the case is heard discharges or acquits all or any of the accused, and is of the opinion that there was no reasonable ground for making the accusation against him or them, he may, by his order of discharge or acquittal, call upon the complainant or informant to show cause why he should not pay compensation to the accused.
If such a person is present in the Court, he can be called upon to show cause forthwith. If, however, such a person is not so present, the Magistrate may direct the issue of a summons to him to appear before him and show cause, as stated above.
It may be noted that the words used in the Old Code were “that accusation against them or any of them was false and either frivolous or vexatious.” This being the wording, it so happened that Magistrates resorted to this section in a very few cases, on the ground that its requirements were rarely satisfied. To discourage baseless and frivolous complaints, the scope of this section has been widened by the present Code by using the words, “that there was no reasonable ground for making the accusation against them or any of them.”
When the complainant or the informant shows cause, the Magistrate must record and consider the same, and if he is satisfied that there was no reasonable ground for making the accusation, he may, for reasons to be recorded, make an order that compensation be paid by such complainant or informant to the accused, or to each of them.
However, such compensation cannot exceed the amount of the fine which such Magistrate is empowered to impose. The Magistrate may also direct that in default of payment of compensation, the person concerned shall undergo simple imprisonment for a period not exceeding thirty days.
Any person, who has been directed to pay compensation as stated above, is not exempted from any civil or criminal liability merely by reason of such an order. However, any amount thus paid is to be taken into account whilst awarding compensation to such a person in any subsequent civil suit relating to the same matter.
Any complainant or informant who is ordered to pay compensation exceeding rupees one hundred may appeal from such order, as if such complainant or informant had been convicted on a trial held by such Magistrate.
It is to be remembered that the provisions of S. 250 apply both to summons-cases and warrant-cases.