Procedure followed by a Magistrate in the Trial of a Warrant Case Instituted by Complaint

If, after taking all such evidence, the Magistrate considers, for reasons to be recorded by him, that no case against the accused has been made out which, if unrebutted, would warrant his conviction, the Magistrate must discharge him. Moreover, the Magistrate can also discharge the accused at any previous stage of the case, if he considers the charge to be groundless, for reasons to be recorded by him.

If, on the other hand, the Magistrate is of the opinion that there is some ground for presuming that the accused has committed an offence which is triable under this Chapter, and which the Magistrate is competent to try, and which, in his opinion, can be adequately punished by him, he must frame a charge in writing against the accused. The charge is then to be read out and explained to the accused, and he is to be asked whether he pleads guilty, or whether he has any defence to make.

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If the accused pleads guilty, the Magistrate must record the plea, and may, in his discretion, convict him on such plea.

If, however, the accused refuses to plead, or does not plead, or claims to be tried, or if he is not convicted despite pleading guilty, the accused must be required to state whether he wishes to cross-examine any witness for the prosecution whose evidence had already been taken. If he wishes to do so, the witness named by him must be recalled, and after cross-examination and re-examination (if any), such a witness is to be discharged. After this the accused is to be called upon to enter upon his defence and produce his evidence.