Criminal Procedure Code
Criminal Procedure Code laid down in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898. In addition to the constitution of criminal courts and their jurisdiction and power, the Code contains provisions regarding summons to the accused and witnesses, warrants for the arrest of the accused and witnesses, proclamation for and attachment of property of absconding accused, search warrants, discovery of persons wrongfully confined, general provisions relating to searches, prevention of unlawful assemblies, public nuisance, breach of peace, dispute as to possession of immovable properties, power of police to prevent offences and to arrest offenders, information to the police about commission of offence and their power to investigate and prosecute the offenders, cognizance of offences by the magistrate on the basis of a police report or private complaint or his own knowledge, place of inquiry, trial of cases by the magistrates and courts of session, summary trial of cases, general provisions as to inquiries and trials, delivery of judgment, submission of sentence of death for confirmation by the High Court Division, execution of judgments and orders, suspension, remission and commutation of sentences, effect of previous acquittals or convictions, appeals against judgments, orders and sentences, reference and revision, trial of lunatics, proceedings in case of offences affecting the administration of justice, maintenance of wives and children, directions on the nature of habeas corpus for release of detenus from police or private custody, appointment and function of public prosecutors, bail of accused, commission for examination of witnesses, special rules of evidence, bonds, disposal of property, transfer of cases from one court to another, irregular proceedings and miscellaneous matters such as local inspection, power of the court to summon a material witness or examine a person present in court, language of the court, inherent power of the High Court Division etc.
Neither a lawyer, nor a member of the public can successfully start and prosecute or defend a criminal case, nor a magistrate can properly try and decide the same without being thoroughly acquainted with the provisions of this Code. One is required to know to which of the magistrates is to make a complaint or to which police station is to lodge the first information report. It is always to be made to the magistrate or to the police station within whose jurisdiction the offence took place. On receipt of a complain the magistrate examines the complainant and his witnesses present or enquires into the case and either takes cognizance of the offence or dismisses the complain. On the other hand, on receipt of a first information about an offence the police investigates the case and submits a report to the local magistrate who may discharge the accused or take cognizance of the offence against him in accordance with the nature of the police report. After taking cognizance the magistrate is required to compel attendance of the accused by issuing a summons or warrant, and in case the accused is absconding to issue a proclamation for the attachment of his property. If the same fails to compel the accused to appear, the magistrate publishes the name of the accused in the official gazette and national dailies. If the case is triable by the magistrate he can try the same or send the same for trial to another magistrate under him. If the case is triable by the court of sessions, then he sends the case to the sessions judge who may himself try the case or transfer the same for trial to the additional or assistant sessions judge. The magistrate or judge then tries the case by taking evidence, and either convicts or acquits the accused by delivering judgment. A convicted accused may prefer an appeal to the next higher court which hears appeals. Against an order of acquittal an appeal or a revision may be filed. From the start to the end, a criminal case or criminal proceedings is regulated by the procedure contained in the Code. [Kazi Ebadul Hoque] [Hoque, Kazi Ebadul Justice (retd), Appellate Division, Bangladesh Supreme Court]