Summary trials implies speedy disposal of trials. A summary case is one which can be tried and disposed of at once. The summary procedure can not applied or adopted for a contentious and complicated case which merits a full and lengthy inquiry. The object of summary trial is to have a record which is sufficient for the purpose of justice, and yet, not so long as to impede a speedy disposal of the case. In other words, a summary trial is “summary” only in respect of the record of its proceedings, and not in respect of the proceedings themselves, which should be complete and carefully conducted, as in any other criminal case.
Provision for summary Trials ( section 260 to 265 )
1. Power to try summarily
The High court empowers any Chief Judicial Magistrate; any Metropolitan Magistrate; any Magistrate of the first class to summarily try all or any of the following offences :-
- all offences except death sentence, life imprisonment or imprisonment for more than two years;
- theft, under section 379, section 380 or section 381 of the Indian Penal Code. Stolen property value less than two hundred rupees;
- receiving or retaining stolen property, under section 411 of the Indian Penal Code. Value of which is less than two hundred rupees;
- helping in the hiding or disposing of stolen property, under section 414 of the Indian Penal Code. Value of which does not exceed two hundred rupees;
- offences under sections 454 and 456 of the Indian Penal Code;
- insulting a person with an intention of provoking him to breach the peace. Also criminal intimidation punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both, under section 506 of the Indian Penal Code;
- abatement of any of the foregoing offences;
- an attempt to commit any of the foregoing offences;
- any offence under section 20 of the Cattle-Trespass Act, 1871 (1 of 1871).
If Magistrate thinks that the nature of the case is undesirable to try it summarily. The Magistrate may also call upon the witness examined and re-hear the case in the manner provided by this Code.
2. Summary trial by Magistrate of the second class
The High Court may confer powers of Magistrate of the second class to any Magistrate to try any offence summarily. Any offence which is punishable only with fine or with imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months with or without fine. Also any abatement of or attempt to commit any such offence.
3. Procedure for summary trials
- The trial procedure specified in this Code, followed for the trial of summons-case except as further mentioned.
- In the case of any conviction, sentence passed for imprisonment should not exceed three months.
4. Record in summary trials
The Magistrate shall try and enter, the following particulars, namely-
- the serial number of the case;
- the date of the commission of the offence;
- the date of the report of complaint;
- the name of the complainant (if any);
- the name, parentage and residence of the accused;
- the offence complained and also proved, and cases coming under clause (ii), clause (iii) or clause (iv) of Sub-Section (1) of section 260 of the Act. Also value of the property attached to offence;
- the plea of the accused and also his examination (if any);
- the finding;
- the sentence and also other final order;
- the date on which proceedings terminated.
5. Judgment in cases tried summarily
In every case tried summarily in which the accused does not plead guilty, the Magistrate shall record the substance of the evidence and a judgment containing a brief statement of the reasons for the findin
6. Language of record and judgment
- Every record and judgment written in the language of the Court.
- The High Court empowers any Magistrate to try offences summarily to prepare the aforesaid record or judgment or both by means of an officer appointed in this behalf by the Chief Judicial Magistrate, and the record or judgment so prepared shall be signed by such Magistrate.