Section 300 and Double Jeopardy
Section 300 under Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973
It enunciates the common law principle related to doctrine of autrefois acquit and autrefois convict. It means that if a person tried and acquitted or convicted of an offence, cannot tried again for same offence or same facts for any other offence. This doctrine incorporated in Article 20 (2) of the Constitution as Doctrine of Double Jeopardy.
Provision under section 300 of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973:
In order to stop the trial of a person already tried, it must show that—
- Person had tried by a competent Court for the same offence. He charged for same facts with different offences;
- He had also convicted or acquitted at the trial; and
- also such conviction or acquittal is in force.
Therefore, for applicability of this section, firstly competent court should try and record its verdict of acquittal or conviction. Further it requires that in order to stop the second prosecution and the consequential punishment. It should try same offence and also same facts. The section therefore, does not bar trial of different offences which may result from the commission or omission of the same act. The charge on the second trial, for a different offence, the trial not barred by Section 300.
If competent court tried a person for a particular offence, cannot try again for same offence or same fact for any other offence. A person acquitted or convicted of any offence, can tried for different offences including distinct facts. It also requires prior permission of State Government.
A convicted person for any offence, which causes a institution of different offence, from same act. It may thereafter institute different trial for such offences arising out of same act. Its only instituted if court had not known about it.
The offence tried by other court of law, only if the court by which he was first tired was not competent to try such offence. A person discharged under section 258, not tried again for same offence or same fact with different offence. Except with the consent of the Court.
Nothing in this section shall affect the provisions of section 26 of the General Clauses Act, 1897 or of section 188 of this Code.
Double Jeopardy in Article 20(2) under Constitution of India
Article 20(2) of India’s Constitution states: “No person shall be prosecuted and punished for the same offence more than once.”
The Hindu, Original Article, What is double jeopardy in law?, Retrieved on 6th January, 2018
In Constitution of India, Double Jeopardy incorporated under Article 20(2). Its one of fundamental right of the Indian Constitution. Under Article 20(2) the protection given to a person only only prosecuted but also punished twice for same offence. This article provides protection against double punishment. The use of the word ‘prosecution’ thus limits the scope of the protection under clause (1) of Article 20. If there is no punishment for the offence as a result of the prosecution clause (2) of the article 20 has no application and an appeal against acquittal, if provided by the procedure is in substance a continuance of the prosecution.
Fundamental right which guarantees protection under Article 20(2) of Constitution of India. It incorporates the principles of “autrefois convict” or Double jeopardy. It means that person must not punished twice for the offence.
Also follows the “audi alterum partem rule” which means that no person can punished for the same offence more than ones. And if a person punished twice for the same offence it is termed Double jeopardy.
Under Article 20 (2) of the Constitution, the bar against a person subjected to punishment twice for the same offence. It, therefore, follows that if at the previous trial, a person was acquitted; there will be no bar to his being tried again for the same offence under this Article.