What are the stages of criminal trial in India ?

Any act or fault which is not allowed by law and its punishable by law is a crime. The punishment for such crime is decided by following process of criminal trial. The whole criminal law consists of three main acts:

What are the stages of criminal trial in India ?

  1. The Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC);
  2. The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (Cr.C.P.);
  3. The Indian Evidence Act, 1872 (IEA).
  • The Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr. P. C.) is the procedural law for conducting a criminal trial in India.
  • The Indian Penal Code (IPC) is the primary penal law of India, which applies to all offences.
  • The Indian Evidence Act (IEA) is a extensive, treaty on the law of “evidence”.


  1. Warrant trial
  2. Summon trial
  3. Summary trial.

warrantcase is define to means a case relating to an offence punishable with death, imprisonment for life or imprisonment for a term proceeding two years.  A trial in warrant case begins either by filing an FIR in Police Station or by filing it before Magistrate.

Warrant trial is based on 2 types of cases:

  •     On the Police Report.
  •  Other than the Police Report.


Stages of Criminal Trial ( instituted by the police report ):

  • First of all information detail
  • Investigation
  • Charges
  • Plea of guilty
  • Prosecution evidence
  • Statement of the accused
  • Defense evidence
  • Decision.
Stages of Criminal Trial ( pRIVATE Complaint institutes case ):
  • On the filing of the complaint, the court will examine the complainant and his witnesses on the same day or any other day to decide whether a crime has been committed against the accused person.
  • After examination of the complainant, the Magistrate may order an inquiry into the matter and submit a report for the same.
  • After examination of the complaint and the inquiry report, if the court thinks that the prosecution has a genuine case and there are sufficient material & evidence with the prosecution to charge the accused then the Magistrate may issue a warrant or a summon depending on the facts and situations.
A summons-cases is define to means a case relating to an offence, not being a warrant-case. A case in which the offense is a minor one for which a police officer may without arrest notify a person to appear in court at a fixed time and place. Summon case is a case for which punishment is less than two years.
Stages of Criminal Trial:
  • Pre-trial
  • Charges
  • Plea of guilty
  • Plea of guilty and absence of the condemned
  • Prosecution and defense evidence
  • Decision.



Summary-cases are the cases where cases resolved rapidly. The process is simple.

Stages of Criminal Trial:
  • The process pursued in the summary trial is similar to summon-case.
  • Imprisonment can be up to three months.
  • The judgement.
  • The judge should record the objects of the proof and a brief details of the finding of the law court with reasons.

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