Lawwatch

Adultery and related Issues in Criminal Law

Introduction
Adultery means different things in law and English language. In law, it
is socially and legally objectionable sexual intercourse, voluntarily
made by a man with the wife of another person, with the knowledge that
she is a wife and without her husband’s consent or connivance.
Therefore, adultery per se is not an offence. But when it is committed
without the consent or connivance of the husband it becomes an offence.

Burden of Proof under Indian Evidence Act

Introduction

The term burden of proof, which is not defined in the Indian Evidence
Act, 1882, essentially refers to the legal responsibility of a party
in a case to prove the existence of any fact as true in a judicial
proceeding.

The burden of proof comes into play when a party wants from a court a
judgment in regard to any legal right or liability dependent on some
facts which need to be proved by him to the satisfaction of the court.
In short, the burden of proof is an obligation that the law imposes on a
party to produce evidence and prove it so as to satisfy the court in
deciding the matter in his favour or otherwise.

Framing of Charge in Criminal Cases

What a charge in a criminal case is

A charge in a criminal case is a written notice in which precise and
specific accusation against the accused in regard to the offence is
stated. It is the foundation of the criminal trial. The charge conveys
the accused the accusation which the prosecution intends to prove
against him in the court. It enables him to prepare for his defence in
regard to the accusation.

The charge is drawn up in the form of a statement and contains the
description of the offence alleged to have been committed. The
prosecution needs to tender evidence only on matters put in the charge
and not on any other matter. Therefore the charge enables the accused to
know the accusation against him in the case and remain ready to give
evidence in his defense once the prosecution produces its evidence.

At the stage of framing of charge the court is not expected to foresee
whether the prosecution will be able to prove the case against the
accused. On the other hand the judge needs to be convinced that there
exists a prima facie case.

Cancellation of Bail and Its Legalities

Introduction

The term bail refers to the judicial release of a person from custody.
The grant, refusal or cancellation of bail is a judicial act. It has to
be performed with utmost care by applying the mind or discretion of the
court.

Indian judiciary through many of its judgments unequivocally upholds
that grant of bail is the rule and refusal of it is an exception. Every
person is presumed to be innocent until the criminal charge against him
is proved in a process of trial. Bail is a substantive right rather than
a procedural one in tune with the citizen’s fundamental right to
liberty.

The cancellation of bail means putting the presumably innocent but
accused person again in detention in violation of his fundamental right
to liberty, ensured under Article 21 of the Constitution.

Discharge of an Accused in a Criminal Case

The usual procedure in a criminal case is that if the police
investigation shows there is a prima facie criminal offence against
the accused, then a final police report (Charge Sheet/Challan) is filed.
The accused is then put to trial for framing of charges against him, by
the Court.

However, the court can discharge the accused person before it frames the
charges against him if no offence is prima facie made out.

Contradiction & Omission in Cross Examination

Introduction

Contradictions between two statements of a witness play a crucial role
in deciding the fate of a criminal case or trial. Contradictions can be
categorised into two: direct contradictions and contradictions by
omissions. Making some sort of alterations or improvements in the prior
and later statements by a witness can also be termed as contradiction
and omission. Quite naturally, an interested witness may make some
improvements in his testimony of the incident under trial. In order to
avoid this, the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 lays down some procedures for
proving contradictions and omissions in a trial.

The contradictions or omissions can be proved in two stages. In the
first stage, the contradiction is brought on record as provided for in
the Indian Evidence Act. In the second stage the contradiction is then
proved by cross examining the Police Officer who has recorded the
statements under Section 162 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973
(CrPC). If the latter is not done, the contradictions or omissions
brought on record cannot be treated as proved before the court.

Disposal of Property or Documents during Trial

Disposal of property or documents by the criminal court during inquiry
or trial is a crucial issue in some cases.

The legal provision relating to it is well provided for in the Chapter
34 consisting of Sections 451 to 459 of the Criminal Procedure Code,
1973 (CrPC).

All about Divorce of Hindu Spouses by Mutual Consent

Mutual Divorce is the kind of divorce sought and obtained from the
family court by filing a joint petition by both parties in a marriage on
the basis of mutual consent. It is the quickest form of divorce for an
irreparably broken marriage. Divorce is normally sought only when the
husband and wife do not want to live together and continue their
marriage relation any longer, despite the fact that Hindu marriage is a
sacrament.

The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, in its Section 13B, provides for
dissolution of marriage by mutual consent. Any Hindu marriage solemnized
before or after the date on which the section is brought to force (it
came into force on 27 May 1976) can be dissolved by the court based on a
joint petition of both the spouses, provided the mutual consent obtained
is based on free will, but not by exercise of any force, fraud or undue
influence.