Charge Framing only after Pleading Guilty or not

Charge framing in criminal cases can be done by the court only after asking the accused whether he pleads guilty or not.

If a person is presumed to have committed an offence, the court is bound to frame the charge in writing against the person accused of the crime. On the other hand, if the court considers that the charge alleged against the accused is prima facie groundless it shall pass an order of discharge under Section 239 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973(CrPC).

If the accused is not discharged, then the court the court has only one option but to frame the charge against him/her. The charge thus framed by the court shall be read and explained to the accused under Section 240 (2) of the CrPC. Thereafter he shall be asked whether he pleads guilty of the offence or not.

While framing charge the court must read the sub sections 1 and 2 of the Section 240 of the CrPC, together. Without asking the accused whether he pleads guilty or not, the court cannot frame the charge.

While discharging the accused, the court shall give reasons. However, if the court is framing charge, it is not necessary to state the reasons.


  1. Renjit Pannackal v State of Kerala & Another (2022 (6) KHC 97)