This judgment from Supreme Court affirms that a prima facie finding of sufficient material showing grave suspicion is enough to frame a charge. This case is related to Mr. Sajjan Kumar Member of Parliament.
Comments by Judges from Para 16:
A Magistrate enquiring into a case under section 209 of the Cr.P.C. is not to act as a mere Post Office and has to come to a conclusion whether the case before him is fit for commitment of accused to the Court of Session.
From Para 17,Following principles have emerged
Sajjan Kumar Vs C.B.I on 20 September, 2010
(i) The Judge while considering the question of framing the charges under Section 227 of the Cr.P.C. has the undoubted power to sift and weigh the evidence for the limited purpose of finding out whether or not a prima facie case against the accused has been made out. The test to determine prima facie case would depend upon the facts of each case.
ii) Where the materials placed before the Court disclose grave suspicion against the accused which has not been properly explained, the Court will be fully justified in framing a charge and proceeding with the trial.
iii) The Court cannot act merely as a Post Office or a mouthpiece of the prosecution but has to consider the broad probabilities of the case, the total effect of the evidence and the documents produced before the Court, any basic infirmities etc. However, at this stage, there cannot be a roving enquiry into the pros and cons of the matter and weigh the evidence as if he was conducting a trial.
iv) If on the basis of the material on record, the Court could form an opinion that the accused might have committed offence, it can frame the charge, though for conviction the conclusion is required to be proved beyond reasonable doubt that the accused has committed the offence.
v) At the time of framing of the charges, the probative value of the material on record cannot be gone into but before framing a charge the Court must apply its judicial mind on the material placed on record and must be satisfied that the commission of offence by the accused was possible.
vi) At the stage of Sections 227 and 228, the Court is required to evaluate the material and documents on record with a view to find out if the facts emerging therefrom taken at their face value discloses the existence of all the ingredients constituting the alleged offence. For this limited purpose, sift the evidence as it cannot be expected even at that initial stage to accept all that the prosecution states as gospel truth even if it is opposed to common sense or the broad probabilities of the case.
vii) If two views are possible and one of them gives rise to suspicion only, as distinguished from grave suspicion, the trial Judge will be empowered to discharge the accused and at this stage, he is not to see whether the trial will end in conviction or acquittal.
Citations: [2011 PLJR 1 33], [2011 ALLSCR 0 24], [2010 SCC 9 368], [2010 MWN CR 3 325], [2011 MLJ CRI 1 552], [2011 AIR SC 3730], [2010 CCR 4 37], [2010 SLT 6 753], [2011 CUTLT SUPPL 252], [2010 AIOL 625], [2010 JT 10 413], [2010 SCALE 10 22], [2010 SCC CRI 3 1371], [2010 AIC 95 115]
Other Source links: https://indiankanoon.org/doc/68365/ and https://www.casemine.com/judgement/in/5609aee3e4b0149711415065
Index of Discharge Judgments u/s 227 Cr.P.C. is here.
Reproduced in accordance with Section 52(q) of the Copyright Act 1957 (India) from main.sci.gov.in/judgments, judis.nic.in, lobis.nic.in, indiacode.nic.in and other Indian High Court and District Court Websites such as ecourts.gov.in