The right to fair trial is human rights, which has been accorded to all the members of human family by international human rights law, as well as national law.Criminal proceeding means the way in which a legal action is brought in a court of justice.
Criminal process in Bangladesh.
The criminal process in Bangladesh is essentially adversarial in nature. The whole process is a contest between two parties. As regard crime these two parties are the state on the other hand the person accused .In this process court takes a non partisan role.
Function and Jurisdiction of Criminal Court.
The criminal court has jurisdiction to try all cases of a criminal nature unless they are barred. All crime is local and justifiable by local court only with in whose jurisdiction they are committed. Crime are in there nature local and the jurisdiction of criminal court is local. A Magistrate within local jurisdiction the offence is committed is authorized to take cognizance and try the case in to the Court of Session.
Stages of Criminal proceeding.
All criminal proceedings are regulated under the Code of criminal procedure 1898 and other criminal rules and order (CRO). The CrPC contains details about the administration of criminal justice into three stages: namely investigation, inquiry and trial.
The Trial Stages.
Post-trial Stage (Police or Jail authority or Probation authority etc.)
This is the initial stage of investigation and the preparation of a criminal case. Only police plays role from the beginning to the end of this stage.
First Information Report
Essentially both FIR and complaint are means of receiving the information of the crime. FIR and complaint are the most essential and beginning points of the jurisprudence of the criminal justice of administration.
The provisions regarding the first information report are contained in Section 154 of the code of criminal procedure.
FIR is basically an abbreviation for First Information Report. It is a written document recorded or registered by the police when they receive any sort of information about the commission of a cognizable offence. Anyone can report the commission of a cognizable offence either orally or in writing to the police. Even a telephonic message can be treated as an FIR. It is the earliest record of the alleged offence. From the point of view of the prosecution and the defense it legal importance. FIR is not in the nature of a formal charge. So no judgment can be passed on the basis of FIR.
Investigation is a preliminary stage conducted by the police and usually starts after the recording of a First Information Report (FIR) in the police station.
Investigation primarily consists of ascertaining facts and circumstances of the case. It includes all the efforts of a police officer for collection of evidence relating to the commission of offence. After end of the investigation the police officer may submit Charge-sheet or a Final report to the Magistrate U/S173.
If submit final report: Final report recommending that there is no case against the accused. The Magistrate may accept or rejects the final report. If reject he may order for further investigation. If the Magistrate accept the final report, the aggrieved informant can file a Naraji petition.
A criminal proceeding commences either on taking cognizance of the offence or on issuing process. Taking cognizance indicates the point when a Magistrate or judge takes first judicial notice of an offence. Normally cognizance is taken in front of the accused person. Under section 190 any Metropolitan Magistrate, District Magistrate, sub-Divisional Magistrate or any other Magistrate may taken cognizance of an offence on the basis of any of the 3 sources-
1. Upon Charge sheet.
2. Upon Complaint.
3. Upon own knowledge or private information.
If cognizance is taken on the basis of Charge sheet a criminal proceeding starts at once in the eye of law.
The Trial Stages.
The trial stage will be discussed in two heads: trial in the Magistrate Court and trial in the Sessions Court. This is because the nature and procedure of trial in these two courts are different.
1. Pre-trial hearing.
On the fixed day the accused must be brought before the court or Magistrate for trial. After considering report of the case and hear both the parties if consider the charge is groundless may discharge the accused.
2. Framing of charge.
This is the beginning of a trial. At this stage, if the judge or the Magistrate considers that there is a prima facie case against the accused, shall frame a charge under section 265D and 242. It is very important to note that formal trial starts with the Framing of charge .If the judge or the Magistrate considers that there is not sufficient ground for proceeding, the judge or the Magistrate discharges the accused and records reasons for doing so.
3. Plea and conviction
After Framing of charge the accused will be asked whether he admits his offence or not. If he admits his guilt to the charge. The judge or the Magistrate may convict him under section 265E and 243.
If the accused refuse to plead or does not make admission then the judge or the Magistrate shall proceed to hear the case on basis of evidence. The court shall fix a date for examination of witness.
The accused and all the witnesses will be examined and cross-examined according to the law of Evidence U/S 265F, 265G and 244.The accused has a right to cross-examine all the witnesses presented by the prosecution U/S 309.
Examination of witnesses shall be continued day-to-day until all the witnesses in attendance have been examined.
5. Examination of accused/342 Steps.
It is mandatory for the court to question the accused after examining the evidence. The purpose of this examination is to give the accused a reasonable opportunity to explain incriminating facts and circumstances in the case.
After examining the accused and hearing the prosecution and defence, if the judge or Magistrate considers that there is no evidence that the accused has committed the offence; the judge or Magistrate is required to record the order of acquittal.
6. Final arguments
This is the final stage of the trial. After the defence evidence, the case will be closed. At first the prosecution lawyer will close the case describing the strength of the case. Then the accused lawyer will close the case describing the (strength) of the accused case.
7. Judgment of Acquittal or Conviction.
After conclusion of arguments by the prosecutor and defence, the judge shall fixed a date for pronounces his judgment in the trial. On that day the judge will pronounce his judgment in open court, in front of the accused. A criminal judgment ends with acquittal or conviction.