Question: Usually how the court cases take place ? Like how much time is allocated , do we get chance to talk in court ? Whats the normal court procedure ? I heard the judge dont even look at the person and ask two questions and give other hearing date
Yup. Broadly correct. Bench clerk will call the case in open court, judge will take the case file from bench clerk, look at case file, then at advocates of both parties, then into the case file, and at bench clerk from time to time. In the meantime, one or both advocates will say something to judge about the case, and before you realize what was said, the next date may be given and pronounced by bench clerk.
Myth and Reality of courts and court procedures
Each court is different, but some broad points will remain the same across all courts whether criminal (498a case)s. E.g.
- People go with high hopes that they will be able to share their “Mann ki Baat” in front of judge, explain that the whole case is false, that they are carrying a clinching evidence in their bag which once put forth in front of the court, it will be disprove the whole case. Unfortunately, the system of justice works in a very systematic way, where there is no scope for any ‘short cuts’ no matter how good the evidence you may have with you.
Sequence of any court case
- Complaint (criminal), or Petition (family court/DV). When wife files DV or divorce case, she is petitioner. If you file divorce case, you are petitioner.
- Written statement, or commonly called objection to be filed by respondent (not in criminal)
- Frame of issues (civil), framing of charges (criminal)
- Trial – Evidence by witnesses, then cross-exam of witnesses by respondent’s lawyer
- Evidence by respondent, then his/her cross exam.
- Appeal/Revision etc in same or higher court if any party challenges the order
Sequence of steps in an IPC 498A trial
The sequence of a 498A trial has been given in good detail and with reference to the various CrPC sections at link below. People can read that, and having read that, should look at the practical sequence of steps in a 498a trial below.
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- Wife files FIR in police station with allegations like “I was not given food”, “we gave x lakhs in dowry”, blah blah…
Police takes case, and immediately arrests husband, parents, family dog, and relatives who are the accused in the FIR.Police after the Jul 2014 judgment by SC, sends notice to accused and follows CrPC 41, 41A procedure. That seems to be happening in most cases.
- Person may apply anticipatory bail before FIR, and the AB in most cases may get rejected because of a chicken and egg problem. Judge says no need of AB without FIR, but if the FIR was filed, then person won’t be able to reach the court to apply AB, he would have been arrested already!
- Person may apply for regular bail.
- In case of IPC 406 alongwith 498A, courts especially in Delhi may put condition to deposit few lakhs to get bail. That scam continues.
- In Bihar, judges will grant bail with condition to pay monthly maintenance to wife! That is another tradition in progress over there.
- Chargesheet filed by police. Maximum time is 90 days, but in practice heard that it’s not been filed even after 2 years. My guess is it’s because of some mediation having been ordered due to multiple cases apart from IPC 498a case. That is another grand tradition of Indian courts of mixing civil and criminal cases together so fluidly.
- After chargesheet accused appears before judge for Hear before charge (HBC) or framing of charges. Instead for 4-6 hearings, there will be nothing done. Very likely that in at least 1 hearing, court asks the accused (you) whether you have got a compromise?
To be continued…
Sequence of steps in a CrPC 125 maintenance trial
- Wife files petition to court that “I was not given food”, “I was locked in the bathroom”, etc etc standard templates available at all lawyers desks for such wives.
- Summons sent to respondent (husband) by court.
- Some husbands avoid summons thinking in typical Indian style that this is a smart way to avoid this problem, or it’s going to help in future.
- Husband takes summons and goes to court, with lawyer.
- Lawyer files vakalatnama, which is basically a document where client (you) gives authority to lawyer to do everything on your behalf as if he/she were you, and even sell your soul and recover the proceeds to pay for lawyer’s fees if it ever comes to that. Ok maybe not that, but you get the idea.