Committal proceedings are court appearances held in the Magistrates’ Court to determine if there is enough evidence against a defendant charged with a major criminal offense to compel them to stand trial in a higher court. COMMITTAL PROCEEDINGS are governed and also formed under section 209 of CRPC .Additionally, the ingredients and requirements of sections 207 and 208 of the CRPC should be satisfied or at least combined with it in order to fully satisfy section 209 of the CRPC.

Section 209 of CRPC

Commitment of case to Court of Session when offence is triable exclusively by it.

When in a case instituted on a police report or otherwise, the accused appears or is brought before the Magistrate and it appears to the Magistrate that the offence is triable exclusively by the Court of Session, he shall— 1

[(a) commit, after complying with the provisions of section 207 or section 208, as the case may be, the case to the Court of Session, and subject to the provisions of this Code relating to bail, remand the accused to custody until such commitment has been made;]

(b) subject to the provisions of this Code relating to bail, remand the accused to custody during, and until the conclusion of, the trial;

(c) send to that Court the record of the case and the documents and articles, if any, which are to be produced in evidence;

(d) notify the Public Prosecutor of the commitment of the case to the Court of Session

Section 207 of CRPC

Supply to the accused of copy of police report and other documents

In any case where the proceeding has been instituted on a police report, the Magistrate shall without delay furnish to the accused, free of cost, a copy of each of the following: 

(i) the police report;

(ii) the first information report recorded under section 154;

(iii) the statements recorded under sub-section (3) of section 161 of all persons whom the prosecution proposes to examine as its witnesses, excluding therefrom any part in regard to which a request for such exclusion has been made by the police officer under sub-section (6) of section 173;

(iv) the confessions and statements, if any, recorded under section 164;

(v) any other document or relevant extract thereof forwarded to the Magistrate with the police report under sub-section (5) of section 173:

Provided that the Magistrate may, after perusing any such part of a statement as is referred to in clause (iii) and considering the reasons given by the police officer for the request, direct that a copy of that part of the statement or of such portion thereof as the Magistrate thinks proper, shall be furnished to the accused:

Provided further that if the Magistrate is satisfied that any document referred to in clause (v) is voluminous, he shall, instead of furnishing the accused with a copy thereof, direct that he will only be allowed to inspect it either personally or through pleader in Court.

Section 208 of CRPC

Supply of copies of statements and documents to accused in other cases triable by Court of Session

Where, in a case instituted otherwise than on a police report, it appears to the Magistrate issuing process under section 204 that the offense is triable exclusively by the Court of Session, the Magistrate shall without delay furnish to the accused, free of cost, a copy of each of the following:

(i) the statements recorded under section 200 or section 202, of all persons examined by the Magistrate;

(ii) the statements and confessions, if any, recorded under section 161 or section 164;

(iii) any documents produced before the Magistrate on which the prosecution proposes to rely:

Provided that if the Magistrate is satisfied that any such document is voluminous, he shall, instead of furnishing the accused with a copy thereof, direct that he will only be allowed to inspect it either personally or through pleader in Court.

Criminal Procedure Code 1898, SS. 207,A and 209–Committal proceedings–If Magistrate should be satisfied as to guilt of accused or only that there is some credible evidence to sustain a conviction before making order of commitment.–Circumstances in which High Court justified in interfering with committal in revision.


Committal hearings are used to evaluate whether there is enough evidence to demand that a defendant stands trial for more serious criminal offenses. The magistrate who presides over the committal proceedings typically hears the prosecution’s testimony, which is recorded and can be utilized at the trial. 

 Nature of committal proceedings until 1955

When a case can only be heard by a Court of Session or a High Court, or, in the Magistrate’s view, should be tried by such a Court, that outlines the procedure for the preliminary inquiry before a Magistrate. Committal proceedings, as these investigations are frequently known, have been a distinctive element of the Code since its inception. Normally, a Magistrate’s committal made to a Court of Session or High Court under the terms of this Chapter is the only ground on which they may take cognizance of an offense and conduct a trial. Until 1955, whether the procedures had been started before the Magistrate on a police report or on a complaint, the procedure for the committal inquiry was identical.

They were required to gather all oral and documentary evidence that could be offered in support of the prosecution, on behalf of the accused, or that could be requested by the Magistrate himself, interview the defendant, and determine whether there was enough justification to send the defendant to the Court of Session. In the event that he was satisfied, he prepared an accusation or accusations against the defendant, bound over the witnesses, committed the defendant, and presented the matter to the Court of Session. If he wasn’t pleased, he released the defendant.

The primary goal was not actually accomplished.

The fundamental goal of the committal processes was to make sure that only those people who had a solid case against them before a magistrate went through that misery, preventing innocent people who were accused of committing serious crimes from being harassed. In contrast, as stated in the Statement of Objects and Reasons that was included with the Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Bill, 1994:

“Experience, however, has shown that Magistrates commonly commit practically all the persons brought before them by the police. The proportion of persons discharged at this stage does not exceed 2% or thereabouts. These commitment proceedings, however, are made extremely lengthy, involve many adjournments and cause not only the prosecution, but the accused as well, trouble and heavy expense. Even after the commitment, the sessions trial may not commence for some months. The result is that persons guilty (sic) of extremely grave offenses have to remain in suspense for more than a year or so.”

Proposal to end committal procedures in police cases was made in 1954, but it was rejected.

It was suggested in that bill that committal proceedings be discontinued in all cases brought about by a police report and that the accused instead be brought by the Magistrate immediately before the Court of Session for a hearing. On the grounds that “the safeguards to the accused which become available in cognizable instances through police inquiry are non-existent,” these proceedings were kept in place for cases brought by private complaints.

This idea was not well received by Parliament, which ultimately approved when the stirring conversation happened through media in the form of a slightly condensed version of committal procedures in cases involving police reports. The former sections 208 to 220 in the Chapter  (of report no. 41 of The Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Bill, 1994) were made relevant to cases initiated without a police report, while a thorough new section 207A with sixteen subsections outlined the procedure. Keep in mind that these instances are extremely rare compared to lawsuits filed after receiving a police report.

Current situation: key distinctions between complaint cases and police cases in terms of procedure.

It is possible to quickly observe the main variations between the two processes. The accused must be given a copy of the police report, the statements of prosecution witnesses as they were recorded by the police, and all other documents on which the prosecution is relying in a police case. At the start of the committal process, the Magistrate must be certain that this has been done. (This 1955 innovation is equally applicable to warrant proceedings heard by magistrates.) This is obviously impossible in a complaint case and is therefore not necessary.

The Magistrate is mandated by law “to take the evidence of such persons, if any, as may be introduced by the prosecution as witnesses to the actual commission of the criminal accused” in a police case. He is not required to take the testimony of any defense witnesses, however he is free to do so if he decides it is in the interests of justice and other prosecution witnesses. On the other hand, the Magistrate is required to consider “any such evidence that may be submitted in support of the prosecution or on behalf of the accused” in a complaint case.

If the Magistrate in a police case “is of opinion that the accused should be committed for trial” based on the statements of witnesses recorded by the police under section 161(3) and those recorded by himself, he proceeds to prepare a charge against the accused. When the Magistrate “is convinced that there are adequate reasons for committing the accused for trial” in a complaint case, he “frames a charge.” This distinction in language implies a greater bar for the prosecution’s proof in complaint instances.

When it comes to the circumstances under which the Magistrate is anticipated to release the accused, the difference is a little more obvious. Only “if he is of the view that (the) evidence and documents (before him) show no grounds for committing the accused for trial” is he allowed to do so in a police case. If “he finds that there are not adequate grounds for committing the accused individual for trial,” he may do so in a complaint case.

The number of session cases started without a police record is relatively low, as was already indicated, therefore these disparities are not very significant or of much concern. We may thus focus on Section 207A, under which Magistrates presently conduct the majority of committal inquiries.

Case laws

1. State Of Madhya Pradesh vs Bhooraji & Ors on 24 August, 2001

      it was held that committal proceedings are necessary for a specified court under the SC/ ST Act to take … accused to raise a contention before 1973 that skipping committal proceedings had deprived him of the opportunity to cross-examine

2.  Mohd. Abdul Subhan vs State Of A.P. And Ors.

    The expression “appears or is brought before the Magistrate” clearly denotes the appearance of the accused pursuant to the summons issued or production of the accused before the Court while in custody either in execution of the warrant or by arrest. In either course the Court shall proceed with the case for compliance of the provisions of Sections 208 and 207 respectively before committal. Clause (a) of Sec, 209, enables the Court to remand the accused to custody until such commitment has been made and clause (b) thereof clearly envisages the remand of the accused to custody during and until the conclusion of the trial. A plain reading of these two clauses apparently shows that the Magistrate shall remand the accused to the custody until commitment is made before committal and at the time of committal, during and until conclusion of the trial subject however to the provisions relating to bail.

3. Ashok Gyanchand Vohra vs The State Of Maharashtra And Anr. … on 22     December, 2005

In this case it was held that Necessary corollary of this view would be that provisions of section 190 of Criminal Procedure Code 1974 would apply which specifically prohibits a Court of Sessions which is the Court of original jurisdiction as is the Special Court under MCOC Act from taking cognizance without committal proceedings. If because of absence of non-obstante clause provisions of Criminal Procedure Code 1974 are to be applied under section 9 then provisions of section 190 also must apply and committal of proceedings would become necessary. The Legislature knew this legal position and therefore put the clause under section 9 which permits a Special Court under the Act to take cognizance without committal proceedings. 

Siddharth jain and Co.

Siddharth Jain & Co. is a full service law firm providing quality and innovative legal solutions to clients all over the world. Our portfolio of legal and quasi-legal services is offered through our head office in New Delhi. Siddharth Jain & Co. was established in 2015. We have a team of lawyers with expertise in different fields. Our expertise revolves around 39 service areas and we continue to enter into new markets continuously. We continue to join new prospects and new clients with us every passing day due to our commitment to quality-based services. Our idea of working involves strict adherence to specified goals and creative modes of achieving them. Siddharth Jain & Co. has always worked towards attaining excellence in every case or problem presented. We continue to strive to become the leader in providing legal services in the country and abroad. Our clientele includes clients from all over the world. With several awards in our profile, we proudly continue to move forward. We are always ready and prepared to welcome and embrace any new challenge. We have worked with and for government agencies. We have worked in rural areas beyond any reach of technology. We have worked with clients alien to law whatsoever. But we have always maintained our prime goal and target of client satisfaction and would continue to go so in future.

Leave a Reply