Difference between Session trial and warrant trial

Difference between Session trial and warrant trial

Author: Shubham Mathur, HPNLU.

Process of session trial: 

Session Court deals with criminal matters at a district level. To be more accurate these offences are of more serious nature, the session court does not have the power to take cognizance only under Section 199 of the CrPC it can take cognizance in all other cases the cognizance will be taken by Magistrate and commit the trail.

Initial Stage

It is very simple and easy to understand the initial stage with the help of the illustration– In a courtroom, the public prosecutor will act as one side and the accused person will be the other party in the matter. Here, the court expects that all the necessary documents need to be given to an accused person in advance so he has a clear idea of why the trail is being taken place.

Public Prosecutor is appointed under Section 24 of the Act, who is acting under the direction of such a prosecutor.  

When the case is brought under Section 209 of the CrPC then in those conditions public prosecutor needs to present the piece of evidence so the trail can be started without any delay. All the details regarding what all charges are framed against him need to be mentioned in a court of law. After this stage, if the magistrate feels that there is no case regarding the accused person then he will be discharged.

Kewal Krishan vs. Suraj Bhan, to avoid unnecessary harassment to the person without any ground as a reasonable ground needs to be given for going to appeal under Supreme Court.

In the case of Prafulla Kumar Samal vs. Union of India, four principles were introduced which should be kept in mind while deciding the case that prima facie case should be made against the accused person and test relating to it differ from case to case.

But if the commission of presumption arises in two aspects:

1. Court of the session can exclusively deal with the case, by writing charges by the court under Section 228 (1)(b) of the Act.

2. If the Court of the session cannot deal with the matter then some other courts have the proper jurisdiction to deal exclusively with the matter by transferring the case to the Competent court or to appropriate CJM or JM of the first class.

Further, the charges made against the accused body will be explained to him in a language that he can easily understand so that no violation takes place due to which delay can be made in the proceeding. If the plea is guilty of the offence committed by him then he may get punished.

Second Stage of the Trial

If the accused person pleads his guilt then he will be punished as per the nature of punishment and he will get convicted and if he did not plead then the court will fix a date for going through a further process like examination of a witness, production of any document, etc. He needs to plead guilty from his own mouth, not by his pleader. Any admission made by his leader is not binding in nature.

The court needs to have all pieces of evidence which are presented in the case and during the cross-examination stage.

Prem Kumar vs. the State of Karnataka, it was held that before framing of charges, the court needs to see that documents placed before the court whether FIR or any statement given by witnesses disclosing the ingredients of the alleged offence.

Suresh Kumar vs. State of Uttar Pradesh, the accused person is entitled to get copies of the statement of the complaint before the charges are framed.

Third Stage of the Trial  

It is the last stage where the accused person is either convicted or acquittal. The court may acquit the accused person if no evidence is laid down which indicates the involvement of the accused in committing the Act.

If no acquittal took place then, the accused get the opportunity to present his case through writing or any other means he can produce evidence, witnesses to defend himself just like the way prosecution did it. An omission on the part of the Judge is the failure of justice. An accused person can apply for an application for compelling the attendance of a witness, all such application needs to be accepted by the court. He can only deny in a situation where he is sure that such application is vexatious in nature just to waste the precious time of the court. After hearing both the side, when the issue arises for giving a closing statement that Section 314 of the Act applies and the Closing statement is given by defence under Section 234 and under Section 235 by the prosecution side.

Before giving a final verdict, the previous conviction checked to see and relate the liability of the accused person in the present case. According to a previous conviction, punishment is decided by the Court of law. Lastly, the defamation of higher dignities cases are handled by the public prosecutor and compensation will be paid by the accused person to the other party for wasting their time and money.

Final judgment should be made by the judge by keeping in mind all the evidence, witnesses and argument. The process of acquittal will be done as per Section 232and whereas provision regarding conviction is mentioned under Section 235. A judge should pass the sentence of punishment as prescribed in law.

Warrant trial

What is a Warrant  Case?

Warrant case includes offence punishable with the death penalty, imprisonment for life and imprisonment for exceeding two years.  A trial in warrant case begins either by filing an FIR in Police Station or by filing it before Magistrate.

Section 238 to 243 of CrPC so, let’s start with the study. Firstly let’s understand that warrant trial is based on 2 types of cases

1.     On the Police Report.

2.     Other than the Police Report.

The procedure of Trial in warrant cases by magistrates:

1. Compliance with Section 207

2. When accused shall be discharged

3. Framing of charge

4. Conviction on a plea of guilty

5. Evidence for Prosecution

6. Evidence for Defence Side

7. Evidence for Prosecution

8. When accused shall be discharged

9. Again Evidence for Defence

10. Acquittal or conviction

11. Absence of Complaint

12. Compensation for accusation without reasonable cause

Compliance with Section 207: When any warrant case is filed on the Police report, then the accused is brought before the magistrate for the recommencement of trial and magistrate shall satisfy himself that he has resulted in Section 207 provisions.

When accused shall be discharged: If upon seeing the police report and the documents sent under Section 173 for making such examination. After hearing both the side and considering all relevant points, if magistrate thinks that charges framed against the accused person are clearly groundless, then he shall discharge the accused and reason should be recorded for doing this act.

Framing of Charge: After considering the examination, if the magistrate is of the opinion that there is ground for presuming that the accused has committed the offence then it will be triable by the competent magistrate to give accurate punishment and frame charges against the accused. Charges framed against him will be explained to him and later on, it will be seen that he pleaded guilty or not.


Under Session trail, we went through all the complex path which are included in conducting the trial before a Court of Session. Initially, the court decide that whether any ground is present against the accused person for conducting trial, all the evidence and documents are produced before the Court and at last by keeping in mind all the points and evidence magistrate gives the final decision which can be either Acquittal or Conviction and under Warrant case two conditions are given if the complaint is done by the police report or without police report the Informant directly file a complaint to the magistrate, in this case, the accused person will be produced before the magistrate and he will be examined in court, finds out no relevant ground then he will be discharged otherwise the further procedure will continue and the accused person will be given the opportunity to plead for the offence committed by him. Later both the side will present their case with the support of witnesses and evidence and argument, cross-examination, and re-examination will be conducted and at last by hearing both sides, the magistrate will decide the quantum of punishment for the accused person.