What Happens If The Accused Dies ?

The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 is a procedural law which provides the mechanism as to how the criminal trials shall be conducted on the basis of substantive criminal law such as the IPC as well as other criminal statutes. A Criminal Trial is initiated against an accused and if during such trial the accused dies, in such a situation the question arises as to what will happen to these criminal proceedings. In case you are involved with a criminal case, you are advised to seek legal advice from experienced Criminal Lawyers In Srinagar or Criminal Lawyers In Sonipat. The article below attempts to explain this question-

Procedure for a criminal case-

The basic objective of the criminal justice system is ensuring that the trial shall  be fair and just. First, a complaint shall be registered with the police after a wrong has been committed, the police would then start a primary investigation.

Based on the investigations made, the police will arrest the suspects if need be and charges would be framed against them in accordance with the offences committed by them.

After the charges are framed, the suspects will be treated as the accused of the case. The case will then be proceeded for trial in the component court. A full trial will then be conducted by the competent court.

During the course of trial, statements from the witnesses will be recorded as well as any evidence found will be examined, the contentions of the accused and the complainant would be heard by the competent court. After the completion of the trial, the court would pass final judgement if the accused is convicted or acquitted.

If the accused dies during continuation of the case-

However, it is important to understand that not every trial would end in the conviction or acquittal of the accused. It may happen sometimes that the trial ends without having a conclusion or final judgement with respect to the conviction or acquittal of the accused.

Death of the accused of a case is one such example where the trial ends halfway without coming to any conclusion. The sole objective behind the criminal proceedings is to punish the accused for conviction of any offence. But when the accused dies before the trial is completed, then the proceedings are required to be abated.

The trial proceedings after the death of the sole accused would be considered to be infructuous as well as meaningless. Provision has been made for abetment of the trial proceedings after the sole accused has died, as has been decided by the various Supreme Court and High Court judgements.

It is evident from the above discussion that if an accused dies while the proceedings are still in continuation and if there is only one accused then the charges against the accused shall be abated resulting in the closure of the case. However, when there are more than one accused, the charge against the deceased accused shall be abated while charges against the other accused persons will continue as it is. 

The legal maxim “Actio personalis moritur cum persona”, which means that the right of action dies with the person. When the only accused in a criminal case dies then there will be no one to serve the sentence for the crime which took place.

The case of Bondada Gajapathy Rao versus State Of Andhra Pradesh, it was observed by the Apex Court that,  principle based on which hearing of a case could be  continued even after the death of the accused would be when the effect of the sentence will be on his property which is in the hands of his legal representatives. In case the sentence from the court case affects such property, the legal representatives of such accused can be said to be interested in the proceeding and shall be allowed to continue it.

Lead India offers you a team of experienced advocates in the various parts of the country including Criminal Lawyers In Jodhpur, who have been successfully representing their clients in cases related to criminal offences. Therefore, if you wish to talk to a lawyer or seek free legal advice, you may contact us.


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Criminal Lawyers In Srinagar, Criminal Lawyers In Sonipat, Criminal Lawyers In Jodhpur,


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