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Discharge Application

Discharge application is the remedy provided to the person who has been charged maliciously. If the false allegations have been made against him, he can file an application for discharge. He is entitled to acquittal if the evidence provided to the court is not sufficient to prove the offence.

This application can be filed even before the charges have been set against him if the judge contemplates that there are no sufficient grounds available for implementing the proceedings against the accused.
The discharge application can only be filed against warrant cases. Warrant cases consist of serious crimes that are punishable with death or imprisonment more than 2 years. A warrant is a document or order that empowers the Police to arrest a person holding criminal charges.

Contents of discharge:
While receiving a discharge application, the court has to consider the following facts:
1. The report and charge sheet submitted by police under section 173 of Crpc.
2. Adequate opportunity to be heard has been given to the prosecution and the accused.
3. The magistrate thinks through the charges as false and unsubstantiated.

While filing an application for discharge, the accused has to consider the following points:
1. That the report submitted by the Police does not contain effective facts and evidence.
2. That the material facts of the case cannot be determined.
3. That the accusations upon him are unsubstantiated and vague.
4. That the prosecution has not provided with any witnesses.

After examining these facts and evidence,if the magistrate thinks that these grounds are sufficient to discharge the accused, the application for discharge is accepted.
The remedy for the accused under section 239 is available on a prima facie case, if the report submitted by the Police does not conclude any prima facie case, then the court has the power to discharge the accused.[1]
Provisions that deal with Discharge application:
Under section 239, the court can discharge the accused, if after considering the reports submitted by police under section 173 and inspecting the facts and evidence provided; the magistrate finds the charges as vague and unjustified.

on the other hand, under section 245 (1); if after identifying the evidence of the case, no prima facie case has been noticed, the court is bound to discharge the accused.

There is an exception to this rule as mentioned under Section 245(2) which states that the court can also discharge the accused without even interpreting the evidence if the charges against him are indefinite and groundless.

In Amit Sibal v. ArvindKejriwal[2] case, the court has observed that there is no power available to the magistrate to discharge an accused person in a summon trial to complain case. But, the accused in a summon case can ask for a revision under section 397 of Crpc.
The protection provided under Section 239 of Crpc is an essential provision of the law. It safeguards the person against whom the false allegations have been made. No one should be punished for the offence which is not committed by him.

“Let a hundred guilty be acquitted, but one innocent should not be convicted”

[1]Sri Umesh Kumar Ipsvs The State of Andhra Pradesh(2008) 2 SCC 574
[2]2016 SCC onLine SC 1516

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