Under section 465 of Criminal Code plea of error should be taken at earliest stage

The Code Of Criminal Procedure, 1973

465. Finding or sentence when reversible by reason of error, omission irregularity.

(1) Subject to the provisions hereinbefore contained, no finding, sentence or order passed by a Court of competent jurisdiction shall be reversed or altered by a Court of appeal, confirmation or revision on account of any error, omission or irregularity in the complaint, summons, warrant, proclamation, order, judgment or other proceedings before or during trial or in any inquiry or other proceedings under this Code, or any error, or irregularity in any sanction for the prosecution, unless in the opinion of that Court, a failure of justice has in fact been occasioned thereby.

(2) In determining whether any error, omission or irregularity in any proceeding under this Code, or any error, or irregularity in any sanction for the prosecution has occasioned a failure of justice, the Court shall have regard to the fact whether the objection could and should have been raised at an earlier stage in the proceedings.


The High Court failed to notice the provisions of Section 465 of the Code as the objection with regard to such error, omission or irregularity in the committal order was required to be raised at the earliest stage. After committal order in the case, the trial was almost over as evidence of the prosecution witnesses was recorded by the sessions court, statements of the accused under Section 313 of the Code were also recorded, thereafter witnesses were recalled and examined, further statements were recorded and
only at the stage of arguments the contention with regard to the so-called irregularity was raised, which is upheld by the Sessions Court and the High Court. In the background of these facts, we hold that holding of fresh inquiry under Section 202 would be totally unnecessary in the present case and thereafter to commit the case again to the Sessions Court. Hence, the appeals are allowed, the impugned order passed by the High Court is set aside and the reference made by the Sessions Judge is answered in the afore-mentioned terms. The Sessions Court is directed to complete hearing of arguments and dispose of the case on merits in accordance with law.

While dealing with Section 465(2) of the Code in Kalpnath Rai v. State, [1997] 8 SCC 732 this Court has stated thus : “Sub-section (2) of Section 465 of the Code is not a carte blanche for Tendering all trials vitiated on the ground of the irregularity of sanction if objection thereto was raised at the first instance itself. The sub-section only says that the court shall have regard to the fact ’ that objection has been raised at the earlier stage in the proceedings. It is only one of the considerations to be weighed but it does not mean if objection was raised at the earlier stage, for that very reason the irregularity in the sanction would spoil the prosecution and transmute the proceedings into a void trial.”

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