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
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
3. The magistrate thinks through the charges as false and unsubstantiated.
While filing an application for discharge, the accused has to consider the
1. That the report submitted by the Police does not contain effective facts
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
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.
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
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 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”
Sri Umesh Kumar Ipsvs The State of Andhra Pradesh(2008) 2 SCC 574
2016 SCC onLine SC 1516