But if, upon such consideration, he is of opinion that there is ground for presuming that the accused has committed an offence triable under this Chapter (Chap. XIX), which such Magistrate is competent to try, and which, in his opinion, could be adequately punished by him, he shall frame in writing a charge against the accused.

The charge shall be read and explained to the accused and he shall be asked whether he pleads guilty, or claims to be tried. (Section 240) If the accused pleads guilty, the Magistrate shall record the plea and may in his discretion, convict him thereon. If he refuses to plead, or claims to be tried, the Magistrate shall fix a date for the examination of witnesses. The Magistrate may, on the application of the prosecution, issue a summons to any of its witnesses directing him to attend or to produce any document or other thing.

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On the date so fixed, the Magistrate shall proceed to take all such evidence as may be produced in support of the prosecution. The Magistrate may permit the cross-examination of any witnesses to be deferred until any other witness or witnesses have been examined; or recall any witness for further cross-examination. (Section 242)

The accused shall then be called upon to enter upon his defence and produce his evidence; and if the accused puts in any written statement, the Magistrate shall file it with the record.

The Magistrate may issue any process for the attendance of any witness for examination or cross-examination or the production of any document or other thing, if the accused, after he has entered upon his defense, applies to the Magistrate. The Magistrate shall not issue such process if he considers that such application should be refused on the ground that it is made for the purpose of vexation or delay or for defeating the ends of justice.

The Magistrate shall also not compel the attendance of a witness if the accused has cross-examined or had the opportunity of cross-examining him before entering on his defense, unless he is satisfied that it is necessary for the purpose of justice. The Magistrate may require the deposit of reasonable expenses before summoning any witness. (Section 243)

If, in any case under this chapter in which a charge has been framed, the Magistrate finds the accused not guilty, he shall record an order of acquittal. [Section 248 (1)]

Where in any case under this chapter the Magistrate does not proceed in accordance with the provision of Section 325 (i.e., where the Magistrate cannot pass adequate sentence) or Section 360 (where the Magistrate of the second class not specially empowered by the High Court to exercise the powers relating to release of convicted offenders on probation of good conduct or after admonition) he shall if he finds the accused guilty, after hearing the accused on the question of sentence, pass sentence, upon him according to law. [Section 248 (2)]

Procedure in case of previous convictions.—In a case where a previous conviction is charged under the provisions of Section 211, sub-section (7), and the accused does not admit that he has been previously convicted as alleged in the charge, the Magistrate may, after he has convicted the said accused, take evidence in respect of the alleged previous conviction, and shall record a finding thereon, provided that no such charge shall be read out by the Magistrate nor shall the accused be asked to plead thereto nor shall the previous conviction be referred to by the prosecution or in any evidence adduced by it, unless and until the accused has been convicted under sub-section (2). [Section 248 (3) [B. Cases instituted otherwise than on police report]

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