Serious offences are thus tried under the procedure laid down for warrant-cases and light or minor offences under the procedure prescribed for summons-cases.
(iii) In a summons-case a summons is ordinarily issued on a complainant, but in a warrant-case a warrant is ordinarily issued on a complaint.
(iv) In a summons-case when the accused appears before the Magistrate, the particulars of the offence of which he is accused are stated to him and he is asked to show cause why he should not be convicted. If he admits the guilt or fails to show any sufficient cause, he may be convicted straight away. (Section 251).
No such power of summary conviction exists in warrant-cases. In such cases the Magistrate begins to hear the case of the prosecution by examining the complainant and other prosecution witnesses, and when a prima facie case is made out against the accused he frames a charge and then asks the accused whether he pleads guilty or not. (Section 246)
(v) In a summons-case the Magistrate first inquires from the accused whether he pleads guilty to the charge and if he does not admit, his guilt prosecution evidence is recorded. (SS. 251 and 252). In a warrant-case evidence for the prosecution is taken first and then a charge is framed and the accused is asked whether he pleads guilty or not. (Ss. 238 and 246).
(vi) In a summons-case no formal charge is necessary (Section 251), but in a warrant case a formal charge must be framed (Ss. 240 and 246).
(vii) In a summons-case the accused has to cross-examine each of the prosecution witnesses immediately after their examination-in-chief. (Section 254). In a warrant case the accused has a right to reserve his cross-examination until the charge is framed. (Sections 243 and 246)
(viii) In a summons-case the complainant may withdraw his complaint with the permission of the court and on such withdrawal the accused is acquitted. (Section 257). In warrant case no such withdrawal is permitted, except when the offence is a compoundable one.
(ix) In a summons case if the complainant is absent on the date of hearing the accused shall be acquitted. Unless for some reason he thinks it proper to adjourn the hearing of the case to some other day. (Section 256). But on non-appearance of the complainant in a warrant case, the Magistrate, in his discretion at any time before the charge has been framed, discharge the accused if the offence is compoundable or non-cognizable. But if it is otherwise he shall proceed with the trial and dispose of the case on merits (Section 249).
(x) In a summons case instituted otherwise than upon complaint the Magistrate may stop the proceeding at any stage without pronouncing any judgment either of acquittal or conviction, and may thereupon release the accused. (Section 258).
No such provision exists in a warrant-case.
(xi) In a summons case the accused may be convicted from the facts admitted or proved whatever may be the nature of the complaint or summons. (Section 225). But in a warrant case the procedure is otherwise. A charge must be framed, read and explained to the accused and he shall then be asked to enter upon his defense and produce his evidence. (Sections 246 and 247)