Report No. 77
12.10. Petty cases.-
There are a very large number of petty cases like those relating to traffic offences, pending in criminal courts. Complaint is often made by the people prosecuted for such offences that they have to wait for a long time in courts on the date for which they receive notice or summons and that the time spent and the inconvenience to which they are subjected are out of all proportion to the gravity of the offence. Most of the persons involved in these offences are not disposed to contest the case.
If is for this reason that section 206 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, provides that if, in the opinion of a Magistrate taking cognizance of a petty offence, the case may be summarily disposed of under section 206 the Magistrate shal1,1 except where he is, for reasons to be recorded in writing, of a contrary opinion, issue summons to the accused requiring him either to appear in person or by pleader before the Magistrate on a specified date or if he desires to plead guilty to the charge without appearing before the Magistrate, to transmit before the specified date, by post or by messenger to the Magistrate, the said plea in writing and the amount of fine specified in the summons at if he desires to appear by pleader and to plead guilty to the charge through such pleader, to authorise, in writing the pleader to plead guilty to the charge on his behalf and to pay the fine through the pleader, provided that the amount of fine specified in such summons shall not exceed one hundred rupees. Likewise, sub-section (1) of section 130 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1939 provides that the Court taking cognizance of an offence under this Act
(i) may, if the offence is an offence punishable with imprisonment under this Act, and
(ii) shall in any other case, state upon the summons to be served on the accused person that he-
(a) may appear by pleader and not in person, or
(b) may by a specified date prior to the hearing of the charge, plead guilty to the charge by registered letter and remit to the Court such sum (not exceeding the maximum fine that may be imposed for the offence) as the Court may specify:
Provided that nothing in this sub-section shall apply to any offence specified in Part A of the Fifth Schedule.
1. Section 206, Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.