Report No. 141
7.3. We suggest, that section 256 should be revised as under:
"256. Non-appearance or death of complainant:-(1) If the summons has been issued on complainant and, on the day appointed for the appearance of the accused, or on any day subsequent thereto to which the hearing may be adjourned, the complainant does not appear, the Magistrate shall, notwithstanding anything hereinbefore contained, terminate the proceedings, unless for some reason he thinks it proper to adjourn the hearing of the case to some other day:
(a) where the complainant is represented by a pleader or by the officer conducting the prosecution, or
(b) where the Magistrate is of opinion that the personal attendance of the complainant is not necessary, the Magistrate may dispense with the attendance and proceed with the case.
(2) The provisions of sub-section (1) shall, so far as may be, apply also to cases where the non-appearance of the complainant is due to his death.
(3) An order terminating the proceedings under sub-section (1) shall, subject to the provisions of sub-section (4), have the same effect as an order of acquittal.
(4) Where the proceedings are terminated under this section, the court may, if it is satisfied on the application of the complainant that he was prevented by sufficient cause from appearing, make an order setting aside the order of termination upon such terms, as to costs or otherwise, as it thinks fit and shall appoint a day for proceeding with the case:
Provided that no such application shall be entertained after the expiry of a period of thirty days from the date on which the proceedings were terminated.
(5) No order shall be made under sub-section (4) unless notice of the application thereunder has been served on the accused."