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Pre-Sentence Hearing

Section 235 of CrPC deals with the concept of pre-sentence hearing which states that after
hearing arguments and points of law (if any), the judge shall give a judgment in the case, and if
the accused is convicted, the judge shall, unless he proceeds in accordance with the provision of
section 360, hear the accused on the question of sentence, and then pass sentence on him
according to law.

The object behind s. 235(2) of CrPC is to see that when accused is convicted, just punishment is
inflicted. It is not merely a formality but it is a procedure which is required to be followed
scrupulously. The judge must take genuine effort to elicit from the accused all the information
and thereafter considering all the factors inflict the sentence. The information such as age, family
background, antecedent, financial position etc., will have a bearing on the question of sentence.
Hearing is not confined to oral submission but is intended to give an opportunity to the
prosecution and the accused to produce material bearing on the question of sentence and if they
are contested by either side, then to produce evidence for the purpose of establishing the same.
Hearing the accused on the question of sentence is obligatory and mandatory, thus, it is the duty
of the court to appraise the accused of this valuable right which the law makers have given to
him. The obligation to hear the accused on the question of sentence which is imposed by s.
235(2) s not discharged by putting a formal question to the accused as to what he has to say on
the question of sentence. The judge must make a genuine effort to elicit from the accused all
information which will eventually bear on the question of sentence.

The research will try to analyze the section in detail and will also throw light on constitutional
validity of section 235(2) and will also deal with various case laws related to it. Since this is a
new provision the research will give suggestion as to what further can be done to increase the
efficiency of the provision and make it more practicable in real life.

Key words: Pre-sentence hearing, constitutionality, question of sentence, hearing


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