Limitation for charge sheet in case under S. 304A IPC for medical negligence

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This topic contains 1 reply, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Dr. Ashok Dhamija Dr. Ashok Dhamija 9 months ago.

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  • #3827


    I am a doctor and a FIR was lodged against me because of some death that happened in my hospital 10 years ago. The Police had charged me with Section 304A. They filed the Chargesheet after 3 years of the commission of the said offence. Can this fact get the FIR quashed under Section 482 of the Crpc from the high Court as the limitation under section 468 crpc is not followed. Thanks

  • #3837

    Maximum punishment for an offence under Section 304A of IPC is two years.

    For an offence carrying this much punishment, Section 468 of the Cr.P.C. lays down the period of limitation to be three years. The prohibition is on the taking of cognizance by the court when the period of limitation has expired. In a case based on investigation conducted by police, the cognizance is taken by the court on filing of a charge sheet under Section 173 of the Cr.P.C.

    You have stated that the police has filed the charge sheet after a period of 3 years of the commission of the said offence. So, this appears to be a violation of the provisions of Section 468 Cr.P.C. laying down limitation period.

    However, you have also said that the incident took place 10 years ago, so does it mean that the charge sheet is pending for last about 7 years and does it mean that the court has already taken cognizance because the court would normally not wait for 7 years (after filing charge sheet) for taking cognizance? So, it appears that you have not given the full relevant facts which were necessary for correctly replying to your question.

    But, in any case, if the cognizance is taken after 3 years, which is beyond the period of limitation in such a case, then such cognizance would be barred by limitation.

    However, please also remember that Section 473 of the Cr.P.C. allows the court to take cognizance of an offence even beyond the period of limitation if it is satisfied on the facts and in the circumstances of the case that the delay has been properly explained or that it is necessary so to do in the interests of justice.

    Please also note that Section 460 of the Cr.P.C., inter alia, provides that if the Magistrate erroneously takes cognizance of an offence on the basis of a police report (i.e., charge sheet), then the his proceedings shall not be set aside merely on the ground of his not being so empowered.

    So, the answer to your question depends on detailed facts of your case and you have not provided the relevant details. If the cognizance has already been taken in your case, then Section 460 Cr.P.C. may perhaps come into play.

    In any case, if so advised by your advocate who has seen full facts, you may try to challenge the cognizance taken beyond the period of limitation. You may have to approach the high court for this purpose.


    Dr. Ashok Dhamija is a New Delhi based Supreme Court Advocate and author of law books. Read more about him by clicking here. List of his Forum Replies. List of his other articles. List of his Quora Answers.

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