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Full text of "Medical Jurisprudence And Toxicology"

CRIMINAL  COURTS  AHD  THEIR POWERS                                       9

Of these, a MagisfeatejoLthe.&cst- class- may paas^~seie.nce.,of ^i
lELDJL exceeding- two- years. He is also empowered to direct that a certain
portion of the sentence shall be served out in solitary confinement within the
limits laid down by the Indian Penal Code. The power to inflict the punish-
ment of whipping is also vested in a Magistrate of the first class. The term of
imprisonment which a second class Magistrate may award is six months,
but sfMagistfaie-dE- the -third-class cannot pass~ "a* sentence of imprisonment
exceeding one month. All classes of Magistrates are also authorized to pass
a sentence of fine, but a Magistrate of the first class cannot pass a sentence of
fine exceeding one thousand.^ rupees, a Magistrate of the second class, one
exceeding two " hundre^/rujgees, and a Magistrate, of the third class, exceed-
ing rupees fifty. Magistrates of the second and the "third class "are not
empowered to pass a sentence of whipping. As regards solitary confinement
a Magistrate of the third class is not, but a Magistrate of the second class is,
authorized to order that a portion of the sentence of imprisonment should
be of the description known as solitary confinement. Twice the amount of
imprisonment which a Magistrate is authorized to award may be inflicted
by him when passing a sentence for two or more offences at one trial. Of
course, the Court of any Magistrate may pass any lawful sentence combining
any of the sentences which it is authorized by law to pass.3

In the Punjab, Sind, the Central Provinces, Coorg, and Assam and in
Oudh and some other parts of the country the Local Government may also
confer on certain Magistrates of the first class the powers resembling those
of an Assistant Sessions Judge. Such Magistrates can pass any sentence
except that of death and of transportation or imprisonment in excess of
seven years.

Subpoena.  A subpoena is a document compelling the attendance of a
witness in a court of law under a penalty. When it is served on a witness
to give evidence and produce documents before a court, he must do so
punctually. Non-compliance in a civil case may render him liable to an
action for damages, and in a criminal case, to fine or imprisonment, unless
some reasonable excuse is forthcoming.

In civil cases it is customary to offer a fee, termed conduct money, to
cover necessary travelling expenses, when a subpoena is served. If this is not
done, the medical practitioner may ignore the subpoena, if he so desires.
In a case where a medical practitioner considers that the fee offered at the
time of the service of a subpoena is less than what he is entitled to, he must
ask to have his proper fee paid before being sworn to give evidence, and
the presiding Judge will decide the fee to be paid in the circumstances. It
is possible that the fee allowed by the Judge may be much less than what
he expected. Hence, in order to avoid disappointment, the medical man will
be well advised to make sure of his adequate remuneration before giving
a report on a case which will eventually lead to litigation, unless it happens
to be a case where he is bound in duty to give evidence. It should, however,
be remembered that no unreasonable difficulty in the matter of payment of
fees should be raised in cases tried in civil courts under the Workmen's
Compensation Act, 1923, as modified upto the first August 1938.

In criminal cases no fee is tendered at the time of serving a subpoena ;
the independent medical practitioner may demand a fee at the time of giving
professional evidence before taking the oath, but he should not insist o Ms
payment if the presiding officer of the court is not willing to sancMop Hie
sum demanded by him. He must give evidence, or he may find hin^seif m.

the inconvenient position of being charged with contempt of oDoart*

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3.   See Appendix 3H for different sections of Cr. Proc. Code.