Legal provisions regarding withdrawal from prosecution under section 321 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.
According to Section 321 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the Public Prosecutor or Assistant Public Prosecutor in charge of a case may, with the consent of the Court, at any time before the judgment is pronounced, withdraw from the prosecution of any person either generally or in respect of anyone or more of the offences for which he is tried; and, upon such withdrawal;
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(a) If it is before a charge has been framed, the accused shall be discharged in respect of such offence or offences;
(b) If it is made after a charge has been framed, or when under this Code no charge is required, he shall be acquitted in respect of such offence or offences.
However, such offence;
(i) Was against any law relating to a matter to which the executive power of the Union extends; or
(ii) Was investigated by the Delhi Special Police Establishment under the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946; or
(iii) Involved the misappropriation or destruction of, or damage to, any property belonging to the Central Government; or
(iv) Was committed by a person in the service of the Central Government while acting or purporting to act in the discharge of his official duty, and the Prosecutor in charge of the case has not been appointed by the Central Government, he shall not, unless he has been permitted by the Central Government to do so, move the Court for its consent to withdraw from the prosecution and the Court shall, before according consent, direct the Prosecutor to produce before it the permission granted by the Central Government to withdraw from the prosecution.
In Rahul Agarwal v. Rakesh Jain, the permission for withdrawal of prosecution was granted on the ground that the case was pending for a long time and accused was not a habitual criminal. The case was posted for examination of accused and no inquiry was made as to why case was pending. It was held that the order permitting withdrawal of prosecution when prosecution evidence was about to be over at any point of time, is not proper. It was also held that the permission for withdrawal of prosecution can be granted only in the interest of justice and for valid reasons.