Section 239 CrPC – Discharge and Probative Value of Material on Record

11.2. In the recent decision of this Court in State of Karnataka v. M.R. Hiremath, (2019) 7 SCC 515, one of us (D.Y. Chandrachud, J.) speaking for the Bench has observed and held in para 25 as under:

“25. The High Court [M.R. Hiremath v. State, 2017 SCC OnLine Kar 4970] ought to have been cognizant of the fact that the trial court was dealing with an application for discharge under the provisions of Section 239 CrPC. The parameters which govern the exercise of this jurisdiction have found expression in several decisions of this Court. It is a settled principle of law that at the stage of considering an application for discharge the court must proceed on the assumption that the material which has been brought on the record by the prosecution is true and evaluate the material in order to determine whether the facts emerging from the material, taken on its face value, disclose the existence of the ingredients necessary to constitute the offence. In State of T.N. v. N. Suresh Rajan, (2014) 11 SCC 709, adverting to the earlier decisions on the subject, this Court held:

‘29. … At this stage, probative value of the materials has to be gone into and the court is not expected to go deep into the matter and hold that the materials would not warrant a conviction. In our opinion, what needs to be considered is whether there is a ground for presuming that the offence has been committed and not whether a ground for convicting the accused has been made out. To put it differently, if the court thinks that the accused might have committed the offence on the basis of the materials on record on its probative value, it can frame the charge; though for conviction, the court has to come to the conclusion that the accused has committed the offence. The law does not permit a mini trial at this stage.”

Supreme Court
State of Rajasthan v. Ashok Kumar Kashyap, (2021) 11 SCC 191