On the happening of an incidence, prohibited or punishable by law, such as a civil disagreement between parties to the dispute or criminal activity, the case goes to trial in the law court. The Criminal Code Procedure lists out the rules for arresting, investing and trial of criminal before the courts. In a court trial, the parties to the dispute come together, to present the facts and evidence before the court of law.
As per criminal law, all the offences need to be investigated, inquired and tried, as per the relevant provisions. The trial is not exactly same as hearing, which is a legal proceeding before a court or any judicial body, to gather facts about the case/issue. The article excerpt sheds light on the difference between trial and hearing, so take a read.
Content: Hearing Vs Trial
|Basis for Comparison||Hearing||Trial|
|Meaning||Hearing is described as a legal gathering, in the court of law, wherein the judge discusses and decides the case, in the presence of the competing parties.||Trial refers to the judicial proceeding in which facts and evidences are examined, to find out the guilt or innocence of the accused.|
|Headed by||Judge||Judge or Jury|
|Object||To ascertain whether the charges imposed are worth pursuing or not.||To identify the guilt or innocence of the accused.|
Definition of Hearing
In law, hearing implies the general assessment of a case by the judge, wherein preliminary decision is taken by the judge, regarding whether the case is to be pursued or not. These are oral arguments, in support of the case, to settle it or make a judgement or to decide relevant aspects of the case, to ascertain the way in which trial will proceed. It can be held for any civil, criminal or administrative proceeding.
In a court hearing, the lawyers of both the parties, i.e. prosecution and defendant, present material, facts, information and evidence before the judge, concerning the case. After that, the judge decides whether to hold the accused or not for trial, on the basis of the evidence provided.
Definition of Trial
The trial can be understood as the legal proceeding in which the evidence and witnesses are legally taken on oath, and the guilt or innocence of the accused is determined. It tends to find out the cause of the incidence/offence and ends in conviction or acquittal of the inmate.
The trial is an official hearing of a lawsuit, before a court, to verify facts and evidence and ascertain legal claims that result in the judgement, through adversary system. The adversary system relies on accusatorial method, wherein the public prosecutor accuses the other party, i.e. defendant, for committing the crime. The accused is believed as innocent unless the charges filed on him are proven beyond reasonable doubt.
Key Differences Between Hearing and Trial
The difference between hearing and trial can be drawn clearly on the following grounds:
- In law, hearing can be understood as the legal meeting, in which the discussion and decision on the lawsuit are made in the presence of the opposing parties. On the other extreme, trial means a legal proceeding wherein the facts and evidence in favour/against the defendant are examined in the court of law to determine his/her guilt or innocence.
- While the hearing is presided over by the judge, the trial is headed by the judge, panel of judges, i.e. jury, or magistrate etc.
- The primary objective of hearing is to check whether the charges levied on the defendant, have a certain base or not? And also whether the case is worth pursuing or not? Conversely, the trial is to prove the guilt or innocence of the defendant.
- When it comes to legal formality, trials are more formal in comparison to court hearings.
- The time duration of a court hearing is comparatively shorter than the court trial.
As per Criminal Procedure Code, there are three stages of a criminal case, i.e. investigation, inquiry and trial, wherein inquiry and trial are judicial proceedings. Hearing and trials are similar to one another in the sense that they are publicly held and involve competing parties.