ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS
1 Short title
3 Rules in Schedule
5 Procedure with respect to felonies and misdemeanour
6 Amendment of indictment
THE INDICTMENTS ACT
[Date of Commencement: 1st December, 1921]
Act 42 of 1969.
This Act may be cited as the Indictments Act.
In this Act-
"the Court" means the Court before which any indictable offence is tried or prosecuted; rule" means a rule made under this Act.
The rules contained in the Schedule with respect to indictments shall have effect as if enacted in this Act, but those rules may be added to, varied, or annulled by further rules made by the Rules Committee of the Supreme Court pursuant to section 4 of the Judicature (Rules of Court) Act.
[42/1969 3rd Sch.]
(1) Every indictment shall contain, and shall be sufficient if it contains, a statement of the specific offences with which the accused person is charged, together with such particulars as may be necessary for giving reasonable information as to the nature of the charge.
(2) Notwithstanding any rule of law or practice, an indictment shall not, subject to the provisions of this Act, be open to objection in respect of its form or contents if it is framed in accordance with the rules.
Subject to the provisions of the rules, charges for more than one felony or for more than one misdemeanour, and charges for both felonies and misdemeanours, may be joined in the same indictment, but where a felony is tried together with any misdemeanour, the jury shall be sworn and the person accused shall have the same right of challenging jurors as if all the offences charged in the indictment were felonies.
(1) Where, before trial, or at any stage of a trial, it appears to the Court that the indictment is defective, the Court shall make such order for the amendment of the indictment as the Court thinks necessary to meet the circumstances of the case, unless, having regard to the merits of the case, the required amendments cannot be made without injustice, and may make such order as to the payment of any costs incurred owing to the necessity for amendment as the Court thinks fit.
(2) Where an indictment is so amended, a note of the order for amendment shall be endorsed on the indictment, and the indictment shall be treated for the purposes of the trial and for the purposes of all proceedings in connection therewith as having been preferred in the amended form.
(3) Where, before trial, or at any stage of a trial, the Court is of opinion that a person accused may be prejudiced or embarrassed in his defence by reason of being charged with more than one offence in the same indictment, or that for any other reason it is desirable to direct that the person should be tried separately for any one or more offences charged in an indictment, the Court may order a separate trial of any count or counts of such indictment.
(4) Where, before trial, or at any stage of a trial, the Court is of opinion that the postponement of the trial of a person accused is expedient as a consequence of the exercise of any power of the Court under this Act to amend an indictment or to order a separate trial of a Court, the Court shall make such order as to the postponement of the trial as appears necessary.
(5) Where an order of the Court is made under this section for a separate trial or for the postponement of a trial-
(a) if such an order is made during a trial the Court may order that the jury are to be discharged from giving a verdict on the count or counts the trial of which is postponed or on the indictment, as the case may be; and
(b) the procedure on the separate trial of a count shall be the same in all respects as if the count had been found in a separate indictment, and the procedure on the postponed trial shall be the same in all respects (if the jury has been discharged) as if the trial had not commenced; and
(c) the Court may make such order as to costs and as to admitting the accused person to bail, and as to the enlargement of recognizances and otherwise as the Court thinks fit.
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