Section 395 of crpc deals with Reference. It means seeking opinion on clarification from High-Court. The term ‘Reference’ is not defined anywhere under Criminal Procedure Code. It is a one of a kind of review procedure provided by crpc.

The term ‘Reference’ means seeking opinion,clarification,determination of a question as to validity of any act,ordinance,regulation or promulgation of any act which arise during the pendency of the proceeding. Reference is made by trial court to High-Court.

Conditions under Section 395

  1. There must be a proceeding pending before criminal-court or trial- court.
  2. There must be a question as to the validity of the Act, Ordinance, Regulation, etc., during the pendency of the proceeding.
  3. The court must satisfy itself that the question is to be determined by the Superior court(High-Court) and it is necessary for the disposal of the case.
  4. The court must form an opinion that the Act, Ordinance, etc is invalid or inappropriate until it is determined by the High-Court or Supreme-Court.
  5. To seek Reference by the trial court, it must satisfy that there is a question as to the validity, it must opine that the question is to be determined by the High-Court and refer the question to the High-Court for its determination.
  6. The determination of High-Court(Revision Court) must help the trial court to dispose of the case pending before it.

Difference between Revision and Reference

Basis of Distinction

  1. Exercise of Jurisdiction – Under Revision, Court of Sessions, and High-Court are the Revision Courts. Under Reference, Only High-Court is empowered to determine a question under Section 395 of crpc.
  2. Exercise of Rights – Revision may be on application by the aggrieved party or suomoto by the High-Court. Reference is the right of the trial court but in some cases, the party to the proceeding, on an application may seek the trial court to refer the question to High-Court.
  3. Subject Matter – A revision lies only in respect of a non-appellable order. Reference lies only in respect of a question as to the validity of an Act, Ordinance, Regulation, etc.
  4. Ground– Revision lies only on grounds of procedural gap or where there is a miscarriage of justice in the proceeding before Trial-Court. Reference can be sought only in respect of a question as to the validity of Act, Ordinance, Regulation, etc.
  5. Stage of Proceeding – A revision lies only after an order is passed, a finding is recorded, or a sentence is passed (after the conclusion/End of Proceeding).Reference shall be made only during the pendency of the proceedings.

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