Criminal Code

Version of section 601 from 2003-01-01 to 2011-08-14:

Marginal note:Amending defective indictment or count
  •  (1) An objection to an indictment or to a count in an indictment for a defect apparent on the face thereof shall be taken by motion to quash the indictment or count before the accused has pleaded, and thereafter only by leave of the court before which the proceedings take place, and the court before which an objection is taken under this section may, if it considers it necessary, order the indictment or count to be amended to cure the defect.

  • Marginal note:Amendment where variance

    (2) Subject to this section, a court may, on the trial of an indictment, amend the indictment or a count therein or a particular that is furnished under section 587, to make the indictment, count or particular conform to the evidence, where there is a variance between the evidence and

    • (a) a count in the indictment as preferred; or

    • (b) a count in the indictment

      • (i) as amended, or

      • (ii) as it would have been if it had been amended in conformity with any particular that has been furnished pursuant to section 587.

  • Marginal note:Amending indictment

    (3) Subject to this section, a court shall, at any stage of the proceedings, amend the indictment or a count therein as may be necessary where it appears

    • (a) that the indictment has been preferred under a particular Act of Parliament instead of another Act of Parliament;

    • (b) that the indictment or a count thereof

      • (i) fails to state or states defectively anything that is requisite to constitute the offence,

      • (ii) does not negative an exception that should be negatived,

      • (iii) is in any way defective in substance,

      and the matters to be alleged in the proposed amendment are disclosed by the evidence taken on the preliminary inquiry or on the trial; or

    • (c) that the indictment or a count thereof is in any way defective in form.

  • Marginal note:Matters to be considered by the court

    (4) The court shall, in considering whether or not an amendment should be made to the indictment or a count in it, consider

    • (a) the matters disclosed by the evidence taken on the preliminary inquiry;

    • (b) the evidence taken on the trial, if any;

    • (c) the circumstances of the case;

    • (d) whether the accused has been misled or prejudiced in his defence by any variance, error or omission mentioned in subsection (2) or (3); and

    • (e) whether, having regard to the merits of the case, the proposed amendment can be made without injustice being done.

  • Marginal note:Variance not material

    (4.1) A variance between the indictment or a count therein and the evidence taken is not material with respect to

    • (a) the time when the offence is alleged to have been committed, if it is proved that the indictment was preferred within the prescribed period of limitation, if any; or

    • (b) the place where the subject-matter of the proceedings is alleged to have arisen, if it is proved that it arose within the territorial jurisdiction of the court.

  • Marginal note:Adjournment if accused prejudiced

    (5) Where, in the opinion of the court, the accused has been misled or prejudiced in his defence by a variance, error or omission in an indictment or a count therein, the court may, if it is of the opinion that the misleading or prejudice may be removed by an adjournment, adjourn the proceedings to a specified day or sittings of the court and may make such an order with respect to the payment of costs resulting from the necessity for amendment as it considers desirable.

  • Marginal note:Question of law

    (6) The question whether an order to amend an indictment or a count thereof should be granted or refused is a question of law.

  • Marginal note:Endorsing indictment

    (7) An order to amend an indictment or a count therein shall be endorsed on the indictment as part of the record and the proceedings shall continue as if the indictment or count had been originally preferred as amended.

  • Marginal note:Mistakes not material

    (8) A mistake in the heading of an indictment shall be corrected as soon as it is discovered but, whether corrected or not, is not material.

  • Marginal note:Limitation

    (9) The authority of a court to amend indictments does not authorize the court to add to the overt acts stated in an indictment for high treason or treason or for an offence against any provision in sections 49, 50, 51 and 53.

  • Marginal note:Definition of “court”

    (10) In this section, court means a court, judge, justice or provincial court judge acting in summary conviction proceedings or in proceedings on indictment.

  • Marginal note:Application

    (11) This section applies to all proceedings, including preliminary inquiries, with such modifications as the circumstances require.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 601;
  • R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 123;
  • 1999, c. 5, s. 23(E).
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