Section 149(1) of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act gives the court a discretion to allow amendments to be made in the indictment or summons at any time before judgment if it considers that such amendment will not prejudice the accused in his or her defence. It provides:
“Whenever, on the trial of any indictment or summons, there appears to be any variance between the statement therein and evidence offered in proof of such statement, or if it appears that any words or particulars that ought to have been inserted in the indictment or summons have been omitted, or that there is any other error in the indictment or summons the court may at any time before judgment, if it considers that the making of the necessary amendment in the indictment or summons will not prejudice the accused in his defence, order that the indictment or summons be amended, so far as it is necessary, by some officer of the court or other person, both in that part thereof where the variance, omission, insertion, or error occurs, and in every other part thereof which it may become necessary to amend.”
The general rule is that an amendment of a summons should be done before the accused pleads and not during the reading of judgment or delivery thereof. However, in terms of this section, an amendment may be applied for and granted at any time before judgment.