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Court Can Summon Accused U/S 319 CrPC Even On The Basis Of Examination-In-Chief Of Witness: Allahabad High Court

Sparsh Upadhyay
22 April 2022 11:14 AM GMT
Court Can Summon Accused U/S 319 CrPC Even On The Basis Of Examination-In-Chief Of Witness: Allahabad High Court
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The Allahabad High Court has observed that a court can summon a person under Section 319 of the Code Of Criminal Procedure, 1973, only on the basis of examination-in-chief of witness and the Court need not wait for the evidence of such witness to be tested by cross-examination.Here it may be noted that as per Section 319 of CrPC, in the course of any inquiry into, or trial of, an offence, a...

The Allahabad High Court has observed that a court can summon a person under Section 319 of the Code Of Criminal Procedure, 1973, only on the basis of examination-in-chief of witness and the Court need not wait for the evidence of such witness to be tested by cross-examination.

Here it may be noted that as per Section 319 of CrPC, in the course of any inquiry into, or trial of, an offence, a Court has the power to proceed against other persons appearing to be guilty of offence.

The Bench of Justice Shekhar Kumar Yadav further asserted that before invoking its powers under Section 319 Cr.P.C., the Court has to satisfy itself that from the evidence adduced before it, the person (to be summoned) against whom no charge had been framed, but whose complicity appears to be clear, should be tried together with the accused.

In other words, where the Court feels that someone, who, though not charged for the offence being tried or inquired into, may have had a role to play, he/she may be summoned under Section 319 of CrPC.

Further, in case the Court finds that such a person is required to be summoned right after the examination-in-chief of a witness, the Court need not wait for that stage where the evidence of the witness is cross-examined.

The case before the Court

One Ram Kumar had moved a revision pela before the Court for quashing the impugned judgment and order passed by Additional District & Sessions Judge, FTC II, Deoria in Session Trial under Sections 147, 148, 323/149, 302/149, 504, 506 IPC and Section 7 Criminal Law Amendment Act.

Vide impugned order, the Court summoned the accused/revisionist after allowing an application filed under Section 319 Cr.P.C. by the witness, who happens to be the brother of the deceased.

It was submitted by the Counsel of the revisionist that there was a material contradiction in the statements of PW-1 and PW-2, but the court below, having ignored the same, had illegally passed the impugned summoning order, which cannot be justified

Arguing that the court below had committed a manifest error while summoning the revisionist and other accused persons, the revisionist prayed for the setting aside of the order.  Further prayer had been made to stay the effect and operation of the above-mentioned case crime.

Court's observations 

At the outset, the Court referred to the ruling of the Apex Court in the case of Hardeep Singh vs. State of Punjab and others, (2014) 3 SCC 92 and observed thus:

"All that is required by the Court for invoking its powers under Section 319 Cr.P.C. is to be satisfied that from the evidence adduced before it, the person against whom no charge had been framed, but whose complicity appears to be clear, should be tried together with the accused. It has further been held that though under Section 319 (4) (b) Cr.P.C., the accused subsequently impleaded is to be treated as if he had been an accused when the Court initially took cognizance of the offence, the degree of satisfaction that will be required for summoning a person under Section 319 Cr.P.C. would be the same as for framing a charge."

Further, taking into account the Apex Court's ruling in the case of Sartaj Singh vs State of Haryana LL 2021 SC 161, the High Court observed that the trial court can exercise the power under Section 319 CrPC even on the basis of the statement made in the examination-inchief of the witness concerned, and the court need not wait for the evidence of such witness to be tested by cross-examination.

With this, finding that the view taken by the trial court is not based upon a wrong appreciation of evidence, the Court dismissed the plea.

Case title - Ram Kumar @ Tuntun v. State of U.P. and Another [CRIMINAL REVISION No. - 3142 of 2021]

Case Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (AB) 195

Click Here To Read/Download Order


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