Standard Of Proof For Summoning A Person As An Accused U/s 319 CrPC Higher Than That For Framing A Charge: SC [Read Judgment]
Reiterating that the power under Section 319 of the Code of Criminal Procedure should be exercised sparingly, the Supreme Court has observed that the standard of proof employed for summoning a person as an accused person under Section 319 Cr.P.C. is higher than the standard of proof employed for framing a charge against the accused person.
The bench comprising of Justice R. Banumathi and Justice AS Bopanna upheld an order of the High Court refusing to summon a person on the ground that the statements of the witnesses were contradictory. (Shiv Prakash Mishra vs. State of Uttar Pradesh)
The court, referring to Section 319 CrPC, observed that the power can be exercised by the trial court at any stage during trial to summon any person as an accused to face the trial if it appears from the evidence that such person has committed any offence for which such person could be tried together with the accused.
The court noted that, based on the materials collected during the investigation, the Investigating Officer had recorded the finding that on the date and time of incident, Subhash Chandra Shukla was not present at the place of occurrence and thus the name of Subhash Chandra Shukla was dropped when the first charge sheet. The court also noted that a prosecution witness made contradictory statements in the course of his examination in connection with the presence of Subhash Chandra Shukla.
The evidence brought on record during trial does not prima facie show the complicity of the proposed accused in the occurrence and the High Court was justified in refusing to summon him as an accused, the Court said while dismissing the appeal.