Court can recall any witness even if once that power under S.311 CrPC, has been exercised

Mannan Sk & Ors vs State of West Bengal & Anr

Supreme Court

03/07/2014

CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 1307 OF 2014 [Arising out of Special Leave Petition (Crl.) No. 8395 of 2012

About/from the judgment:

Section 311 empowers the court at any stage of any inquiry, trial or other proceedings under the Code to summon any person as a witness or examine any person in attendance, though not summoned as witness or recall and re-examine already examined witness.

 

While analyzing the provision, the Bench observed that the second part of the Section uses the word ‘shall’. It says that the court shall summon and examine or recall or re-examine any such person if his evidence appears to it to be essential to the just decision of the case. The words ‘essential to the just decision of the case’ are the key words. The court must form an opinion that for the just decision of the case recall or re-examination of the witness is necessary. Since the power is wide it’s exercise has to be done with circumspection. It added that the exercise of this power cannot be untrammeled and arbitrary but must be only guided by the object of arriving at a just decision of the case. It should not cause prejudice to the accused. It should not permit the prosecution to fill-up the lacuna. Whether recall of a witness is for filling-up of a lacuna or it is for just decision of a case depends on facts and circumstances of each case.

Read the Judgment

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