Accused can be summoned u/s 319 CrPC even on the basis of examination-in-chief of witness
Sartaj Singh Vs State of Haryana
CrA 298-299 OF 2021
About/from the judgment:
An accused can be summoned under Section 319 of the Code of Criminal Procedure on the basis of even examination in chief of the witness and the Court need not wait till his cross examination, the Supreme Court observed.
The bench observed that If on the basis of the examination in chief of the witness the Court is satisfied that there is a prima facie case against the proposed accused, the Court may in exercise of powers under Section 319 CrPC array such a person as accused and summon him to face the trial.
In this case, the High Court of Punjab and Haryana at Chandigarh had allowed the revision application and quashed Trial Court order summoning the accused. To allow the appeal, the bench referred to the Constitutional Bench judgment in Hardeep Singh v. State of Punjab (2014) 3 SCC 92 and observed:
Considering the law laid down by this Court in Hardeep Singh (supra) and the observations and findings referred to and reproduced hereinabove, it emerges that (i) the Court can exercise the power under Section 319 CrPC even on the basis of the statement made in the examination in chief of the witness concerned and the Court need not wait till the crossexamination of such a witness and the Court need not wait for the evidence against the accused proposed to be summoned to be tested by cross examination; and (ii) a person not named in the FIR or a person though named in the FIR but has not been chargesheeted or a person who has been discharged can be summoned under Section 319 CrPC, provided from the evidence (may be on the basis of the evidence collected in the form of statement made in the examination in chief of the witness concerned), it appears that such person can be tried along with the accused already facing trial.
The court noted that in Hardeep it was further held that even in a case where the stage of giving opportunity to the complainant to file a protest petition urging upon the trial court to summon other persons as well who were named in FIR but not implicated in the chargesheet has gone, in that case also, the Court is still not powerless by virtue of Section 319 CrPC and even those persons named in FIR but not implicated in chargesheet can be summoned to face the trial provided during the trial some evidence surfaces against the proposed accused.
Referring to the facts of this case, the bench observed that the Trial Court was justified in summoning the accused to face the trial as accused on the basis of the deposition of the injured eye witness.
"As held by this Court in the aforesaid decisions, the accused can be summoned on the basis of even examination in chief of the witness and the Court need not wait till his crossexamination. If on the basis of the examination in chief of the witness the Court is satisfied that there is a prima facie case against the proposed accused, the Court may in exercise of powers under Section 319 CrPC array such a person as accused and summon him to face the trial. At this stage, it is required to be noted that right from the beginning the appellant herein – injured eye witness, who was the first informant, disclosed the names of private respondents herein and specifically named them in the FIR. But on the basis of some enquiry by the DSP they were not chargesheeted. What will be the evidentiary value of the enquiry report submitted by the DSP is another question. It is not that the investigating officer did not find the case against the private respondents herein and therefore they were not chargesheeted. In any case, in the examination in chief of the appellant injured eye witness, the names of the private respondents herein are disclosed. It might be that whatever is stated in the examination in chief is the same which was stated in the FIR. The same is bound to be there and ultimately the appellant herein – injured eye witness is the first informant and he is bound to again state what was stated in the FIR, otherwise he would be accused of contradictions in the FIR and the statement before the Court. Therefore, as such, the learned Trial Court was justified in directing to issue summons against the private respondents herein to face the trial.", the bench said while allowing the appeal.
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