Power under Section 319 CrPC to array additional accused to be invoked under special circumstances

Vishwambhar Vs State of Maharashtra and Ors

Bombay HC

03/01/2019

CRIMINAL REVISION APPLICATION NO. 133 OF 2018

About/from the judgment:

The High Court dismissed a revision petition filed against the order of Additional Sessions Judge rejecting petitioner’s application under Section 319 CrPC for adding husband and in-laws of the deceased co-accused.

 

Petitioner was the father of the deceased– Sumitra. Sumitra was found murdered with a bullet injury on her head. An FIR was lodged and criminal law was set into motion. It was alleged that Sumitra came to know about the illicit relationship between her sister-in-law and brother-in-law Vilas as a consequence of which he murdered Sumitra. At the conclusion of the investigation, Vilas was chargesheeted in the crime. The petitioner was examined as the first witness. It was thereafter, that he submitted an application under Section 319 CrPC to array Sumitra’s husband and in-laws as co-accused. The application was rejected by the trial Judge. Aggrieved thereby, the petitioner was before the High Court.

 

K.H. Surve, Advocate for the husband and in-laws submitted that petitioner moved the application without any basis relying on whatever material was collected by the Investigating Officer.

 

The High Court stated, “power under Section 319 is to be invoked under special circumstances where during the course of trial some additional evidence comes on record which reveals involvement of some more persons in commission of the crime.” Referring to Hardeep Singh v. State of Punjab, (2014) 3 SCC 92, the Court observed that power under Section 319 can be exercised by trial court at any stage of the trial provided there is some “evidence” which is interpreted to mean material brought before the court during the trial. Material collected by IO during inquiry can be utilised to corroborate such evidence. In the present case, no such additional material or evidence came on record during the trial so as to reveal complicity of husband and in-laws in the crime. Resultantly, the petition was dismissed.

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