The Hon’ble bench observed that If based on the examination in chief of the witness the Hon’ble Court is satisfied that there is a prima facie case against the proposed accused, the Court may in exercise of powers under Section 319 Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (hereinafter referred to as “CrPC, 1973”) array such a person as accused and summon him to face the trial.
In the present case, the Hon’ble HC of Punjab and Haryana at Chandigarh had permitted the revision application and quashed the Hon’ble Trial Court order summoning the accused. To permit the appeal, the Hon’ble bench referred to the Constitutional Bench judgment in Hardeep Singh vs. the State of Punjab (2014) 3 SCC 92 and observed Considering the law laid down by the Hon’ble Court in Hardeep Singh and the remarks and discoveries referred to and replicated hereinabove, it emerges that:
1. the Court can exercise the power under Section 319 CrPC, 1973 even based on the statement made in the examination in chief of the witness concerned and the Hon’ble Court need not wait till the cross-examination of such a witness and the Hon’ble Court need not wait for the evidence against the accused proposed to be summoned to be tested by cross-examination; and
2. a person not named in the FIR or a person though named in the FIR but has not been charge-sheeted or a person who has been discharged can be summoned under Section 319 CrPC, 1973 provided from the evidence (maybe based on the evidence collected in the form of a 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 Hon’ble court noted that in Hardeep it was further held that even in a case where the stage of allowing 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 charge sheet has gone, in that case also, the Court is still not powerless under Section 319 CrPC, 1973 and even those persons named in FIR but not implicated in charge sheet can be summoned to face the trial provided during the trial some evidence surfaces against the proposed accused.”
Hereinafter referring to the facts in the present case, the hon’ble bench observed that the Trial Court was right in summoning the accused to face the trial as accused based on the deposition of the injured eye witness. 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, also the one who disclosed the names of private respondents herein and specifically named them in the FIR. But based on an inquiry by the DSP they were not charged sheet.
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. Therefore, the Hon’ble learned Trial Court was justified in directing to issue summons against the private respondents herein to face the trial.
The Hon’ble bench held while allowing the appeal.
Case: Sartaj Singh vs State of Haryana [CrA 298 -299 OF 2021]
Coram: Justices DY Chandrachud and Justice MR Shah
Citation: LL 2021 SC 161