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May 15, 2019

Persons Named In FIR but Not Chargesheeted under Section 319 of the CrPC Can Summoned, Says Supreme Court


Justice-L-Nageswara-Rao-Justice-MR-Shah

A trial court can summon those named in an FIR even if they were not charge-sheeted under Section 319 of the Criminal Procedure Code, the Supreme Court observed recently.

According to the apex court, this can be done even if the stage of giving opportunity to the complainants to file a protest petition is over, the apex court observed.

The observation came after the Supreme Court heard a recent appeal by an accused in a murder case.

Referring to a constitution bench judgment, a Supreme Court bench comprising Justice L Nageshwara Rao and Justice M R Shah observed that a trial court can exercise the power under Section 319 of the Criminal Procedure Code, even on the basis of the statement made in the examination-in-chief of the witness concerned.

The bench observed that the court need not wait till the cross-examination 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.

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 of the Criminal Procedure Code, provided it appears that such person can be tried along with the accused already facing trial, the bench observed.

Even in a case where the stage of giving opportunity to the complainant to file a protest petition urging the trial court to summon other persons who were named in the FIR, but not implicated in the charge-sheet, the court is still not powerless by virtue of Section 319 of the Criminal Procedure Code, the bench observed.

Therefore even those persons named in the FIR but not implicated in the charge-sheet can be summoned to face the trial of during the trial some evidence surfaces against the proposed accused, the bench observed.

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