Brijendra Singh vs State of Rajasthan - Supreme Court
Brijendra Singh vs State of Rajasthan - Supreme Court Important Judgment 2017 -
On 27th April, 2017, in the case of Brijendra Singh & Ors. v. State of Rajasthan [Criminal Appeal No. 763 of 2017], the moot question was the degree of satisfaction that is required for invoking the powers under Section 319 Cr.P.C. and the related question was as to in what situations this power should be exercised in respect of a person named in the FIR but not charge-sheeted.
It was held that the “power under Section 319 Cr.P.C. can be exercised by the trial court at any stage during the trial, i.e., before the conclusion of trial, to summon any person as an accused and face the trial in the ongoing case, once the trial court finds that there is some ‘evidence’ against such a person on the basis of which evidence it can be gathered that he appears to be guilty of offence.”
However, it was also held that “since it is a discretionary power given to the Court under Section 319 Cr.P.C. and is also an extraordinary one, same has to be exercised sparingly and only in those cases where the circumstances of the case so warrants.
The degree of satisfaction is more than the degree which is warranted at the time of framing of the charges against others in respect of whom chargesheet was filed. Only where strong and cogent evidence occurs against a person from the evidence led before the Court that such power should be exercised. It is not to be exercised in a casual or a cavalier manner. The prima facie opinion which is to be formed requires stronger evidence than mere probability of his complicity.”