Rajesh vs State of Haryana - Supreme Court Important Judgment 2019
Rajesh & Ors. vs State of Haryana - Supreme Court Important Judgment 2019 -
On 1st May, 2019, in the case of Rajesh & Ors. versus State of Haryana [Criminal Appeal No.813 of 2019], the question for consideration was whether, in the facts and circumstances of the case, the Trial Court was justified in summoning the appellants to face criminal trial in exercise of powers under Section 319 CrPC along with other co-accused.
While considering the aforesaid question/issue, the Supreme Court came to examine the power under Section 319 CrPC. It was held that (i) the Court can exercise the power under Section 319 of the CrPC even on the basis of the statement made in the examinationin-chief of the witness concerned and 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; and (ii) 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 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.”
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 the FIR but not implicated in the charge-sheet has gone, in that case also, the Court is still not powerless by virtue of Section 319 of the CrPC and even those persons named in the FIR but not implicated in the charge-sheet can be summoned to face the trial provided during the trial some evidence surfaces against the proposed accused.”
On facts, the appellants were also named in the FIR, however, they were not shown as accused in the challan/charge-sheet. Further, nothing was on record whether at any point of time the complainant was given an opportunity to submit the protest application against non-filing of the charge-sheet against the appellants. In deposition before the Court, P.W.1 and P.W.2 had specifically stated against the appellants and the specific role attributed to the accused-appellants. In the circumstances, it was held that “the statement of P.W.1 and P.W.2 before the Court can be said to be “evidence” during the trial and, therefore, on the basis of the same”, “the persons against whom no charge-sheet is filed can be summoned to face the trial.” Accordingly, the Supreme Court held “that no error has been committed by the Courts below to summon the appellants herein to face the trial in exercise of power under Section 319 of the CrPC.”