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Saturday, 31 October 2020

High Court: Trial court can summon person not named in FIR

Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, October 30

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has ruled that a trial court, exercising power under Section 319 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), can summon a person not named in the FIR or "a person though named in the FIR, but has not been charge-sheeted." Section 319 deals with the summoning of a person as an additional accused.

The ruling by Justice Arvind Singh Sangwan came in a case where a co-ordinate Bench of the High Court had, vide order dated May 27, sought an explanation from the trial court as to how an application under Section 319 CrPC was entertained and allowed against an accused yet to be arrested to face the trial along with eight persons already facing trial.

None of the accused summoned under Section 319 was declared innocent by the police. Rather, they were on run and the investigating agency was making efforts to arrest them.

The trial court, in its explanation, submitted the police was acting hand in glove with the accused by not arresting them for more than a year. Actuated with an intention to ensure justice, the trial court allowed the application.

Referring to Constitution Bench judgment of the Supreme Court in the case of "Hardeep Singh versus the State of Punjab and others", Justice Sangwan added the accused in the present case, who could not be arrested by the police despite being named in the FIR and were not charge sheeted, could be summoned under Section 319 of the CrPC. As such, the trial court adopted a right approach in exercising the power under Section 319.

Justice Sangwan was hearing a bunch of 13 petitions filed against the State of Haryana and other respondents. Some of the petitioners were seeking anticipatory bail in an FIR registered on October 14, 2018, for murder and other offences under Sections 147, 148, 149, 302, 307, 323 and 341 at Badhra police station in Charkhi Dadri district.

from The Tribune

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