The bench constituted by Justice M R Shah and Justice DY Chandrachud explained the scope of the powers of the court under section 319 of CRPC.

The points explained by the apex court are as follow:

  • The entire effort behind summoning the person who is not named in the charge sheet under section 319 is to punish the real felon committed the offence.
  • Section 319 is for the proper administration of justice and not to get away the criminal unpunished.
  • Section 319 is properly framed by the legislature to provide justice to the victim and at the same time punish the real culprit behind the crime.
  • This is the duty of the court to look into the facts of the case and see that the guilty should not escape from the punishment of the crime committed by him.
  • When the investigation agency not named the real culprit in the charge sheet, the court has the power to call the accused to face the trial under section 319.
  • Section 319 provides power to the court to proceed against the person who is not called in proceeding before that.
  • The court said that these powers cannot be denied because they are necessary in our criminal system for providing justice, at time the real accused get away with the prosecution and punishment by manipulating the investigation.
  • Section 319 empowers court to proceed against the person who is not accused for committing the offence under trial.
  • The power under section 319 can be exercised at any stage after the filing of charge sheet and before pronouncement of judgment by the court.
  • The court use the power given under section 319 after the trial begins with the recording of evidence.
  • The word ‘evidence’ under section 319 means the evidence in relation to statement or document.
  • The court or magistrate decide to use the power of section 319 only on above mentioned evidence and not on the material evidence collected by investigation agency.
  • If the court or magistrate satisfied by the evidence produced in examination in chief then also they can proceed against such person under section 319.
  • The power under 319 can also be used by the court at the end of examination of chief and before the evidence tested under cross examination. There is no need to wait for cross examination of evidence.
  • The court while exercising its power under 319 needs not to appreciate the evidence of prosecution on merit basis.

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