Recently, the Supreme Court has observed that an accused can be summoned u/s 319 of Crpc based on examination in chief of witness, and there is no need for the court to wait till his/her cross-examination.
A bench comprising Hon’ble Justice DY Chnadrachud and Hon’ble Justice MR Shah further observed that if based on examination in chief of witness, the Court is satisfied that a case has been made out. In such a case, the court may exercise its powers u/s 319 CrPC to summon the accused.
In the instant case, the High Court of Punjab and Haryana (Chandigarh Bench) allowed the revision application. It proceeded to quash the Trial Court order wherein the Court summoned the accused.
Hon’ble Supreme Court relied on Hardeep Singh vs the State of Punjab to allow the appeal and observed that Courts could exercise their power u/s 319 CrPC based on statements made in examination in chief. If a person is not named in the FIR or is named but not charge-sheeted, then he can also be summoned by the Court u/s 319.
While referring to the case at hand, the Apex Court observed that the Trial Court was correct in summoning the accused on the basis of the deposition made by eyewitnesses.
In conclusion, the Court noted that the appellant( injured eye witness) had disclosed the names of respondents and named them in the FIR. However, based on the enquiry report shared by the DSP, the respondents were not charge-sheeted. Not, on the basis of the eye witnesses’ deposition, the respondents were summoned.
Therefore, the Trial Court was justified in summoning the respondents to face the trial.