Relevance of Section 319 of CrPC

“Section 319 is a crucial section in criminal trial as it enables the court to summon a person against whom an evidence pops up during an inquiry by court or trial.”[1] Consider a case where the accused A is under trial. However, halfway the trial, court realizes that B can also be the accused and his name was never mentioned in the chargesheet or was never a suspect also. In this scenario, the magistrate can exercise his power under section 319 of CrPC and summon the accused B. This section is highly important as it empowers the judiciary to independently call out the persons who might be involved in the case without any police interference to make an unbiased decision.

“When a police files a chargesheet, there is always some probability that the investigation might have been influenced, like the real accused person might have bribed the police officers to remove his name from the chargesheet or sometimes the investigation might itself be incomplete and non-conclusive.”[2] In such cases, to find the real culprit, the magistrate or Session judge is empowered with the extraordinary power to summon any person against whom there is a strong evidence.

“The court can summon any person under s. 319(1), once the chargesheet has been filed. This section applies to every case regardless of whether the person has been chargesheeted under ‘section 173 of CrPC’[3]. and later been discharged by the court under ‘sections 227 or 239 of CrPC’[4] or has never been chargesheeted or whose name has not even appeared in the FIR.”[5] Such a wide application makes this section even more efficient and gives the courts flexibility to issue summons and warrants which secures justice.

Therefore, section 319 is one of the most contemporarily relevant sections. Today, a chargesheet can be easily manipulated due to extraneous influences, political pressures etc. Despite chargesheet being considered police’s perspective or story based on the evidence, it bears a lot of impact on the trial. If the real accused is cunningly removed and an innocent person is added as the accused, people would be unduly disadvantaged. Hence, this provision ensures fair trial and protects the persons who might be innocent but would have been shown as ‘guilty’ in the chargesheet.

[1] Criminal Procedure Code, 1973, Section 319,

[2] Ajay Kumar v. State of Uttarakhand LL (2021) SC 54,

[3] Criminal Procedure Code, 1973, Section 173,

[4] Criminal Procedure Code, 1973, Sections 227 and 239,

[5] Hardeep Singh v. State of Punjab & Ors (2014) 3 SCC 92,

Aishwarya Says:

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