2022 Latest Law on 319 CrPC: Supreme Court guidelines.

“I. Whether the trial court has the power under Section 319 of CrPC for summoning additional accused when the trial with respect to other coaccused has ended and the judgment of conviction rendered on the same date before pronouncing the summoning order?
II. Whether the trial court has the power under Section 319 of the CrPC for summoning additional accused when the trial in respect of certain other absconding accused (whose presence is subsequently
secured) is ongoing/pending, having been bifurcated from the main trial?
III. What are the guidelines that the competent court must follow while exercising power under Section 319 CrPC?”

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REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.885 OF 2019

Sukhpal Singh Khaira .…Appellant(s)
Versus
The State of Punjab …. Respondent(s)
WITH
SLP (CRL.) No. 6960/2021,
CRL. APPEAL No.886/2019 &
SLP (CRL.) No. 5933/2019
J U D G M E N T
A.S. Bopanna, J.

  1. In the above appeal, the order dated 17.11.2017
    passed by the High Court of Punjab and Haryana in
    Criminal Revision No.4070 of 2017 and Criminal Revision
    No.4113 of 2017 are assailed. Through the said order, the
    High Court has dismissed the Criminal Revision Petitions
    and upheld the order dated 31.10.2017 passed by the Trial
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    Court summoning the appellant as an additional accused
    by exercising the power under Section 319 of the Criminal
    Procedure Code, 1973 (‘CrPC’ for short). For the purpose
    of narration of facts the case in Criminal Appeal No.885 of
    2019 is noted.
  2. The position which led to the appellant being
    summoned is that on 05.03.2015 a First Information
    Report was lodged in the Police Station Sadar, Jalalabad
    against 11 accused for the offence under Sections 21, 24,
    25, 27, 28, 29 and 30 of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic
    Substance Act, 1985 (‘NDPS’ for short), Section 25-A of
    Arms Act and Section 66 of the Information Technology
    Act, 2000 (‘IT Act’ for short). In the charge sheet dated
    06.09.2015, 10 accused were summoned and put to trial
    in Sessions Case No. 289 of 2015. Though the second
    charge sheet was filed by the police, the same did not name
    the appellant herein as an accused.
  3. In the trial conducted before the learned Sessions
    Judge also, initially the name of the appellant was not
    mentioned by the witnesses. After the initial recording of
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    evidence, the prosecution filed an application dated
    31.07.2017 under Section 311 of CrPC for recalling PW-4
    and PW-5, which was allowed. In the further examination
    of the said recalled witnesses, they named the appellant
    herein. The prosecution thereafter filed an application on
    21.09.2017 invoking Section 319 of CrPC in the said
    Sessions Case No.289 of 2015 for summoning additional 5
    accused, including the appellant herein. The summoning
    of additional accused was sought based on the evidence
    tendered by PW-4, PW-5 and PW-13.
  4. It is to be noted that out of the 11 accused, the
    proceedings in Sessions Case No.289 of 2015 were against
    the 10 accused and since one of the accused was not
    available, the case in that regard was split up (bifurcated)
    and was subsequently numbered as Sessions Case No.217
    of 2019 on 03.09.2019. In that background, it is seen that
    as on the date when the application under Section 319
    CrPC was filed on 21.09.2017, the only proceeding pending
    was Sessions Case No.289 of 2015. In that regard, in
    respect of the proceedings against the 10 accused, the
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    learned Sessions Judge pronounced the judgment on
    31.10.2017 whereby one of the accused was acquitted,
    while the remaining 9 accused were convicted and
    sentence was imposed on 31.10.2017. The learned
    Sessions Judge, also allowed the application filed under
    Section 319 of CrPC on the same day i.e., 31.10.2017 and
    summoned the appellant to face trial. It is in that backdrop
    the appellant assailed the order dated 31.10.2017
    summoning him to face trial, since according to him such
    order is not sustainable in law as the same was not passed
    in a proceeding pending before the learned Sessions Court
    as at the stage when the power to summon was exercised
    by learned Sessions Judge, the judgment of conviction and
    sentence had already been passed earlier on 31.10.2017.
    The said order assailed in Revision Petition No.4070 and
    4113 of 2017 was dismissed by the High Court, which has
    led to the present proceedings.
  5. The instant petition was heard before a bench
    consisting of two Hon’ble Judges of this Court on
    10.05.2019 wherein, in the course of assailing the
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    summoning order, the decisions of this Court in the case
    of Shashikant Singh vs. Tarkeshwar Singh (2002) 5
    SCC 738 and the decision in the case of Hardeep Singh
    vs. State of Punjab (2014) 3 SCC 92 rendered in the
    context of the power exercisable under Section 319 of CrPC
    were noted. In that context, the Bench of two Hon’ble
    Judges of this Court was of the opinion that the question
    with regard to the actual stage at which the trial is said to
    have concluded is required to be authoritatively considered
    since the power under Section 319 of CrPC is extraordinary
    in nature.
  6. In that view, the following substantial questions of
    law were raised for further consideration and the matters
    were placed before Hon’ble the Chief Justice of India for
    constitution of a Bench of appropriate strength to consider
    the questions raised. Hon’ble the Chief Justice has
    accordingly constituted this Bench to consider the
    questions raised, which read as hereunder: –
    “I. Whether the trial court has the power under
    Section 319 of CrPC for summoning additional
    accused when the trial with respect to other coaccused has ended and the judgment of conviction
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    rendered on the same date before pronouncing the
    summoning order?
    II. Whether the trial court has the power under
    Section 319 of the CrPC for summoning additional
    accused when the trial in respect of certain other
    absconding accused (whose presence is subsequently
    secured) is ongoing/pending, having been bifurcated
    from the main trial?
    III. What are the guidelines that the competent
    court must follow while exercising power under
    Section 319 CrPC?”
  7. In order to answer the above questions, we have
    heard Shri P.S. Patwalia, learned senior counsel for the
    appellant and also Shri Puneet Singh Bindra, learned
    counsel who appeared on behalf of the appellant in the
    tagged matter. Shri S. Nagamuthu, learned senior counsel
    has assisted this Court as Amicus Curiae. Shri Vinod Ghai,
    Advocate General appeared for the State of Punjab while
    Shri A.K. Prasad, learned Additional Advocate General
    appeared for the State of U.P. Shri S.V. Raju, Additional
    Solicitor General has appeared for the Union of India since
    a case is said to have also been registered against the
    appellant under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act,
  8. We have also heard Shri Ashish Dixit, learned
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    counsel who appeared for the Intervener-Prosecutors
    Association.
  9. The gist of the contention put forth by Shri P.S.
    Patwalia, learned Senior Counsel is as hereunder: –
    Order summoning a person (appellant herein) as an
    accused under Section 319 of CrPC was passed at a stage
    when the trial had already concluded and even judgment
    and order on sentence had been pronounced. It is
    contended that the said order is, therefore in violation of
    Section 319 of CrPC and Hardeep Singh (supra), wherein
    in Para 47 it was held that power has to be exercised before
    pronouncement of judgment. It can only be exercised
    during the pendency of the trial, which is a stage anterior
    to the date of pronouncement of judgment. In fact this is
    also consistent with Section 353(1) of CrPC, which states
    that after perusal of the evidence, the judgment is to be
    pronounced after termination of trial, and therefore,
    Section 319 of CrPC mandates that the power can be
    exercised only during trial and it follows that once trial is
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    concluded and judgment is pronounced, the Court cannot
    exercise power under Section 319 of CrPC at that stage.
    Contending that it can be simultaneous is also
    equally violative of Section 319 of CrPC and the law laid
    down is clear that it has to be done before judgment. In a
    nutshell, if an accused is to be summoned, it has to be done
    when the trial is alive. The moment trial is concluded and
    the matter is kept for judgment, then the stage for
    exercising power under Section 319 of CrPC goes and the
    Court thereafter becomes functus officio. When the trial is
    pending, the Court can add an accused under Section 319
    of CrPC but the moment the trial concludes and judgment
    is pronounced, then no proceedings remain before the
    Court. When the Court pronounces the judgment
    acquitting or convicting the accused, thereafter, no
    proceedings which commenced with the filing of the
    original charge sheet remain pending. It is also contended
    that it is not a mere procedural violation, rather,
    substantive violation since the power is circumscribed by
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    the stage during which it can be exercised, i.e.
    inquiry/trial.
  10. The gist of the contentions urged by Shri S.
    Nagamuthu, learned Amicus Curiae is as follows:-
    Before taking cognizance under Section 190 of CrPC
    and after pronouncement of judgment, Court has no power
    under Section 319 of CrPC and in view of Hardeep Singh
    (supra) the trial court does not have the power for
    summoning additional accused when trial with respect to
    other co-accused has ended and judgment of conviction
    has been rendered on the same date. In Sessions Trial,
    accused can be acquitted by an order of acquittal and if
    accused is acquitted either under Section 232 or 235 of
    CrPC, by passing an order or pronouncing a judgment, the
    proceeding gets terminated. While, if the accused is
    convicted, proceeding still continues because he is to be
    heard on sentence and he is entitled to lead evidence at
    that stage. Therefore, when accused is convicted, trial is
    terminated after sentence is passed. Section 353 of CrPC
    should be understood in this background and so, it cannot
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    be argued that after arguments are heard, trial gets
    terminated.
    Evidence which have been brought on record during
    inquiry/trial including evidence collected during
    investigation such as FIR, Section 161, Section 164
    statements, cannot be treated as evidence for the purpose
    of Section 319 of CrPC. Applying this, it will emerge that
    the evidence recorded in a separate trial held against the
    other accused cannot be considered as evidence in the
    present case. But, in the split up case (bifurcated) where
    there is a separate trial, and during the course of that trial,
    if any evidence comes on record against a person who is
    not already an accused, based on that evidence alone, he
    can be arrayed as an accused under Section 319 of CrPC.
    When a person is summoned as an additional accused, it
    is the discretion of the Court whether to charge and try two
    or more persons together in the same trial.
    As per Section 319(4) of CrPC, as against the newly
    added accused, trial should be a fresh trial. However, if
    there is joint trial, fresh trial should be conducted against
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    all the accused including the existing accused. In such an
    event, evidence already recorded is no evidence against the
    added accused in view of Section 273 of CrPC. In a case,
    there cannot be two sets of evidence, one against the
    existing accused and the other against the added accused.
    As a consequence, evidence already recorded is no evidence
    against any accused including the existing accused. Fresh
    trial is to be conducted.
  11. The gist of the contentions put forth by Shri Vinod
    Ghai, learned Advocate General for the State of Punjab is
    as follows:-
    The intent behind the legislature in introducing
    Section 319 of CrPC is to check that no culprit should go
    scot-free and to bring home the guilt of actual accused. It
    is in this context that the Courts have been empowered to
    summon any person, who appears to have committed an
    offence, for which the already charge-sheeted accused are
    facing trial. Giving a narrow interpretation to such a
    provision and putting unwarranted restrictions would
    circumvent the very purpose of this power and would only
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    result in travesty of justice. It is with the said object in mind
    that a constructive and purposive interpretation should be
    adopted which advances the cause of justice and does not
    dilute the intention of the statute conferring powers on the
    Court to carry out the above-mentioned avowed object and
    purpose to try the person to the satisfaction of the Court
    as an accused in the commission of the offence that is the
    subject matter of the trial.
    Section 319(1) of CrPC explains as to who/which type
    of person can be summoned as an additional accused to
    face trial. The word “could be tried together with other
    accused” has been used to identify the person who can be
    summoned and tried as an additional accused. Conclusion
    of main trial during pendency of revision/appeal before the
    Higher Courts against Section 319 of CrPC order will not
    make the order inoperative/ineffective merely because the
    trial in which such order was passed has been concluded.
    The Court has exercised the power under Section 319
    of CrPC for summoning additional accused when the trial
    in respect of other absconding accused is ongoing/pending
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    having been bifurcated from the main trial. The trial qua
    accused who were earlier absconding, is pending and some
    evidence has come which necessitates the summoning of
    additional accused by the Court. When application under
    Section 319 of CrPC is decided simultaneously on the same
    day when trial is concluded, then the Court below does not
    become functus officio and is competent to exercise power
    under Section 319 of CrPC in view of Section 354 of CrPC
    which expressly provides that an order on quantum of
    sentence is an integral part of the judgment and any
    judgment of conviction without such order would be
    referred as incomplete.
  12. The gist of the contention put forth by Shri A.K.
    Prasad, learned Additional Advocate General for the State
    of U.P. is essentially in the same line as contended by the
    learned Advocate General for the respondent-State of
    Punjab. Insofar as the aspect relating to the power that
    could be exercised under Section 319 of CrPC, with the
    connotation of such power being exercised before
    completion of trial it was contended by the learned counsel
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    that the trial does not conclude with the pronouncement
    of conviction, since sentence also being a part of the
    judgment. The court becomes functus officio only after the
    sentence is imposed. It is contended that it will have to be
    held that the power can be exercised till the sentence is
    pronounced, which is the point at which the judgment is
    complete in all respects and trial gets concluded.
  13. Shri S.V. Raju, learned Additional Solicitor General
    though argued in similar lines as put forth by the learned
    Advocate General and Additional Advocate General for the
    respective States, he, in fact, went a step further to
    contend that the power under Section 319 of CrPC can be
    invoked at any stage even after the sentence is pronounced
    since the involvement of an accused may come to light at
    a later stage and in that circumstance if the
    recommendation of the Law Commission to bring in the
    provision is kept in view, the only objective is that no
    accused should go scot-free and therefore steps can be
    taken at any stage to bring the accused to book. Shri
    Ashish Dixit, the learned counsel for the intervenor has
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    complemented the arguments on behalf of States by
    putting forth similar contentions.
  14. In the background of the rival contentions, in order
    to determine the question referred to us, it would be
    appropriate for us to at the outset, take note of the
    provision as contained in Section 319 of CrPC, which reads
    as hereunder: –
    “319. Power to proceed against other persons
    appearing to be guilty of offence. — (1) Where, in
    the course of any inquiry into, or trial of, an offence, it
    appears from the evidence that any person not being
    the accused has committed any offence for which such
    person could be tried together with the accused, the
    Court may proceed against such person for the offence
    which he appears to have committed.
    (2) Where such person is not attending the Court, he
    may be arrested or summoned, as the circumstances
    of the case may require, for the purpose aforesaid.
    (3) Any person attending the Court, although not
    under arrest or upon a summons, may be detained by
    such Court for the purpose of the inquiry into, or trial
    of, the offence which he appears to have committed.
    (4) Where the Court proceeds against any person
    under sub-section (1), then—
    (a) the proceedings in respect of such person
    shall be commenced afresh, and witnesses
    re-heard;
    (b) subject to the provisions of clause (a), the
    case may proceed as if such person had
    been an accused person when the Court
    took cognizance of the offence upon which
    the inquiry or trial was commenced.”
  15. At the outset, having noted the provision, it is amply
    clear that the power bestowed on the Court is to the effect
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    that in the course of an inquiry into, or trial of an offence,
    based on the evidence tendered before the Court, if it
    appears to the Court that such evidence points to any
    person other than the accused who are being tried before
    the Court to have committed any offence and such accused
    has been excluded in the charge sheet or in the process of
    trial till such time could still be summoned and tried
    together with the accused for the offence which appears to
    have been committed by such persons summoned as
    additional accused.
  16. In that regard, the object of incorporating the
    provision in the CrPC and bestowing such power to the
    Court was based on the recommendation made by the Law
    Commission of India in its Forty-First Report to which all
    the learned senior counsel have made extensive reference,
    read as hereunder:-
    24.80. It happens sometimes, though not very often,
    that a Magistrate hearing a case against certain
    accused finds from the evidence that some person,
    other than the accused before him, is also concerned
    in that very offence or in a connected offence. It is only
    proper that the Magistrate should have the power to
    call and join him in the proceedings. Section 351
    provides for such a situation, but only if that person
    happens to be attending the Court. He can then be
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    detained and proceeded against. There is no express
    provision in section 351 for summoning such a person
    if he is not present in Court. Such a provision would
    make section 351 fairly comprehensive, and we think
    it proper to expressly provide for that situation.
    24.81. Section 351 assumes that the Magistrate
    proceeding under it has the power of taking
    cognizance of the new case. It does not, however, say
    in what manner cognizance is taken by the Magistrate.
    The modes of taking cognizance are mentioned in
    section 190, and are, apparently, exhaustive. The
    question is, whether against the newly added accused,
    cognizance will be supposed to have been taken on the
    Magistrate’s own information under section 190(1)(c),
    or only in the manner in which cognizance was first
    taken of the offence against the other accused. In
    concrete terms, if the original case was instituted on a
    police report, i.e. under section 190(1)(b), will
    cognizance against the new accused be supposed to
    have been taken in the same manner, or under section
    190(1)(c)? The question is important, because the
    methods of enquiry and trial in the two cases differ.
    About the true position under the existing law, there
    has been difference of opinion, and we think it should
    be made clear. It seems to us that the main purpose
    of this particular provision is, that the whole case
    against all known suspects should be proceeded with
    expeditiously, and convenience requires that
    cognizance against the newly added accused should
    be taken in the same manner as against the other
    accused. We, therefore, propose to re-cast section 351
    making it comprehensive and providing that there will
    be no difference in the mode of taking cognizance if a
    new person is added as an accused during the
    proceedings. It is, of course, necessary (as is already
    provided) that in such a situation the evidence must
    be re-heard in the presence of the newly added
    accused.
    24.82 The offence for which the newly added accused
    can be tried is not indicated in precise terms in the
    section. Obviously, that offence should be connected
    with the one for which the original accused is under
    trial. To bring that out, a small verbal amendment is
    recommended.
    Page 18 of 45
  17. In the above backdrop, the issue relating to the
    power to be exercised under Section 319 of CrPC had
    arisen for detailed consideration in Hardeep Singh (supra)
    wherein the scope, procedure and the stage at which such
    power was to be exercised was considered and summarised
    as follows:-
  18. Section 319 CrPC springs out of the doctrine judex
    damnatur cum nocens absolvitur (Judge is
    condemned when guilty is acquitted) and this doctrine
    must be used as a beacon light while explaining the
    ambit and the spirit underlying the enactment of
    Section 319 CrPC.
  19. It is the duty of the court to do justice by
    punishing the real culprit. Where the investigating
    agency for any reason does not array one of the real
    culprits as an accused, the court is not powerless in
    calling the said accused to face trial. The question
    remains under what circumstances and at what stage
    should the court exercise its power as contemplated
    in Section 319 CrPC?
  20. It would be necessary to put on record that the
    power conferred under Section 319 CrPC is only on
    the court. This has to be understood in the context
    that Section 319 CrPC empowers only the court to
    proceed against such person. The word “court” in our
    hierarchy of criminal courts has been defined under
    Section 6 CrPC, which includes the Courts of Session,
    Judicial Magistrates, Metropolitan Magistrates as well
    as Executive Magistrates. The Court of Session is
    defined in Section 9 CrPC and the Courts of the
    Judicial Magistrates have been defined under Section
    11 thereof. The Courts of the Metropolitan Magistrates
    have been defined under Section 16 CrPC. The courts
    which can try offences committed under the Penal
    Code, 1860 or any offence under any other law, have
    Page 19 of 45
    been specified under Section 26 CrPC read with the
    First Schedule. The Explanatory Note (2) under the
    heading of “Classification of offences” under the First
    Schedule specifies the expression “Magistrate of First
    Class” and “any Magistrate” to include Metropolitan
    Magistrates who are empowered to try the offences
    under the said Schedule but excludes Executive
    Magistrates.
  21. Even the word “course” occurring in Section 319
    CrPC, clearly indicates that the power can be
    exercised only during the period when the inquiry has
    been commenced and is going on or the trial which
    has commenced and is going on. It covers the entire
    wide range of the process of the pre-trial and the trial
    stage. The word “course” therefore, allows the court to
    invoke this power to proceed against any person from
    the initial stage of inquiry up to the stage of the
    conclusion of the trial. The court does not become
    functus officio even if cognizance is taken so far as it
    is looking into the material qua any other person who
    is not an accused. The word “course” ordinarily
    conveys a meaning of a continuous progress from one
    point to the next in time and conveys the idea of a
    period of time : duration and not a fixed point of time.
  22. To say that powers under Section 319 CrPC can
    be exercised only during trial would be reducing the
    impact of the word “inquiry” by the court. It is a settled
    principle of law that an interpretation which leads to
    the conclusion that a word used by the legislature is
    redundant, should be avoided as the presumption is
    that the legislature has deliberately and consciously
    used the words for carrying out the purpose of the Act.
    The legal maxim a verbis legis non est
    recedendum which means, “from the words of law,
    there must be no departure” has to be kept in mind.
  23. Since after the filing of the charge-sheet, the
    court reaches the stage of inquiry and as soon as
    the court frames the charges, the trial commences,
    and therefore, the power under Section 319(1)
    CrPC can be exercised at any time after the chargesheet is filed and before the pronouncement of
    judgment, except during the stage of Sections
    207/208 CrPC, committal, etc. which is only a pre-
    Page 20 of 45
    trial stage, intended to put the process into
    motion. This stage cannot be said to be a judicial step
    in the true sense for it only requires an application of
    mind rather than a judicial application of mind. At this
    pre-trial stage, the Magistrate is required to perform
    acts in the nature of administrative work rather than
    judicial such as ensuring compliance with Sections
    207 and 208 CrPC, and committing the matter if it is
    exclusively triable by the Sessions Court. Therefore, it
    would be legitimate for us to conclude that the
    Magistrate at the stage of Sections 207 to 209 CrPC is
    forbidden, by express provision of Section 319 CrPC,
    to apply his mind to the merits of the case and
    determine as to whether any accused needs to be
    added or subtracted to face trial before the Court of
    Session.
  24. Thus, the application of the provisions of Section
    319 CrPC, at the stage of inquiry is to be understood
    in its correct perspective. The power under Section
    319 CrPC can be exercised only on the basis of the
    evidence adduced before the court during a trial.
    So far as its application during the course of inquiry
    is concerned, it remains limited as referred to
    hereinabove, adding a person as an accused, whose
    name has been mentioned in Column 2 of the chargesheet or any other person who might be an
    accomplice.
    (emphasis supplied)
  25. In view of the reference contained in the order
    passed by the Bench consisting of two Hon’ble Judges
    seeking clarity in the matter due to the view taken by
    another Bench of two Hon’ble Judges in Shashikant
    Singh (supra) where, purportedly the summoned accused
    was proceeded against after the judgment was passed
    against the accused who were originally charged, it is
    Page 21 of 45
    necessary to take note of the situation that had arisen
    therein and the conclusion reached in that case. It is
    noted that in a case under Section 302/34 of IPC wherein
    Shivakant Singh, the brother of Shashikant Singh (supra)
    was murdered, the trial proceeded against one Chandra
    Shekar Singh. When the evidence was recorded it was
    found that Tarkeshwar Singh and two others had also
    committed the offence of murder of Shivakant Singh. The
    learned Additional Sessions Judge by order dated
    07.04.2001 exercised the power under Section 319 of
    CrPC and ordered to issue a warrant of arrest so that they
    may be tried together with Chandra Shekar Singh, the
    accused against whom the trial was proceeding. The said
    order dated 07.04.2001 summoning the accused came to
    be assailed by Tarkeshwar Singh before the High Court in
    Criminal Revision No.269 of 2001. During the pendency
    of the said Revision Petition before the High Court the
    learned Additional Sessions Judge concluded the pending
    trial against the originally charged accused Chander
    Shekar Singh and convicted him by the judgment dated
    Page 22 of 45
    16.07.2001. The question which therefore arose in that
    context was as to whether the trial in the case in which
    additional accused were summoned under Section 319 of
    CrPC including Tarkeshwar Singh can proceed in view of
    the phrase “could be tried together with the accused”
    contained in Section 319(1) of CrPC after the trial against
    other accused had concluded with the order of conviction.
  26. In that context the Bench of two Hon’ble Judges
    which allowed the trial to proceed against the summoned
    accused, Tarkeshwar Singh and others held as hereunder:
    “9. The intention of the provision here is that where in
    the course of any enquiry into, or trial of, an offence, it
    appears to the court from the evidence that any person
    not being the accused has committed any offence, the
    court may proceed against him for the offence which he
    appears to have committed. At that stage, the court
    would consider that such a person could be tried
    together with the accused who is already before the
    court facing the trial. The safeguard provided in
    respect of such person is that, the proceedings right
    from the beginning have mandatorily to be
    commenced afresh and the witnesses reheard. In
    short, there has to be a de novo trial against him.
    The provision of de novo trial is mandatory. It
    vitally affects the rights of a person so brought
    before the court. It would not be sufficient to only
    tender the witnesses for the cross-examination of
    such a person. They have to be examined afresh.
    Fresh examination-in-chief and not only their
    presentation for the purpose of the crossexamination of the newly added accused is the
    mandate of Section 319(4). The words “could be
    Page 23 of 45
    tried together with the accused” in Section 319(1),
    appear to be only directory. “Could be” cannot
    under these circumstances be held to be “must be”.
    The provision cannot be interpreted to mean that
    since the trial in respect of a person who was before
    the court has concluded with the result that the
    newly added person cannot be tried together with
    the accused who was before the court when order
    under Section 319(1) was passed, the order would
    become ineffective and inoperative, nullifying the
    opinion earlier formed by the court on the basis of
    the evidence before it that the newly added person
    appears to have committed the offence resulting in
    an order for his being brought before the court.”
    (emphasis supplied)
  27. Thus, to put the matter in perspective, a perusal of
    the recommendation of the Law Commission would
    indicate the intention that an accused who is not charge
    sheeted but if is found to be involved should not go scotfree. Hence, Section 319 of CrPC was incorporated which
    provides for the Court to exercise the power to ensure the
    same before the conclusion of trial so as to try such
    accused by summoning and being proceeded along with
    the other accused. In Shashikant Singh (supra), a Bench
    of two Hon’ble Judges, on holding that the joint trial is not
    a must has held the requirement as contained in Section
    319(1) of CrPC as only directory, and as such the judgment
    of conviction dated 16.07.2001 against the charge-sheeted
    Page 24 of 45
    accused was considered not to be an impediment for the
    court to proceed against the accused who was added by
    the summoning order dated 07.04.2001, which in any
    case was prior to the conclusion of the trial which in our
    view satisfies the requirement since the summoning order
    was before the judgment. In the case of Hardeep Singh
    (supra) also the power of the Court under Section 319 of
    CrPC has been upheld, reiterated, and it has been held
    that such power is available to be exercised at any time
    before the pronouncement of judgment. Therefore, there
    is no conflict or diverse view in the said decisions insofar
    as the exercise of power, the manner and the stage at
    which power is to be exercised. However, a certain amount
    of ironing the crease is required to explain the connotation
    of the phrase “could be tried together with the accused”
    appearing in sub-section (1) read with the requirement in
    sub-section 4(a) to Section 319 of CrPC and to understand
    the true purport of exercising the power as per the phrase
    “before the pronouncement of judgment”.
    Page 25 of 45
  28. A close perusal of Section 319 of CrPC indicates that
    the power bestowed on the court to summon any person
    who is not an accused in the case is, when in the course
    of the trial it appears from the evidence that such person
    has a role in committing the offence. Therefore, it would
    be open for the Court to summon such a person so that he
    could be tried together with the accused and such power
    is exclusively of the Court. Obviously, when such power
    is to summon the additional accused and try such a
    person with the already charged accused against whom
    the trial is proceeding, it will have to be exercised before
    the conclusion of trial. The connotation ‘conclusion of
    trial’ in the present case cannot be reckoned as the stage
    till the evidence is recorded, but, is to be understood as
    the stage before pronouncement of the judgment as
    already held in Hardeep Singh (supra) since on judgment
    being pronounced the trial comes to a conclusion since
    until such time the accused is being tried by the Court.
  29. In that context, the rival contentions are to be
    analysed to arrive at the conclusion as to which is the
    Page 26 of 45
    stage at which it can be said that the trial has concluded.
    Is it at the stage when the judgment is pronounced and
    the conviction is ordered or is it when the sentence is
    imposed and the trial is complete in all respects? In order
    to arrive at a conclusion on this aspect the provision in the
    code relating to judgment is required to be noted. In
    Chapter XVIII regulating the trial before a Court of Session
    the procedure to be adopted and the conclusion of trial is
    indicated. What is relevant for our purpose is Section 232
    and 235 of CrPC which read as hereunder:-
    “232. Acquittal.—If, after taking the evidence for the
    prosecution, examining the accused and hearing the
    prosecution and the defence on the point, the Judge
    considers that there is no evidence that the accused
    committed the offence, the Judge shall record an order
    of acquittal.”
    “235. Judgment of acquittal or conviction.—(1)
    After hearing arguments and points of law (if any), the
    Judge shall give a judgment in the case.
    (2) If the accused is convicted, the Judge shall, unless
    he proceeds in accordance with the provisions of
    section 360, hear the accused on the question of
    sentence, and then pass sentence on him according to
    law.”
    Further Chapter XXVII deals with regard to judgment
    as contained in Section 353 of CrPC, while Section 354
    Page 27 of 45
    of CrPC relates to the language and contents of the
    judgment. They read as hereunder:-
    “353. Judgment.—(1) The judgment in every trial in
    any Criminal Court or original jurisdiction shall be
    pronounced in open Court by the presiding officer
    immediately after the termination of the trial or at
    some subsequent time of which notice shall be given
    to the parties or their pleaders,—
    (a) by delivering the whole of the judgment; or
    (b) by reading out the whole of the judgment; or
    (c) by reading out the operative part of the
    judgment and explaining the substance of the
    judgment in a language which is understood
    by the accused or his pleader.
    (2) Where the judgment is delivered under clause (a) of
    sub-section (1), the presiding officer shall cause it to
    be taken down in short-hand, sign the transcript and
    every page thereof as soon as it is made ready, and
    write on it the date of the delivery of the judgment in
    open Court.
    (3) Where the judgment or the operative part thereof is
    read out under clause (b) or clause (c) of sub-section
    (1), as the case may be, it shall be dated and signed
    by the presiding officer in open Court, and if it is not
    written with his own hand, every page of the judgment
    shall be signed by him.
    (4) Where the judgment is pronounced in the manner
    specified in clause (c) of sub-section (1), the whole
    judgment or a copy thereof shall be immediately made
    available for the perusal of the parties or their pleaders
    free of cost.
    (5) If the accused is in custody, he shall be brought up
    to hear the judgment pronounced.
    (6) If the accused is not in custody, he shall be
    required by the Court to attend to hear the judgment
    pronounced, except where his personal attendance
    during the trial has been dispensed with and the
    sentence is one of fine only or he is acquitted:
    Page 28 of 45
    Provided that, where there are more accused than one,
    and one or more of them do not attend the Court on
    the date on which the judgment is to be pronounced,
    the presiding officer may, in order to avoid undue
    delay in the disposal of the case, pronounce the
    judgment notwithstanding their absence.
    (7) No judgment delivered by any Criminal Court shall
    be deemed to be invalid by reason only of the absence
    of any party or his pleader on the day or from the place
    notified for the delivery thereof, or of any omission to
    serve, or defect in serving, on the parties or their
    pleaders, or any of them, the notice of such day and
    place.
    (8) Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit
    in any way the extent of the provisions of section 465.”
    “354. Language and contents of judgment.—(1)
    Except as otherwise expressly provided by this Code,
    every judgment referred to in section 353,—
    (a) shall be written in the language of the
    Court;
    (b) shall contain the point or points for
    determination, the decision thereon and
    the reasons for the decision;
    (c) shall specify the offence (if any) of which,
    and the section of the Indian Penal Code
    (45 of 1860) or other law under which, the
    accused is convicted, and the
    punishment to which he is sentenced;
    (d) if it be a judgment of acquittal, shall state
    the offence of which the accused is
    acquitted and direct that he be set at
    liberty.
    (2) When the conviction is under the Indian Penal
    Code (45 of 1860) and it is doubtful under which of
    two sections, or under which of two parts of the same
    section, of that Code the offence falls, the Court shall
    distinctly express the same, and pass judgment in the
    alternative.
    Page 29 of 45
    (3) When the conviction is for an offence punishable
    with death or, in the alternative, with imprisonment
    for life or imprisonment for a term of years, the
    judgment shall state the reasons for the sentence
    awarded, and, in the case of sentence of death, the
    special reasons for such sentence.
    (4) When the conviction is for an offence punishable
    with imprisonment for a term of one year or more, but
    the Court imposes a sentence of imprisonment for a
    term of less than three months, it shall record its
    reasons for awarding such sentence, unless the
    sentence is one of imprisonment till the rising of the
    Court or unless the case was tried summarily under
    the provisions of this Code.
    (5) When any person is sentenced to death, the
    sentence shall direct that he be hanged by the neck
    till he is dead.
    (6) Every order under section 117 or sub-section (2) of
    section 138 and every final order made under section
    125, section 145 or section 147 shall contain the point
    or points for determination, the decision thereon and
    the reasons for the decision.”
  30. From a perusal of the provisions extracted above, it
    is seen that if the Sessions Court while analysing the
    evidence recorded finds that there is no evidence to hold
    the accused for having committed the offence, the judge is
    required to record an order of acquittal. In that case, there
    is nothing further to be done by the learned Judge and
    therefore the trial concludes at that stage. In such cases
    where it arises under Section 232 of CrPC and an order of
    acquittal is recorded and when there are more than one
    Page 30 of 45
    accused or the sole accused, have/has been acquitted, in
    such cases, that being the end of the trial by drawing the
    curtain, the power of the court to summon an accused
    based on the evidence as contemplated under Section 319
    of CrPC will have to be invoked and exercised before
    pronouncement of judgment of acquittal. There shall be
    application of mind also, as to whether separate trial or
    joint trial is to be held while trying him afresh. After such
    order it will be open to pronounce the judgment of
    acquittal of the accused who was tried earlier.
  31. However, if the learned Judge arrives at the
    conclusion that the accused is to be convicted, the
    conviction shall be ordered through the judgment as
    contemplated under Section 235 of CrPC. Sub-section (2)
    thereto provides that if the learned Judge does not proceed
    to give the benefit to the accused of being released on
    probation under Section 360 of CrPC, the learned Judge
    shall hear the accused on the question of sentence and
    then impose a sentence on him according to law. Therefore
    it is seen that Section 235 of CrPC, is divided into two
    Page 31 of 45
    parts, firstly to record the conviction and if the conviction
    is recorded the sentence is to be imposed only after
    providing an opportunity of being heard. While hearing on
    sentence if it is found that the accused was previously
    convicted and if the accused does not admit the same, the
    learned Judge is required to record a finding on that
    aspect as contemplated under Section 236 of CrPC.
    Further, Section 353 of CrPC provides for the manner in
    which the judgment is required to be pronounced and
    Section 354 of CrPC refers to the language and contents of
    the judgment. Sub-section 1(c) and sub-section (2) to (6)
    to Section 354 CrPC indicate that even after the conviction
    is ordered, the specified procedure is required to be
    followed by the learned Judge to impose the sentence and
    the reason for the severity of the punishment which shows
    that it is a continuation of the process requiring the
    learned Judge to apply her/his mind to the evidence
    available on record to assess the nature of involvement in
    committing the offence, gravity of the same and impose the
    sentence, unlike in a civil proceeding where drawing up
    Page 32 of 45
    the decree is a ministerial act though based on the
    judgment.
  32. The above aspects would indicate that even after the
    pronouncement of the judgment of conviction, the trial is
    not complete since the learned Sessions Judge is required
    to apply her/his mind to the evidence which is available
    on record to determine the gravity of the charge for which
    the accused is found guilty; the role of the particular
    accused when there is more than one accused involved in
    an offence and in that light, to award an appropriate
    sentence. Therefore, it cannot be said that the trial is
    complete on the pronouncement of the judgment of
    conviction alone, though it may be so in the case of
    acquittal as contemplated under Section 232 of CrPC,
    since in that case there is nothing further to be done by
    the learned Judge except to record an order of acquittal
    which results in conclusion of trial.
  33. In this regard, it would be apposite to refer to the
    decision in Rama Narang vs. Ramesh Narang and
    Page 33 of 45
    Others (1995) 2 SCC 513 wherein a bench consisting of
    three Hon’ble Judges has held as hereunder:-
    “12. Chapter XVIII relates to trial before a Court of
    Session. Sections 225 to 227 relate to the stage prior
    to the framing of charge. Section 228 provides for the
    framing of charge against the accused person. If after
    the charge is framed the accused pleads guilty,
    Section 229 provides that the Judge shall record the
    plea and may, in his discretion, convict him thereon.
    However, if he does not enter a plea of guilty, Sections
    230 and 231 provide for leading of prosecution
    evidence. If, on the completion of the prosecution
    evidence and examination of the accused, the Judge
    considers that there is no evidence that the accused
    committed the offence with which he is charged, the
    Judge shall record an order of acquittal. If the Judge
    does not record an acquittal under Section 232, the
    accused would have to be called upon to enter on his
    defence as required by Section 233. After the evidencein-defence is completed and the arguments heard as
    required by Section 234, Section 235 requires the
    Judge to give a judgment in the case. If the accused
    is convicted, sub-section (2) of Section 235
    requires that the Judge shall, unless he proceeds
    in accordance with the provisions of Section 360,
    hear the accused on the question of sentence and
    then pass sentence on him according to law. It will
    thus be seen that under the Code after the
    conviction is recorded, Section 235(2) inter alia
    provides that the Judge shall hear the accused on
    the question of sentence and then pass sentence
    on him according to law. The trial, therefore,
    comes to an end only after the sentence is awarded
    to the convicted person.
  34. Chapter XXVII deals with judgment. Section 354
    sets out the contents of judgment. It says that every
    judgment referred to in Section 353 shall, inter alia,
    specify the offence (if any) of which and the section of
    the Penal Code, 1860 or other law under which, the
    accused is convicted and the punishment to which he
    is sentenced. Thus a judgment is not complete unless
    Page 34 of 45
    the punishment to which the accused person is
    sentenced is set out therein. Section 356 refers to the
    making of an order for notifying address of previously
    convicted offender. Section 357 refers to an order in
    regard to the payment of compensation. Section 359
    provides for an order in regard to the payment of costs
    in non-cognizable cases and Section 360 refers to
    release on probation of good conduct. It will thus be
    seen from the above provisions that after the court
    records a conviction, the accused has to be heard
    on the question of sentence and it is only after the
    sentence is awarded that the judgment becomes
    complete and can be appealed against under
    Section 374 of the Code.”
    (emphasis supplied)
  35. Similarly while considering the purport of what
    constitutes a judgment to provide finality to trial, a bench
    consisting of two Hon’ble Judges in Yakub Abdul Razak
    Memon vs. State of Maharashtra (2013) 13 SCC 1 has
    held as hereunder:-
    “106. It is clear that a conviction order is not a
    “judgment” as contemplated under Section 353
    and that a judgment is pronounced only after the
    award of sentence.
  36. It is also clear from the judgment that detailed
    submissions were made by the appellant (A-1) during
    the pre-sentence hearing and these submissions were
    considered and, accordingly, reasons have been
    recorded by the Designated Judge in Part 46 of the
    final judgment in compliance with the requirement of
    Section 235(2) and Section 353 of the Code. It is also
    relevant to mention that Section 354 makes it
    clear that “judgment” shall contain the
    punishment awarded to the accused. It is
    Page 35 of 45
    therefore, complete only after the sentence is
    determined.”
    (emphasis supplied)
  37. Therefore, from a perusal of the provisions and
    decisions of this Court, it is clear that the conclusion of
    the trial in a criminal prosecution if it ends in conviction,
    a judgment is considered to be complete in all respects
    only when the sentence is imposed on the convict, if the
    convict is not given the benefit of Section 360 of CrPC.
    Similarly, in a case where there are more than one accused
    and if one or more among them are acquitted and the
    others are convicted, the trial would stand concluded as
    against the accused who are acquitted and the trial will
    have to be concluded against the convicted accused with
    the imposition of sentence. When considered in the
    context of Section 319 of CrPC, there would be no
    dichotomy as argued, since what becomes relevant here is
    only the decision to summon a new accused based on the
    evidence available on record which would not prejudice the
    existing accused since in any event they are convicted.
    Page 36 of 45
  38. In that view of the matter, if the Court finds from the
    evidence recorded in the process of trial that any other
    person is involved, such power to summon the accused
    under Section 319 of CrPC can be exercised by passing an
    order to that effect before the sentence is imposed and the
    judgment is complete in all respects bringing the trial to a
    conclusion. While arriving at such conclusion what is also
    to be kept in view is the requirement of sub-section (4) to
    Section 319 of CrPC. From the said provision it is clear
    that if the learned Sessions Judge exercises the power to
    summon the additional accused, the proceedings in
    respect of such person shall be commenced afresh and the
    witnesses will have to be re-examined in the presence of
    the additional accused. In a case where the learned
    Sessions Judge exercises the power under Section 319 of
    CrPC after recording the evidence of the witnesses or after
    pronouncing the judgment of conviction but before
    sentence being imposed, the very same evidence which is
    available on record cannot be used against the newly
    added accused in view of Section 273 of CrPC. As against
    Page 37 of 45
    the accused who has been summoned subsequently a
    fresh trial is to be held. However while considering the
    application under Section 319 of CrPC, if the decision by
    the learned Sessions Judge is to summon the additional
    accused before passing the judgment of conviction or
    passing an order on sentence, the conclusion of the trial
    by pronouncing the judgment is required to be withheld
    and the application under Section 319 of CrPC is required
    to be disposed of and only then the conclusion of the
    judgment, either to convict the other accused who were
    before the Court and to sentence them can be proceeded
    with. This is so since the power under Section 319 of CrPC
    can be exercised only before the conclusion of the trial by
    passing the judgment of conviction and sentence.
  39. Though Section 319 of CrPC provides that such person
    summoned as per sub-section (1) thereto could be jointly
    tried together with the other accused, keeping in view the
    power available to the Court under Section 223 of CrPC to
    hold a joint trial, it would also be open to the learned
    Sessions Judge at the point of considering the application
    Page 38 of 45
    under Section 319 of CrPC and deciding to summon the
    additional accused, to also take a decision as to whether a
    joint trial is to be held after summoning such accused by
    deferring the judgment being passed against the tried
    accused. If a conclusion is reached that the fresh trial to
    be conducted against the newly added accused could be
    separately tried, in such event it would be open for the
    learned Sessions Judge to order so and proceed to pass
    the judgment and conclude the trial insofar as the accused
    against whom it had originally proceeded and thereafter
    proceed in the case of the newly added accused. However,
    what is important is that the decision to summon an
    additional accused either suo-moto by the Court or on an
    application under Section 319 of CrPC shall in all
    eventuality be considered and disposed of before the
    judgment of conviction and sentence is pronounced, as
    otherwise, the trial would get concluded and the Court will
    get divested of the power under Section 319 of CrPC. Since
    a power is available to the Court to decide as to whether a
    joint trial is required to be held or not, this Court was
    Page 39 of 45
    justified in holding the phrase, “could be tried together
    with the accused” as contained in Section 319(1) of CrPC,
    to be directory as held in Shashikant Singh (supra)
    which in our opinion is the correct view.
  40. One other aspect which is necessary to be clarified
    is that if the trial against the absconding accused is split
    up (bifurcated) and is pending, that by itself will not
    provide validity to an application filed under Section 319
    of CrPC or the order of Court to summon an additional
    accused in the earlier main trial if such summoning order
    is made in the earlier concluded trial against the other
    accused. This is so, since such power is to be exercised by
    the Court based on the evidence recorded in that case
    pointing to the involvement of the accused who is sought
    to be summoned. If in the split up (bifurcated) case, on
    securing the presence of the absconding accused the trial
    is commenced and if in the evidence recorded therein it
    points to the involvement of any other person as
    contemplated in Section 319 of CrPC, such power to
    Page 40 of 45
    summon the accused can certainly be invoked in the split
    up (bifurcated) case before conclusion of the trial therein.
  41. In analysing the issue and making the above
    conclusion on all aspects, we are also persuaded by the
    view taken by this Court, among others, in the case of
    Rajendra Singh vs. State of U.P. and Another (2007) 7
    SCC 378 wherein it is concluded with regard to the object
    of Section 319 of CrPC as hereunder:-
    “20. The power under Section 319 of the Code is
    conferred on the court to ensure that justice is done
    to the society by bringing to book all those guilty of an
    offence. One of the aims and purposes of the criminal
    justice system is to maintain social order. It is
    necessary in that context to ensure that no one who
    appears to be guilty escapes a proper trial in relation
    to that guilt. There is also a duty to render justice to
    the victim of the offence. It is in recognition of this that
    the Code has specifically conferred a power on the
    court to proceed against others not arrayed as
    accused in the circumstances set out by this section.
    It is a salutary power enabling the discharge of a
    court’s obligation to the society to bring to book all
    those guilty of a crime.
  42. Exercise of power under Section 319 of the Code,
    in my view, is left to the court trying the offence based
    on the evidence that comes before it. The court must
    be satisfied of the condition precedent for the exercise
    of power under Section 319 of the Code. There is no
    reason to assume that a court trained in law would
    not exercise the power within the confines of the
    provision and decide whether it may proceed against
    such person or not. There is no rationale in fettering
    that power and the discretion, either by calling it
    Page 41 of 45
    extraordinary or by stating that it will be exercised
    only in exceptional circumstances. It is intended to be
    used when the occasion envisaged by the section
    arises.”
  43. We have also kept in view the point by point
    analysis of the object and power to be exercised under
    Section 319 of CrPC, as has been indicated in para 34
    of Manjit Singh vs. State of Haryana and Others
    (2021) SCC Online SC 632.
  44. For all the reasons stated above, we answer the
    questions referred as hereunder:-
    “I. Whether the trial court has the power under
    Section 319 of CrPC for summoning additional
    accused when the trial with respect to other coaccused has ended and the judgment of conviction
    rendered on the same date before pronouncing the
    summoning order?
    The power under Section 319 of CrPC is to be invoked
    and exercised before the pronouncement of the order of
    sentence where there is a judgment of conviction of the
    accused. In the case of acquittal, the power should be
    exercised before the order of acquittal is pronounced.
    Hence, the summoning order has to precede the
    Page 42 of 45
    conclusion of trial by imposition of sentence in the case
    of conviction. If the order is passed on the same day, it
    will have to be examined on the facts and
    circumstances of each case and if such summoning
    order is passed either after the order of acquittal or
    imposing sentence in the case of conviction, the same
    will not be sustainable.
    II. Whether the trial court has the power under
    Section 319 of the CrPC for summoning additional
    accused when the trial in respect of certain other
    absconding accused (whose presence is subsequently
    secured) is ongoing/pending, having been bifurcated
    from the main trial?
    The trial court has the power to summon additional
    accused when the trial is proceeded in respect of the
    absconding accused after securing his presence,
    subject to the evidence recorded in the split up
    (bifurcated) trial pointing to the involvement of the
    accused sought to be summoned. But the evidence
    recorded in the main concluded trial cannot be the
    basis of the summoning order if such power has not
    been exercised in the main trial till its conclusion.
    Page 43 of 45
    III. What are the guidelines that the competent court
    must follow while exercising power under Section 319
    CrPC?”
    (i) If the competent court finds evidence or if
    application under Section 319 of CrPC is filed
    regarding involvement of any other person in
    committing the offence based on evidence recorded
    at any stage in the trial before passing of the order
    on acquittal or sentence, it shall pause the trial at
    that stage.
    (ii) The Court shall thereupon first decide the need or
    otherwise to summon the additional accused and
    pass orders thereon.
    (iii) If the decision of the court is to exercise the power
    under Section 319 of CrPC and summon the
    accused, such summoning order shall be passed
    before proceeding further with the trial in the main
    case.
    (iv) If the summoning order of additional accused is
    passed, depending on the stage at which it is
    passed, the Court shall also apply its mind to the
    fact as to whether such summoned accused is to be
    tried along with the other accused or separately.
    (v) If the decision is for joint trial, the fresh trial shall
    be commenced only after securing the presence of
    the summoned accused.
    (vi) If the decision is that the summoned accused can
    be tried separately, on such order being made, there
    will be no impediment for the Court to continue and
    conclude the trial against the accused who were
    being proceeded with.
    (vii) If the proceeding paused as in (i) above is in a case
    where the accused who were tried are to be
    acquitted and the decision is that the summoned
    accused can be tried afresh separately, there will be
    Page 44 of 45
    no impediment to pass the judgment of acquittal in
    the main case.
    (viii) If the power is not invoked or exercised in the main
    trial till its conclusion and if there is a split-up
    (bifurcated) case, the power under Section 319 of
    CrPC can be invoked or exercised only if there is
    evidence to that effect, pointing to the involvement
    of the additional accused to be summoned in the
    split up (bifurcated) trial.
    (ix) If, after arguments are heard and the case is
    reserved for judgment the occasion arises for the
    Court to invoke and exercise the power under
    Section 319 of CrPC, the appropriate course for the
    court is to set it down for re-hearing.
    (x) On setting it down for re-hearing, the above laid
    down procedure to decide about summoning;
    holding of joint trial or otherwise shall be decided
    and proceeded with accordingly.
    (xi) Even in such a case, at that stage, if the decision is
    to summon additional accused and hold a joint trial
    the trial shall be conducted afresh and de novo
    proceedings be held.
    (xii) If, in that circumstance, the decision is to hold a
    separate trial in case of the summoned accused as
    indicated earlier;
    (a) The main case may be decided by pronouncing
    the conviction and sentence and then proceed
    afresh against summoned accused.
    (b) In the case of acquittal the order shall be passed
    to that effect in the main case and then proceed
    afresh against summoned accused.
  45. Having answered the questions referred, in the
    above manner, we direct the Registry to obtain orders
    from Hon’ble the Chief Justice and place before the
    Page 45 of 45
    appropriate Bench to take a decision on the factual
    aspects arising in the case in the background of the legal
    position and contentions on merits.
  46. Before parting, we place on record our appreciation
    for the assistance rendered by all the learned Senior
    Counsel/Counsel including Shri S. Nagamuthu, learned
    Senior Counsel who assisted the Court as an Amicus
    Curiae.
    …………………………….J.
    (S. ABDUL NAZEER)
    …………………………….J.
    (B.R. GAVAI)
    …………………………….J.
    (A.S. BOPANNA)
    ..…………………………….J.
    (V. RAMASUBRAMANIAN)
    …………………………….J.
    (B.V. NAGARATHNA)
    New Delhi,
    December 05, 2022

Advocate Anoop Verma, Punjab & Haryana High Court, Chandigarh

Verma Law Associates

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