Monday 26 May 2014

Word appear imports imports a lesser degree of probability than proof.

   In Pyare Lal Bhargava v. The State of  Rajasthan,  AIR  1963  SC
      1094, a four-Judge Bench of this Court was concerned with the  meaning
      of the word ‘appear’. The court held that the appropriate  meaning  of
      the  word  ‘appears’  is  ‘seems’.  It  imports  a  lesser  degree  of
      probability than proof. In Ram Singh & Ors.   v.  Ram  Niwas  &  Anr.,
      (2009) 14 SCC 25, a two-Judge Bench of this Court was  again  required
      to examine the importance of the word ‘appear’  as  appearing  in  the
      Section. The Court held that for the fulfillment of the condition that
      it appears to the court that a person had committed  an  offence,  the
      court must satisfy  itself  about  the  existence  of  an  exceptional
      circumstance enabling it to exercise  an  extraordinary  jurisdiction.
      What is, therefore,  necessary  for  the  court  is  to  arrive  at  a
      satisfaction that the evidence adduced on behalf of  the  prosecution,
      if unrebutted, may lead to conviction of  the  persons  sought  to  be
      added as an accused in the case.

                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA


                      CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.  1750 OF 2008

      Hardeep Singh


      State of Punjab & Ors.

                               J U D G M E N T

      Dr. B.S. CHAUHAN, J.
Citation;(2014) 2 SCC (Cri) 86.

      1.   This reference before us arises out of a variety of views  having
      been expressed by this Court and several High Courts of the country on
      the scope and extent of the powers of the courts  under  the  criminal
      justice system to arraign any person as an accused during  the  course
      of inquiry or trial as contemplated under Section 319 of the  Code  of
      Criminal Procedure, 1973 (hereinafter referred to as the `Cr.P.C.’).

      2.    The initial reference was made by a two-Judge Bench  vide  order
      dated 7.11.2008 in the leading case of Hardeep Singh (Crl. Appeal  No.
      1750 of 2008)  where noticing the conflict between  the  judgments  in
      the case of Rakesh v. State of Haryana, AIR 2001 SC 2521; and  a  two-
      Judge Bench decision in the case of Mohd. Shafi v. Mohd. Rafiq & Anr.,
      AIR 2007 SC 1899, a doubt was expressed about the correctness  of  the
      view in the case of Mohd. Shafi (Supra). The doubts as categorised  in
      paragraphs 75 and 78 of the reference order led to the framing of  two
      questions by the said Bench which are reproduced hereunder:

           “(1)  When the power under sub-section (1) of Section 319 of the
           Code of addition of accused can be exercised by a Court? Whether
           application under Section 319 is  not  maintainable  unless  the
           cross-examination of the witness is complete?

           (2)   What is the test and what are the guidelines of exercising
           power under sub-section (1) of Section 319 of the Code?  Whether
           such power can be exercised only if the Court is satisfied  that
           the accused summoned in all likelihood would be convicted?

      3.    The reference was desired to be resolved by a three-Judge  Bench
      whereafter the same came up for consideration  and  vide  order  dated
      8.12.2011, the Court opined that in view of the reference made in  the
      case of Dharam Pal & Ors. v. State of Haryana & Anr., (2004) 13 SCC 9,
      the issues involved being identical in  nature,  the  same  should  be
      resolved by a Constitution Bench consisting of at least  five  Judges.
      The Bench felt that since a three-Judge Bench has already referred the
      matter of Dharam Pal (Supra) to a Constitution  Bench,  then  in  that
      event it would be appropriate that such overlapping issues should also
      be resolved by a Bench of similar strength.

      4.    Reference made in the case of Dharam  Pal  (Supra)  came  to  be
      answered in relation to the power of a Court  of  Sessions  to  invoke
      Section 319 Cr.P.C. at the stage of committal of the case to  a  Court
      of Sessions. The said reference was answered by the Constitution Bench
      in the case of Dharam Pal & Ors. v. State of Haryana & Anr., AIR  2013
      SC 3018 [hereinafter called ‘Dharam Pal (CB)’], wherein  it  was  held
      that a Court of Sessions can with  the  aid  of  Section  193  Cr.P.C.
      proceed to array any other person and summon him for being tried  even
      if the provisions of Section 319  Cr.P.C.  could  not  be  pressed  in
      service at the stage of committal.

            Thus, after the reference was made by a three-Judge Bench in the
      present case, the powers so far as the Court of Sessions is concerned,
      to invoke Section  319  Cr.P.C.  at  the  stage  of  committal,  stood
      answered finally in the aforesaid background.

      5.    On the consideration of the submissions raised and  in  view  of
      what has been noted above, the following questions are to be  answered
      by this Bench:

           ?(i) What is the stage at which power under Section  319  Cr.P.C.
           can be exercised?

           (ii) Whether the word "evidence" used in Section 319(1)  Cr.P.C.
           could only mean evidence  tested  by  cross-examination  or  the
           court can exercise the power under the said  provision  even  on
           the basis of the statement made in the  examination-in-chief  of
           the witness concerned?

           (iii) Whether the word "evidence" used in Section 319(1) Cr.P.C.
           has been used in a comprehensive sense and includes the evidence
           collected during investigation or the word "evidence" is limited
           to the evidence recorded during trial?

           (iv) What is the nature of the satisfaction required  to  invoke
           the power under Section  319  Cr.P.C.  to  arraign  an  accused?
           Whether the power under Section 319(1) Cr.P.C. can be  exercised
           only if the court is satisfied that the accused summoned will in
           all likelihood convicted?

           (v) Does the power under Section 319 Cr.P.C. extend  to  persons
           not named in the FIR or named in the FIR but not charged or  who
           have been discharged?

      6.    In this reference what we are primarily concerned with,  is  the
      stage at which such powers can be invoked and, secondly, the  material
      on the basis whereof the invoking of such powers can be justified.  To
      add as a corollary to the same, thirdly,  the  manner  in  which  such
      power has to be exercised, also has to be considered.

      7.   The Constitutional mandate  under  Articles  20  and  21  of  the
      Constitution  of  India,  1950  (hereinafter  referred   to   as   the
      ‘Constitution’)  provides  a  protective  umbrella  for   the   smooth
      administration of justice making adequate provisions to ensure a  fair
      and efficacious trial so that the  accused  does  not  get  prejudiced
      after the law has been put into motion to try him for the offence  but
      at the same time also gives equal protection to  victims  and  to  the
      society at large to ensure that the guilty does not get away from  the
      clutches of law.  For the empowerment of the courts to ensure that the
      criminal  administration  of  justice  works  properly,  the  law  was
      appropriately codified and  modified  by  the  legislature  under  the
      Cr.P.C. indicating as to how the courts should  proceed  in  order  to
      ultimately find out the  truth  so  that  an  innocent  does  not  get
      punished but at the same time, the guilty are brought  to  book  under
      the law. It is these ideals as enshrined under  the  Constitution  and
      our laws that  have  led  to  several  decisions,  whereby  innovating
      methods and progressive tools have been forged to find  out  the  real
      truth and to ensure that the   guilty  does  not  go  unpunished.  The
      presumption of innocence is the general law of the land as  every  man
      is presumed to be innocent unless proven to be guilty.

      8.   Alternatively, certain  statutory  presumptions  in  relation  to
      certain class of offences have been raised against the accused whereby
      the presumption of guilt prevails  till  the  accused  discharges  his
      burden upon an onus being cast upon him under the law to prove himself
      to be innocent.  These competing theories have been kept  in  mind  by
      the legislature. The entire effort, therefore, is  not  to  allow  the
      real perpetrator of an offence to get away unpunished. This is also  a
      part of fair trial and in our opinion, in order to achieve  this  very
      end that the  legislature  thought  of  incorporating   provisions  of
      Section 319 Cr.P.C.

      9.    It is with the said object  in  mind  that  a  constructive  and
      purposive interpretation should be adopted that 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
      accomplice in the commission of the offence that is subject matter  of

      10.  In order to answer the aforesaid  questions  posed,  it  will  be
      appropriate to refer to Section 351 of the  Criminal  Procedure  Code,
      1898 (hereinafter referred to  as  `Old  Code’),  where  an  analogous
      provision existed, empowering the court to  summon  any  person  other
      than the accused if he is found to be connected with the commission of
      the offence. However, when the new Cr.P.C. was being  drafted,  regard
      was had to 41st  Report of the Law Commission where in the  paragraphs
      24.80 and 24.81 recommendations were made to make this provision  more
      comprehensive. The said recommendations read:

           “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 proper that Magistrate should have the power to  call  and
           join him  in  proceedings.  Section  351  provides  for  such  a
           situation, but only if that person happens to be  attending  the
           Court. He can then be 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 Magistrates  own  information
           under Section 190(1), or only in the manner in which  cognizance
           was first taken of the offence against the accused. The question
           is important, because the methods of inquiry 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  against  the  other
           accused. We, therefore, propose to recast 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
           he reheard in the presence of the newly added accused.”

      11.   Section 319 Cr.P.C. as it exists today, is quoted hereunder:

           “319 Cr.P.C. -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

           (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 the 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.”

      12.   Section 319 Cr.P.C. 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 Cr.P.C.

            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 Cr.P.C.?

           The submissions that were raised before us covered a  very  wide
      canvas  and  the  learned  counsel  have  taken  us  through   various
      provisions of Cr.P.C. and the judgments that have been relied  on  for
      the said purpose. The controversy centers around the  stage  at  which
      such powers can be invoked by the court and the material on the  basis
      whereof such powers can be exercised.

      13.   It would be necessary to put on record that the power  conferred
      under Section 319 Cr.P.C. is only on the court.

           This has to be  understood  in  the  context  that  Section  319
      Cr.P.C. empowers only the court to proceed against  such  person.  The
      word “court” in our hierarchy of  criminal  courts  has  been  defined
      under Section 6  Cr.P.C.,  which  includes  the  Courts  of  Sessions,
      Judicial Magistrates, Metropolitan Magistrates as  well  as  Executive
      Magistrates. The Court of Sessions is defined in Section 9 Cr.P.C. and
      the Courts of Judicial Magistrates has been defined under  Section  11
      thereof.  The Courts of  Metropolitan  Magistrates  has  been  defined
      under Section 16 Cr.P.C. The courts which can try  offences  committed
      under the Indian Penal Code, 1860 or any offence under any other  law,
      have been specified under Section 26 Cr.P.C. read with 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.

      14.   It is at this stage the  comparison  of  the  words  used  under
      Section 319 Cr.P.C. has to be understood distinctively from  the  word
      used under Section 2(g) defining an inquiry other than the trial by  a
      magistrate or a court. Here the legislature has used two words, namely
      the magistrate  or  court,  whereas  under  Section  319  Cr.P.C.,  as
      indicated above, only the word “court” has  been  recited.   This  has
      been done by the legislature to emphasise that the power under Section
      319 Cr.P.C. is exercisable only by the court and not  by  any  officer
      not acting as  a  court.  Thus,  the  magistrate  not  functioning  or
      exercising powers as  a  court  can  make  an  inquiry  in  particular
      proceeding other than a trial but the material so collected would  not
      be by a court during  the  course  of  an  inquiry  or  a  trial.  The
      conclusion therefore, in short, is that in order to invoke  the  power
      under Section 319 Cr.P.C., it is only a Court of Sessions or  a  Court
      of  Magistrate performing the duties as a court under the Cr.P.C. that
      can utilise the material  before  it  for  the  purpose  of  the  said

      15.   Section 319 Cr.P.C. allows the  court  to  proceed  against  any
      person who is not an accused in a case before it.   Thus,  the  person
      against whom summons are issued in exercise of  such  powers,  has  to
      necessarily not be an accused already facing trial. He can either be a
      person named in Column 2 of the chargesheet filed  under  Section  173
      Cr.P.C. or a person whose name has  been  disclosed  in  any  material
      before the court that is to be considered for the  purpose  of  trying
      the offence, but not  investigated.  He  has  to  be  a  person  whose
      complicity may be indicated and connected with the commission  of  the

      16.   The legislature cannot be presumed  to  have  imagined  all  the
      circumstances and, therefore, it is the duty of the court to give full
      effect to the words used by the legislature so  as  to  encompass  any
      situation which the court may have to tackle while proceeding  to  try
      an offence and not allow a person who deserves to be tried to go  scot
      free by being not arraigned in the trial in spite  of  possibility  of
      his complicity which can be gathered from the documents  presented  by
      the prosecution.

      17.   The court is the sole repository of justice and a duty  is  cast
      upon it to  uphold  the  rule  of  law  and,  therefore,  it  will  be
      inappropriate to deny the existence of such powers with the courts  in
      our criminal justice system where it is not  uncommon  that  the  real
      accused, at times, get away by manipulating the  investigating  and/or
      the prosecuting agency.  The desire to avoid trial is so  strong  that
      an accused makes efforts at times to get himself absolved even at  the
      stage of investigation or inquiry even though he may be connected with
      the commission of the offence.

      18.  Coming to the stage at which power under Section 319 Cr.P.C.  can
      be exercised, in Dharam  Pal  (Supra),  this  Court  had  noticed  the
      conflict in the decisions of Kishun Singh & Ors  v.  State  of  Bihar,
      (1993) 2 SCC 16 and Ranjit Singh v. State of Punjab, AIR 1998 SC 3148,
      and referred the matter to the  Constitution  Bench.   However,  while
      referring the matter to a Constitution Bench, this Court affirmed  the
      judgment in Kishun Singh (Supra) and doubted the  correctness  of  the
      judgment in Ranjit Singh (Supra). In Ranjit Singh (Supra), this  Court
      observed that from the stage of  committal  till  the  Sessions  Court
      reaches the stage indicated in Section 230  Cr.P.C.,  that  court  can
      deal with only the accused referred to  in  Section  209  Cr.P.C.  and
      there is no intermediary stage till then for the Sessions Court to add
      any other person to the array of the accused, while  in  Kishun  Singh
      (Supra), this Court came to the  conclusion  that  even  the  Sessions
      Court has power under Section 193 Cr.P.C. to take  cognizance  of  the
      offence and summon other persons whose complicity in the commission of
      the trial can prima facie be gathered from the materials available  on
      record and need not wait till the stage  of  Section  319  Cr.P.C.  is
      reached. This Court in Dharam Pal (Supra)  held  that  the  effect  of
      Ranjit Singh (Supra) would be that in less serious offences triable by
      a Magistrate, the said Court would have the power to  proceed  against
      those who are mentioned in Column 2 of the  charge-sheet,  if  on  the
      basis of  material  on  record,  the  Magistrate  disagrees  with  the
      conclusion reached by the police, but,  as  far  as  serious  offences
      triable by the Court of Sessions are concerned, that court  will  have
      to wait till the stage of Section 319 Cr.P.C. is reached.

      19.   At the very outset, we may explain that the issue that wasbeing
      considered by this Court in  Dharam Pal (CB), was the exercise of such
      power at the stage of committal of a case and the court held that even
      if Section 319 Cr.P.C. could not be invoked at that stage, Section 193
      Cr.P.C. could be invoked for the said purpose. We are not delving into
      the said issue which had been answered by the five-Judge Bench of this
      Court. However, we may clarify that the opening words of  Section  193
      Cr.P.C. categorically recite that the power of the Court  of  Sessions
      to take cognizance would commence only after committal of the case  by
      a magistrate. The said provision  opens  with  a  non-obstante  clause
      “except as otherwise expressly provided by this code or by  any  other
      law for the time being in force”. The Section therefore  is  clarified
      by the said opening words which clearly means that  if  there  is  any
      other provision  under  Cr.P.C.,  expressly  making  a  provision  for
      exercise of powers by the court to  take  cognizance,  then  the  same
      would apply and the provisions of Section 193  Cr.P.C.  would  not  be

      20.   In our opinion, Section 319 Cr.P.C.  is  an  enabling  provision
      empowering the court to take appropriate steps for proceeding  against
      any person not being an accused for also having committed the  offence
      under trial.  It is this part which is  under  reference  before  this
      Court and therefore in  our  opinion,  while  answering  the  question
      referred to herein, we do not find any conflict so as  to  delve  upon
      the situation that was dealt by this Court in Dharam Pal (CB).

      21.   In Elachuri Venkatachinnayya & Ors. v. King-Emperor  (1920)  ILR
      43 Mad 511, this Court held that an inquiry  is  a  stage  before  the
      committal to a higher court. In fact, from a careful  reading  of  the
      judgments under reference i.e. Ranjit Singh (Supra) and  Kishun  Singh
      (Supra), it emerges that there is no dispute even in these  two  cases
      that the stage of committal is neither an inquiry nor a trial, for  in
      both the cases, the real dispute was whether Section 193  Cr.P.C.  can
      be invoked at the time of committal to summon an accused to face trial
      who is not already an accused. It can safely be  said  that  both  the
      cases are in harmony as to the said stage neither  being  a  stage  of
      inquiry nor a trial.

      22.   Once the aforesaid stand is clarified in relation to  the  stage
      of committal before the Court of Sessions, the answer to the  question
      posed now, stands focussed only on the stage at which such powers  can
      be exercised by the court other than the stage of  committal  and  the
      material on the basis whereof such powers can be invoked by the court.

      Question No.(i) What is the stage at which  power  under  Section  319
      Cr.P.C. can be exercised?

      23.   The stage of inquiry and trial upon cognizance being taken of an
      offence, has been considered by a large number of  decisions  of  this
      Court and that it may be useful to  extract  the  same  hereunder  for
      proper appreciation of the stage  of  invoking  of  the  powers  under
      Section 319 Cr.P.C. to understand the meaning that can  be  attributed
      to the word ‘inquiry’ and ‘trial’ as used under the Section.

      24.   In Raghubans Dubey v. State of Bihar, AIR  1967  SC  1167,  this
      Court held :

           “…once cognizance has been taken by  the  Magistrate,  he  takes
           cognizance of an offence and not the offenders;  once  he  takes
           cognizance of an offence it is his duty  to  find  out  who  the
           offenders really are and once he comes to  the  conclusion  that
           apart from the persons sent up by the police some other  persons
           are involved, it is his duty to proceed against  those  persons.
           The  summoning  of  the  additional  accused  is  part  of   the
           proceeding initiated by his taking cognizance of an offence.”

      25.   The  stage  of  inquiry  commences,  insofar  as  the  court  is
      concerned, with the filing of the charge-sheet and  the  consideration
      of the material collected by the prosecution, that is mentioned in the
      charge-sheet for the purpose of trying the accused.  This  has  to  be
      understood in terms of Section 2(g) Cr.P.C., which defines an  inquiry
      as follows:

           “2(g)  “inquiry”  means  every  inquiry,  other  than  a  trial,
           conducted under this Code by a Magistrate or Court.”

      26.   In State of U.P. v. Lakshmi Brahman & Anr.,  AIR  1983  SC  439,
      this Court held that from the  stage  of  filing  of  charge-sheet  to
      ensuring the compliance of provision  of  Section   207  Cr.P.C.,  the
      court is only at the stage of inquiry and no trial can be said to have
      commenced. The above view has been held to  be  per  incurium  in  Raj
      Kishore Prasad v. State of Bihar & Anr., AIR  1996  SC  1931,  wherein
      this Court while observing that Section 319 (1) Cr.P.C. operates in an
      ongoing inquiry into, or trial of, an offence, held that at the  stage
      of Section 209 Cr.P.C., the court is neither at the stage  of  inquiry
      nor at the stage of trial. Even at the stage of ensuring compliance of
      Sections 207 and 208 Cr.P.C., it cannot be said that the court  is  at
      the stage of inquiry because there is no judicial application of  mind
      and all that the Magistrate is required to do  is  to  make  the  case
      ready to be heard by the Court of Sessions.

      27.   Trial is distinct from an inquiry and must  necessarily  succeed
      it. The purpose of the trial is to fasten the  responsibility  upon  a
      person on the basis of  facts  presented  and  evidence  led  in  this
      behalf. In Moly & Anr. v. State of Kerala,  AIR  2004  SC  1890,  this
      Court observed that though the word ‘trial’  is  not  defined  in  the
      Code, it is clearly distinguishable from inquiry. Inquiry must  always
      be a forerunner to the trial. A three-Judge Bench of this Court in The
      State of Bihar v. Ram Naresh Pandey & Anr., AIR 1957 SC 389 held:

           “The words 'tried' and  'trial'  appear  to  have  no  fixed  or
           universal meaning. No doubt, in quite a number  of  sections  in
           the Code to which our attention has been drawn the words 'tried'
           and 'trial' have been used in the sense of reference to a  stage
           after the inquiry. That meaning attaches to the words  in  those
           sections having regard to the context in which  they  are  used.
           There is no reason why where these words  are  used  in  another
           context in the Code, they should necessarily be limited in their
           connotation and significance.  They  are  words  which  must  be
           considered with regard to the particular context in  which  they
           are used and with regard  to  the  scheme  and  purpose  of  the
           provision                 under                  consideration.”
               (Emphasis added)

      28.   In Ratilal Bhanji Mithani v. State of Maharashtra  &  Ors.,  AIR
      1979 SC 94, this Court held :

           “Once a charge is framed, the  Magistrate  has  no  power  under
           Section 227 or any other provision of the  Code  to  cancel  the
           charge, and reverse the proceedings to the stage of Section  253
           and discharge the accused. The trial in a  warrant  case  starts
           with the framing of charge; prior to it the proceedings are only
           an inquiry. After the framing of charge if  the  accused  pleads
           not guilty, the Magistrate is required to proceed with the trial
           in the manner provided in Sections 254 to 258 to a logical end.”

      29.   In V.C. Shukla v. State through C.B.I., AIR 1980  SC  962,  this
      Court held:

           “…The  proceedings  starting  with  Section  238  of  the   Code
           including any discharge or framing of charges under Section  239
           or 240 amount to a trial…”

      30.   In Union of India & Ors.   v.  Major  General  Madan  Lal  Yadav
      (Retd.), AIR 1996 SC 1340, a three-Judge Bench while dealing with  the
      proceedings in General Court Martial under the provisions of the  Army
      Act 1950, applied  legal  maxim  “nullus  commodum  capere  potest  de
      injuria sua propria” (no one can take advantage of his own wrong), and
      referred to various dictionary meanings of the word ‘trial’  and  came
      to the conclusion:

           “It would, therefore, be clear that trial means act  of  proving
           or judicial examination or determination of the issues including
           its own jurisdiction or authority  in  accordance  with  law  or
           adjudging guilt or innocence of the accused including all  steps
           necessary thereto. The trial commences with the  performance  of
           the first act or steps necessary or essential  to  proceed  with
           the                                                       trial.
           (Emphasis supplied)

                                 X  X  X  X

           Our conclusion further gets fortified by the scheme of the trial
           of a criminal case under the Code of Criminal  Procedure,  1973,
           viz.,  Chapter  XIV  “Conditions  requisite  for  initiation  of
           proceedings” containing  Sections  190  to  210,  Chapter  XVIII
           containing Sections 225 to 235 and dealing with “trial before  a
           Court of Sessions” pursuant to committal order under Section 209
           and in Chapter XIX  “trial  of  warrant  cases  by  Magistrates”
           containing Sections 238 to 250 etc. It is settled law that under
           the said Code trial  commences  the  moment  cognizance  of  the
           offence is taken and process is issued to the  accused  for  his
           appearance  etc.  Equally,  at  a  sessions  trial,  the   court
           considers  the  committal  order  under  Section  209   by   the
           Magistrate and proceeds further.  It  takes  cognizance  of  the
           offence from that stage and proceeds with the trial.  The  trial
           begins with the taking of the  cognizance  of  the  offence  and
           taking further steps to conduct the trial.”

             (Emphasis supplied)

      31.   In “Common Cause”, A Registered Society  thr.  its  Director  v.
      Union of India & Ors., AIR 1997 SC 1539, this Court while dealing with
      the issue held:

           “(i)  In case of trials before Sessions Court the  trials  shall
           be treated to have  commenced  when  charges  are  framed  under
           Section 228 of the Code  of  Criminal  Procedure,  1973  in  the
           concerned cases.

             ii) In cases of trials of warrant cases by Magistrates  if  the
                 cases are instituted upon police reports the  trials  shall
                 be treated to have commenced when charges are framed  under
                 Section 240 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973,  while
                 in trials of warrant cases by Magistrates  when  cases  are
                 instituted otherwise than  on  police  report  such  trials
                 shall be treated to have commenced when charges are  framed
                 against the concerned accused under Section 246 of the Code
                 of Criminal Procedure, 1973.

            iii) In cases of trials of  summons  cases  by  Magistrates  the
                 trials would be  considered  to  have  commenced  when  the
                 accused who appear or are brought before the Magistrate are
                 asked under Section 251 whether they plead guilty  or  have
                 any defence to make.”

             (Emphasis added)

      32.   In Raj Kishore Prasad (Supra), this Court said that as  soon  as
      the prosecutor is present before the court and that  court  hears  the
      parties on framing of charges and discharge, trial  is  said  to  have
      commenced and that there is no intermediate stage between committal of
      case and framing of charge.

      33.   In In Re: Narayanaswamy Naidu v. Unknown 1 Ind Cas 228,  a  Full
      Bench of the Madras High Court  held  that   “Trial  begins  when  the
      accused is charged and called on  to  answer  and  then  the  question
      before the Court  is  whether  the  accused  is  to  be  acquitted  or
      convicted and not whether the complaint is  to  be  dismissed  or  the
      accused discharged.” A similar view has  been  taken  by  Madras  High
      Court subsequently in Sriramulu v.  Veerasalingam,  (1914)  I.L.R.  38
      Mad. 585.

      34.   However, the Bombay High Court in Dagdu Govindshet Wani v. Punja
      Vedu Wani (1936) 38 Bom.L.R. 1189 referring to Sriramulu (Supra)  held

            “There is no doubt that the Court did take the view that  in  a
           warrant case the trial only commences from the  framing  of  the
           charge …..But, according to my experience of the  administration
           of  criminal  justice  in  this   Presidency,   which   is   not
           inconsiderable,  the  Courts  here  have  always  accepted   the
           definition of trial which has been given in Gomer Sirda v. Queen-
           Empress, (1898) I.L.R. 25 Cal. 863, that is to say,   trial  has
           always been understood to mean the  proceeding  which  commences
           when the case is called on with the Magistrate on the Bench, the
           accused in the dock and the representatives of  the  prosecution
           and, defence, if the accused be defended, present in  Court  for
           the hearing of the case.”

           A similar view has been taken by the Lahore High Court in  Sahib
      Din v. The Crown, (1922) I.L.R. 3 Lah. 115, wherein it was  held  that
      for the purposes of Section 350 of the Code, a trial cannot be said to
      commence only when a charge is framed. The trial covers the  whole  of
      the  proceedings  in  a  warrant  case.  This  case  was  followed  in
      Fakhruddin v. The Crown, (1924) I.L.R. 6 Lah. 176; and in Labhsing  v.
      Emperor, (1934) 35 Cr.L. J. 1261.

      35.   In view of the above, the law can be summarised  to  the  effect
      that as ‘trial’ means determination of issues adjudging the  guilt  or
      the innocence of a person, the person has to be aware of what  is  the
      case against him and it is only at the stage of framing of the charges
      that the court informs him of the same, the ‘trial’ commences only  on
      charges being framed. Thus, we do not approve the view  taken  by  the
      courts that in a criminal case, trial commences  on  cognizance  being

      36.   Section 2(g) Cr.P.C.  and  the  case  laws  referred  to  above,
      therefore, clearly envisage inquiry before the actual commencement  of
      the trial, and is an act conducted under Cr.P.C. by the Magistrate  or
      the court. The word ‘inquiry’ is, therefore, not any inquiry  relating
      to the investigation of the case by the investigating agency but is an
      inquiry after the case is brought to the notice of the  court  on  the
      filing of the charge-sheet.  The court can thereafter proceed to  make
      inquiries and it is for this reason that an inquiry has been given  to
      mean something other than the actual trial.

      37.    Even the  word  “course”  occurring  in  Section  319  Cr.P.C.,
      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 upto 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.  (See:  Commissioner  of
      Income-tax, New Delhi (Now Rajasthan)  v.  M/s.  East  West  Import  &
      Export (P) Ltd. (Now known as Asian  Distributors  Ltd.)  Jaipur,  AIR
      1989 SC 836).

      38.   In a somewhat similar manner, it has  been  attributed  to  word
      “course” the meaning of being a gradual and continuous  flow  advanced
      by journey or passage from one place  to  another  with  reference  to
      period of time when the  movement  is  in  progress.  (See:  State  of
      Travancore-Cochin & Ors. v. Shanmugha Vilas Cashewnut Factory, Quilon,
      AIR 1953 SC 333).

      39.   To say that powers under Section 319 Cr.P.C.  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.

      40.   The court cannot proceed with an assumption that the legislature
      enacting the statute has committed a mistake and where the language of
      the statute is plain and unambiguous, the court cannot go  behind  the
      language of the statute so as to add or subtract a  word  playing  the
      role of a political reformer or of a wise counsel to the  legislature.
      The court has to proceed on the footing that the legislature  intended
      what it has said and even if there is some defect in  the  phraseology
      etc., it is for others than the  court  to  remedy  that  defect.  The
      statute requires to be interpreted without doing any violence  to  the
      language used therein. The court cannot re-write,  recast  or  reframe
      the legislation for the reason that it has no power to legislate.

      41.   No word in a statute has to be construed as surplusage. No  word
      can be rendered ineffective or purposeless.  Courts  are  required  to
      carry  out  the  legislative  intent  fully  and   completely.   While
      construing a provision, full effect is to be  given  to  the  language
      used therein, giving reference to the context and other provisions  of
      the Statute. By construction, a provision should not be reduced  to  a
      “dead letter” or “useless lumber”. An interpretation which  renders  a
      provision an otiose should be avoided otherwise it would mean that  in
      enacting such  a  provision,  the  legislature  was  involved  in  “an
      exercise in futility” and the product came as a “purposeless piece” of
      legislation and that  the  provision  had  been  enacted  without  any
      purpose and the entire exercise to enact such a  provision  was  “most
      unwarranted  besides  being  uncharitable.”  (Vide:  Patel   Chunibhai
      Dajibha etc. v. Narayanrao Khanderao Jambekar  &  Anr.,  AIR  1965  SC
      1457; The Martin Burn Ltd. v. The Corporation of Calcutta, AIR 1966 SC
      529; M.V. Elisabeth & Ors.  v. Harwan Investment & Trading  Pvt.  Ltd.
      Hanoekar House, Swatontapeth, Vasco-De-Gama, Goa, AIR  1993  SC  1014;
      Sultana Begum v. Prem Chand Jain, AIR 1997 SC 1006; State of  Bihar  &
      Ors. etc.etc. v. Bihar Distillery Ltd. etc. etc.,  AIR 1997  SC  1511;
      Institute of Chartered Accountants of India v. M/s. Price Waterhouse &
      Anr., AIR 1998 SC 74; and The  South  Central  Railway  Employees  Co-
      operative Credit Society Employees Union, Secundrabad v. The Registrar
      of Co-operative Societies & Ors., AIR 1998 SC 703).

      42.   This Court in Rohitash Kumar & Ors. v. Om Prakash Sharma & Ors.,
      AIR 2013 SC 30, after placing reliance on various earlier judgments of
      this Court held:

           “The Court has to keep in mind the fact that, while interpreting
           the provisions of a Statute, it can neither  add,  nor  subtract
           even a single word… A section is to be  interpreted  by  reading
           all of its parts together, and it is not  permissible,  to  omit
           any part thereof. The Court cannot proceed with  the  assumption
           that the legislature, while enacting the Statute has committed a
           mistake; it must proceed on the  footing  that  the  legislature
           intended what it has said; even if there is some defect  in  the
           phraseology used by it in framing the statute,  and  it  is  not
           open to the court to add and amend, or by construction, make  up
           for the deficiencies, which  have  been  left  in  the  Act……The
           Statute is not to be construed in light of certain notions  that
           the legislature might have had in mind, or what the  legislature
           is expected to have said, or what  the  legislature  might  have
           done, or what the duty of the legislature to have said  or  done
           was. The Courts have to administer the law as they find it,  and
           it is not permissible for the Court to twist the clear  language
           of the enactment, in order  to  avoid  any  real,  or  imaginary
           hardship which such literal interpretation may cause…….under the
           garb of interpreting the provision, the Court does not have  the
           power to add or subtract even a single word,  as  it  would  not
           amount to interpretation, but legislation.”

            Thus, by no means it can be said that provisions of Section  319
      Cr.P.C. cannot be pressed into service during the course of ‘inquiry’.
      The word ‘inquiry’ is not surpulsage in the said provision.

      43.   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) Cr.P.C.
      can be exercised at any time  after  the  charge-sheet  is  filed  and
      before the pronouncement of  judgment,  except  during  the  stage  of
      Section 207/208 Cr.P.C., committal etc., which  is  only  a  pre-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.

      44.   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 of Sections 207 and 208  Cr.P.C.,  and  committing
      the matter if it is exclusively triable by Sessions Court.  Therefore,
      it would be legitimate for us to conclude that the Magistrate  at  the
      stage of   Sections 207  to  209  Cr.P.C.  is  forbidden,  by  express
      provision of Section 319 Cr.P.C., 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 Sessions.

      45.   It may be pertinent to refer to the decision in the case of  Raj
      Kishore Prasad (supra) where, in order to avoid any  delay  in  trial,
      the court emphasised that such a power should be exercised keeping  in
      view the context in which the words “inquiry” and  “trial”  have  been
      used under Section 319 Cr.P.C. and came to the conclusion that such  a
      power is not available at the pre-trial stage and  should  be  invoked
      only at the stage of inquiry or after evidence is recorded.

      46.   A two-Judge Bench of this Court in M/s. SWIL Ltd.  v.  State  of
      Delhi & Anr.,  AIR 2001 SC 2747, held that once the process  has  been
      issued, power under Section 319 Cr.P.C.  cannot  be  exercised  as  at
      that stage, since it is neither an inquiry nor a trial.
                  In Ranjit Singh (Supra), the Court held :
           “So from the stage of committal till the Sessions Court  reaches
           the stage indicated in Section 230 of the Code, that  court  can
           deal with only the accused referred to in  Section  209  of  the
           Code. There is no intermediary stage till then for the  Sessions
           Court to add any other person  to  the  array  of  the  accused.
           Thus, once the Sessions Court takes cognizance  of  the  offence
           pursuant to the committal order, the only other stage  when  the
           court is empowered to add any other person to the array  of  the
           accused is after reaching evidence collection when powers  under
           Section 319 of the Code can be invoked”

      47.   In  Kishun  Singh  (Supra),  the  Court  while  considering  the
      provision of the old Code, the Law Commission’s Recommendation and the
      provisions in the  Cr.P.C.,  held  that  Section  319  Cr.P.C.  is  an
      improved provision upon the earlier one. It has removed the difficulty
      of taking cognizance as cognizance against the added person  would  be
      deemed to have been taken as originally against the other  co-accused.
      Therefore, on Magistrate committing the case under Section 209 Cr.P.C.
      to the Court of Sessions, the bar of Section 193 Cr.P.C.  gets  lifted
      thereby investing  the  Court  of  Sessions  complete  and  unfettered
      jurisdiction of the court of original jurisdiction to take  cognizance
      of the offence which would include the  summoning  of  the  person  or
      persons whose complicity in the commission  of  the  crime  can  prima
      facie be gathered from the material available on record, though who is
      not an accused before the court.

      48.   In Dharam Pal (CB), the Constitution Bench approved the decision
      in Kishun Singh (Supra) that the Sessions Judge has original power  to
      summon accused holding that “the Sessions Judge was entitled to  issue
      summons under Section 193 Code of Criminal  Procedure  upon  the  case
      being committed to him by the Magistrate. The key words in Section 193
      are that "no Court of Session shall take cognizance of any offence  as
      a Court of original jurisdiction unless the case has been committed to
      it by a Magistrate under this Code." The above provision entails  that
      a case must, first of all, be committed to the Court of Session by the
      Magistrate. The second condition is that only after the case had  been
      committed to it, could the Court of Session  take  cognizance  of  the
      offence exercising original jurisdiction.  Although,  an  attempt  has
      been   made   to   suggest   that   the   cognizance   indicated    in
      Section 193 deals not with  cognizance  of  an  offence,  but  of  the
      commitment order passed by the learned Magistrate, we are not inclined
      to accept such a submission in the clear wordings of Section 193  that
      the Court of Session may take cognizance of  the  offences  under  the
      said Section”

      49.   It is thus aptly clear that until  and unless the  case  reaches
      the stage of inquiry or trial by the court, the  power  under  Section
      319 Cr.P.C. cannot be exercised. In fact, this  proposition  does  not
      seem to have been disturbed by the Constitution Bench  in  Dharam  Pal
      (CB). The dispute therein was resolved visualizing a situation wherein
      the court was concerned with procedural delay and was of  the  opinion
      that the Sessions Court should not necessarily wait till the stage  of
      Section 319 Cr.P.C. is reached to direct a person, not  facing  trial,
      to appear and face trial as an accused. We are in full agreement  with
      the interpretation given by the Constitution Bench  that  Section  193
      Cr.P.C. confers power of original jurisdiction upon the Sessions Court
      to add an accused once the case has been committed to it.

      50.   In our opinion, the stage of inquiry does  not  contemplate  any
      evidence in its strict legal sense, nor  the  legislature  could  have
      contemplated this inasmuch as the  stage  for  evidence  has  not  yet
      arrived.  The only material that  the  court  has  before  it  is  the
      material collected by the prosecution and  the  court  at  this  stage
      prima facie can apply its mind to find out as to whether a person, who
      can be an accused, has been erroneously omitted from  being  arraigned
      or has been deliberately excluded by the prosecuting  agencies.   This
      is all the more necessary in order to ensure  that  the  investigating
      and the prosecuting agencies have acted fairly in bringing before  the
      court those persons who deserve to be tried and to prevent any  person
      from being deliberately shielded when they ought to have  been  tried.
      This is necessary to usher faith in the judicial  system  whereby  the
      court should be empowered to exercise such powers even at the stage of
      inquiry and it is for this reason that the legislature has consciously
      used separate terms, namely, inquiry or trial in Section 319 Cr.P.C.

            Accordingly, we hold that the court can exercise the power under
      Section 319 Cr.P.C. only after the trial proceeds and  commences  with
      the recording of the evidence and also in exceptional circumstances as
      explained herein above.

      51.   There is yet another  set  of  provisions  which  form  part  of
      inquiry  relevant  for  the  purposes  of  Section  319  Cr.P.C.  i.e.
      provisions of Sections 200, 201, 202, etc. Cr.P.C. applicable  in  the
      case of Complaint Cases. As has been discussed herein, evidence  means
      evidence adduced before the  court.  Complaint  Cases  is  a  distinct
      category of criminal trial where some sort of evidence in  the  strict
      legal sense of Section  3  of  the  Evidence  Act  1872,  (hereinafter
      referred to as the ‘Evidence Act’) comes before the court.  There does
      not seem to be any  restriction  in  the  provisions  of  Section  319
      Cr.P.C. so as to preclude such evidence as coming before the court  in
      Complaint Cases even before charges have been framed  or  the  process
      has been issued.  But at that stage as there is no accused before  the
      Court, such evidence can be used  only  to  corroborate  the  evidence
      recorded during the trial for the purpose of Section 319  Cr.P.C.,  if
      so required.

      52.   What is essential for the purpose of the section is  that  there
      should appear some evidence against a person not proceeded against and
      the stage of the proceedings is irrelevant. Where the  complainant  is
      circumspect in proceeding against several persons, but the court is of
      the opinion that there appears to be some  evidence  pointing  to  the
      complicity of some other persons as well, Section 319 Cr.P.C. acts  as
      an empowering provision  enabling  the  court/Magistrate  to  initiate
      proceedings against such other persons. The  purpose  of  Section  319
      Cr.P.C. is to do complete justice and to ensure that persons who ought
      to have been tried as well are also tried. Therefore, there  does  not
      appear to be any difficulty in invoking powers of Section 319  Cr.P.C.
      at the stage of trial in a complaint case when  the  evidence  of  the
      complainant as well as his witnesses is being recorded.

      53.   Thus, the application of the provisions of Section 319  Cr.P.C.,
      at  the  stage  of  inquiry  is  to  be  understood  in  its   correct
      perspective. The power under Section 319 Cr.P.C. 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 charge sheet
      or any other person who might be an accomplice.

      Question No.(iii) : Whether the word "evidence" used in Section 319(1)
      Cr.P.C. has been used  in  a  comprehensive  sense  and  includes  the
      evidence collected during investigation  or  the  word  "evidence"  is
      limited to the evidence recorded during trial?

      54.   To answer the questions and to resolve the  impediment  that  is
      being faced by the trial courts in exercising of powers under  Section
      319 Cr.P.C., the  issue  has  to  be  investigated  by  examining  the
      circumstances which give rise to a situation for the court  to  invoke
      such powers. The circumstances that lead to such inference being drawn
      up by the court for summoning a person arise out of  the  availability
      of the facts and material that comes up before the court and are  made
      the basis for summoning such a person as an accomplice to the  offence
      alleged to have been committed.   The  material  should  disclose  the
      complicity of the person in the commission of the offence which has to
      be the material that appears from the evidence during  the  course  of
      any inquiry into or trial of offence. The words as used in Section 319
      Cr.P.C. indicate that the material has to be “where ….it appears  from
      the evidence” before the court.

      55.   Before we answer this issue, let us examine the meaning  of  the
      word  ‘evidence’.  According  to  Section  3  of  the  Evidence   Act,
      ‘evidence’ means and includes:

            (1) all statements which the Court permits or  requires  to  be
           made before it by witnesses, in  relation  to  matters  of  fact
           under inquiry; such statements are called oral evidence;

            (2)  all documents including electronic  records  produced  for
           the  inspection  of  the  Court,  such  statements  are   called
           documentary evidence;

      56.   According to Tomlin’s Law Dictionary,  Evidence  is  “the  means
      from which an inference may logically be drawn as to the existence  of
      a fact. It consists of proof by testimony of witnesses, on oath; or by
      writing or records.” Bentham defines  ‘evidence’  as  “any  matter  of
      fact, the effect, tendency or design of which presented to mind, is to
      produce in the mind a persuasion  concerning  the  existence  of  some
      other  matter  of   fact-   a   persuasion   either   affirmative   or
      disaffirmative of its existence. Of the two facts  so  connected,  the
      latter may be distinguished as the principal fact, and the  former  as
      the evidentiary fact.” According  to  Wigmore  on  Evidence,  evidence
      represents “any knowable fact or group of facts,  not  a  legal  or  a
      logical principle, considered with a view to its being offered  before
      a legal tribunal for the purpose of producing a  persuasion,  positive
      or negative, on the part of  the  tribunal,  as  to  the  truth  of  a
      proposition, not of law, or of logic, on which  the  determination  of
      the tribunal is to be asked.”

      57.    The  provision  and  the  above-mentioned  definitions  clearly
      suggest that it is an  exhaustive  definition.    Wherever  the  words
      “means and include” are used, it is an indication of the fact that the
      definition ‘is a hard and fast definition’, and no other  meaning  can
      be assigned to the expression that is put down in the  definition.  It
      indicates an exhaustive explanation of  the  meaning  which,  for  the
      purposes of the Act, must invariably be attached  to  these  words  or
      expression. (Vide: M/s. Mahalakshmi Oil Mills v. State  of  A.P.,  AIR
      1989 SC 335; Punjab Land Development and Reclamation Corporation Ltd.,
      Chandigarh v. Presiding Officer,  Labour  Court,  Chandigarh  &  Ors.,
      (1990) 3 SCC 682; P. Kasilingam & Ors. v. P.S.G. College of Technology
      & Ors., AIR 1995 SC 1395;  Hamdard (Wakf) Laboratories v.  Dy.  Labour
      Commissioner & Ors., AIR 2008 SC 968; and  Ponds  India  Ltd.  (merged
      with H.L. Limited) v. Commissioner of Trade Tax,  Lucknow,   (2008)  8
      SCC 369).

      58.   In Feroze N. Dotivala v. P.M. Wadhwani & Ors., (2003) 1 SCC 433,
      dealing with a similar issue, this Court observed as under:

               “Generally, ordinary meaning is to be assigned to  any  word
           or phrase used or defined in a statute. Therefore, unless  there
           is any  vagueness  or  ambiguity,  no  occasion  will  arise  to
           interpret the term in a manner which may add  something  to  the
           meaning of the word which ordinarily does not  so  mean  by  the
           definition itself, more particularly, where it is a  restrictive
           definition. Unless  there  are  compelling  reasons  to  do  so,
           meaning of a restrictive and exhaustive definition would not  be
           expanded or made extensive to embrace things which are  strictly
           not within the meaning of the word as defined.”

           We, therefore proceed to  examine  the  matter  further  on  the
      premise that the definition of word “evidence” under the Evidence  Act
      is exhaustive.

      59.   In Kalyan Kumar Gogoi v. Ashutosh Agnihotri & Anr., AIR 2011  SC
      760, while dealing with the issue this Court held :

           “18. The word “evidence” is used in  common  parlance  in  three
           different  senses:  (a)  as  equivalent  to  relevant,  (b)   as
           equivalent to proof, and (c) as equivalent to the  material,  on
           the basis of  which  courts  come  to  a  conclusion  about  the
           existence or non-existence of disputed  facts.  Though,  in  the
           definition of the word “evidence” given  in  Section  3  of  the
           Evidence Act one finds only oral and documentary evidence,  this
           word  is  also  used  in  phrases   such   as   best   evidence,
           circumstantial  evidence,  corroborative  evidence,   derivative
           evidence,  direct  evidence,   documentary   evidence,   hearsay
           evidence, indirect evidence, oral evidence,  original  evidence,
           presumptive evidence, primary evidence, real evidence, secondary
           evidence, substantive evidence, testimonial evidence, etc.”

      60.   In relation to  a  Civil  Case,  this  court  in  Ameer  Trading
      Corporation Ltd. v. Shapoorji Data Processing Ltd., AIR 2004  SC  355,
      held that the examination of  a  witness  would  include  evidence-in-
      chief, cross-examination or re-examination. In Omkar Namdeo  Jadhao  &
      Ors v. Second Additional Sessions Judge Buldana & Anr.,  AIR  1997  SC
      331; and Ram Swaroop & Ors. v. State of Rajasthan, AIR 2004  SC  2943,
      this Court held that statements recorded  under  Section  161  Cr.P.C.
      during the investigation are not evidence.   Such  statements  can  be
      used at the trial  only  for  contradictions  or  omissions  when  the
      witness is examined in the court.

      (See also: Podda Narayana & Ors. v. State of A.P., AIR 1975  SC  1252;
      Sat Paul v. Delhi Administration, AIR 1976 SC 294;  and  State  (Delhi
      Administration) v. Laxman Kumar & Ors., AIR 1986 SC 250).

      61.   In Lok Ram v. Nihal Singh & Anr., AIR 2006 SC 1892,  it was held
      that it is evident that a person, even though had initially been named
      in the FIR as an accused, but not charge-sheeted, can also be added as
      an accused to face the trial. The trial court can take such a step  to
      add such persons as accused only on  the  basis  of  evidence  adduced
      before it and not on the basis of materials available in  the  charge-
      sheet or the case diary,  because  such  materials  contained  in  the
      charge-sheet or the case diary do not constitute evidence.

      62.   The majority view of the Constitution Bench in Ramnarayan Mor  &
      Anr. v. The State of Maharashtra, AIR 1964 SC 949 has been as under:
           “9.  It  was  urged  in  the  alternative  by  counsel  for  the
           appellants that even if the expression  “evidence”  may  include
           documents, such documents would only be  those  which  are  duly
           proved at the enquiry for commitment, because what may  be  used
           in a trial, civil or criminal, to  support  the  judgment  of  a
           Court is evidence duly proved  according  to  law.  But  by  the
           Evidence Act which applies to the trial of all  criminal  cases,
           the expression “evidence” is defined in Section 3 as meaning and
           including all statements which the Court permits or requires  to
           be made before it by witnesses, in relation to matters  of  fact
           under enquiry and documents produced for the inspection  of  the
           Court. There is no restriction in this definition  to  documents
           which      are       duly       proved       by       evidence.”
                                           (Emphasis                 added)

      63.   Similarly, this Court in Sunil Mehta & Anr. v. State of  Gujarat
      & Anr., JT 2013 (3) SC 328, held  that  “It  is  trite  that  evidence
      within the meaning of the Evidence Act and so also within the  meaning
      of Section 244 of the Cr.P.C.  is  what  is  recorded  in  the  manner
      stipulated under Section 138 in the case of oral evidence. Documentary
      evidence would similarly be evidence only if the documents are  proved
      in the manner recognised and  provided  for  under  the  Evidence  Act
      unless of course a statutory provision makes the  document  admissible
      as evidence without any formal proof thereof.”

      64.   In Guriya @ Tabassum Tauquir & Ors. v. State of  Bihar  &  Anr.,
      AIR 2008 SC 95, this Court held that in exercise of the  powers  under
      Section 319 Cr.P.C., the court can add a new accused only on the basis
      of evidence adduced before it  and  not  on  the  basis  of  materials
      available in the charge sheet or the case diary.

      65.   In Kishun Singh (Supra),  this Court held :

           “11. On a plain reading of sub-section (1) of Section 319  there
           can be no doubt that it must appear from the  evidence  tendered
           in the course of any inquiry or trial that any person not  being
           the accused has committed any offence  for  which  he  could  be
           tried together with  the  accused.  This  power  (under  Section
           319(1)), it seems clear to us, can be exercised only  if  it  so
           appears from the  evidence  at  the  trial  and  not  otherwise.
           Therefore,  this  sub-section  contemplates  existence  of  some
           evidence appearing in the course of trial  wherefrom  the  court
           can prima facie conclude that the person not arraigned before it
           is also involved in the commission of the crime for which he can
           be tried with those already named by the police. Even  a  person
           who has earlier been discharged would fall within the  sweep  of
           the power conferred by S. 319 of the  Code.  Therefore,  stricto
           sensu, Section 319 of the Code cannot be invoked in a case  like
           the present one where no  evidence  has  been  led  at  a  trial
           wherefrom it can be said that the appellants appear to have been
           involved in the commission of the crime along with those already
           sent up for trial by the prosecution.

           12. But then it must be conceded that  Section  319  covers  the
           post-cognizance stage where in the course of an inquiry or trial
           the involvement or complicity of a person or persons  not  named
           by the investigating agency has surfaced which necessitates  the
           exercise of  the  discretionary  power  conferred  by  the  said

      66.   A similar view has been taken  by  this  Court  in  Raj  Kishore
      Prasad (Supra), wherein it was held that in order to apply Section 319
      Cr.P.C., it is essential that the need to proceed against  the  person
      other than the accused appearing to be guilty of offence  arises  only
      on evidence recorded in the course of an inquiry or trial.

      67.   In Lal Suraj @ Suraj Singh & Anr. v. State of Jharkhand,  (2009)
      2 SCC 696, a two-Judge Bench of this Court held that “a court  framing
      a charge would have before it all the materials on record  which  were
      required to be proved by the prosecution. In a  case  where,  however,
      the court exercises its jurisdiction under Section  319  Cr.P.C.,  the
      power has to be exercised on the basis of the fresh  evidence  brought
      before the court. There lies a fine but clear distinction.”

      68.   A similar view has been reiterated by  this  Court  in  Rajendra
      Singh v. State of U.P. & Anr., AIR 2007 SC 2786, observing that  court
      should not exercise the power under Section 319 Cr.P.C. on  the  basis
      of materials available in the charge-sheet or the case diary,  because
      such materials contained in the charge-sheet or the case diary do  not
      constitute evidence.  The  word  ‘evidence’  in  Section  319  Cr.P.C.
      contemplates the evidence of witnesses given in the court.

      69.   Ordinarily, it is only after the charges  are  framed  that  the
      stage of recording of evidence is reached. A bare perusal  of  Section
      227 Cr.P.C. would show that the legislature has used the terms “record
      of the case” and the “documents submitted therewith”. It  is  in  this
      context that the word ‘evidence’ as appearing in Section  319  Cr.P.C.
      has to be read and understood. The material collected at the stage  of
      investigation can at best be used for a limited  purpose  as  provided
      under  Section  157  of  the  Evidence  Act  i.e.  to  corroborate  or
      contradict the statements of the witnesses recorded before the  court.
      Therefore, for the exercise of power under Section  319  Cr.P.C.,  the
      use of word `evidence’ means material that has come before  the  court
      during an inquiry or trial by  it  and  not  otherwise.  If  from  the
      evidence led in the trial the court is of the opinion  that  a  person
      not accused before it has also committed the offence,  it  may  summon
      such person under Section 319 Cr.P.C.

      70.   With respect to documentary evidence, it is sufficient,  as  can
      be seen from a bare perusal of Section 3 of the Evidence Act  as  well
      as the decision of the Constitution Bench, that a document is required
      to be produced and proved according to  law  to  be  called  evidence.
      Whether  such  evidence  is  relevant,   irrelevant,   admissible   or
      inadmissible, is a matter of trial.

      71.   It is, therefore, clear that the word “evidence” in Section  319
      Cr.P.C. means only such evidence as  is  made  before  the  court,  in
      relation to statements, and as produced before the court, in  relation
      to documents. It is only such evidence that can be taken into  account
      by the Magistrate or the Court to decide whether power  under  Section
      319 Cr.P.C. is to be exercised  and  not  on  the  basis  of  material
      collected during investigation.

      72.   The  inquiry  by  the  court  is  neither  attributable  to  the
      investigation nor  the  prosecution,  but  by  the  court  itself  for
      collecting information to draw back a  curtain  that  hides  something
      material. It is the duty of the court to do so and therefore the power
      to perform this duty is provided under the Cr.P.C.

      73.   The unveiling of facts other than the material collected  during
      investigation before the magistrate or  court  before  trial  actually
      commences is part of the process of inquiry. Such facts when  recorded
      during trial are evidence. It is evidence only on  the  basis  whereof
      trial can be held, but can the same definition  be  extended  for  any
      other material collected during inquiry by the magistrate or court for
      the purpose of Section 319 Cr.P.C.?

      74.   An inquiry can be conducted by the magistrate or  court  at  any
      stage during the proceedings before the court. This power is preserved
      with the court and has to be  read  and  understood  accordingly.  The
      outcome of any such exercise should not be an impediment in the speedy
      trial of the case.

      75.   Though the facts so received by the magistrate or the court  may
      not be evidence, yet it is some material that makes things  clear  and
      unfolds  concealed  or  deliberately  suppressed  material  that   may
      facilitate the trial. In the context of Section 319 Cr.P.C. it  is  an
      information of complicity. Such material therefore, can be  used  even
      though not an evidence in stricto sensuo, but an information on record
      collected by the  court  during  inquiry  itself,  as  a  prima  facie
      satisfaction for exercising the powers as presently involved.

      76.   This pre-trial stage is a stage where  no  adjudication  on  the
      evidence of the offences involved takes place and therefore, after the
      material alongwith the charge-sheet has been brought before the court,
      the same can be inquired into in order  to  effectively  proceed  with
      framing of charges. After the charges are framed, the  prosecution  is
      asked to lead evidence and till that is done,  there  is  no  evidence
      available in the strict legal sense of Section 3 of the Evidence  Act.
      The actual trial of the offence by bringing  the  accused  before  the
      court has still not begun. What is available is the material that  has
      been submitted before the court along with the charge-sheet.  In  such
      situation, the court only has the preparatory material that  has  been
      placed before the court for its consideration in order to proceed with
      the trial by framing of charges.

      77.   It is, therefore, not any material that can be utilised,  rather
      it is that material after cognizance is taken  by  a  court,  that  is
      available to it while making an inquiry into  or  trying  an  offence,
      that the court can utilize or take into consideration  for  supporting
      reasons to summon any person on the basis of evidence  adduced  before
      the Court, who may be on the basis of such material, treated to be  an
      accomplice in the commission of the offence.  The inference  that  can
      be drawn is that material  which  is  not  exactly  evidence  recorded
      before the court, but is a material collected by  the  court,  can  be
      utilised to corroborate evidence already recorded for the  purpose  of
      summoning any other person, other than the accused.

      78.   This would harmonise such material with the word  ‘evidence’  as
      material  that  would  be  supportive  in  nature  to  facilitate  the
      exposition of any other accomplice whose complicity in the offence may
      have either been suppressed or escaped the notice of the court.

      79.   The word “evidence” therefore has to be understood in its  wider
      sense both at the stage of trial and, as discussed  earlier,  even  at
      the stage of inquiry, as used under Section  319  Cr.P.C.  The  court,
      therefore, should be understood to have the power to  proceed  against
      any person after summoning him on the basis of any  such  material  as
      brought forth before it.  The duty and obligation of the court becomes
      more onerous to invoke such powers cautiously on such  material  after
      evidence has been led during trial.

      80.   In  view  of  the  discussion  made  and  the  conclusion  drawn
      hereinabove, the answer to the aforesaid question posed is that  apart
      from evidence recorded  during  trial,  any  material  that  has  been
      received by the court after cognizance is taken and before  the  trial
      commences, can be utilised only for corroboration and to  support  the
      evidence recorded by the court to invoke the power under  Section  319
      Cr.P.C.  The ‘evidence’ is thus,  limited  to  the  evidence  recorded
      during trial.
      Q.(ii)       Does the word ‘evidence’ in Section 319 Cr.P.C. means  as
      arising  in  Examination-in-Chief  or  also   together   with   Cross-

      81.   The second question referred to herein is  in  relation  to  the
      word `evidence` as used under Section 319  Cr.P.C.,  which  leaves  no
      room for doubt that the evidence as understood under Section 3 of  the
      Evidence Act is the statement  of  the  witnesses  that  are  recorded
      during trial and the  documentary  evidence  in  accordance  with  the
      Evidence Act, which also includes the document and  material  evidence
      in the Evidence Act.  Such evidence begins with the statement  of  the
      prosecution witnesses,  therefore,  is  evidence  which  includes  the
      statement during examination-in-chief.  In Rakesh (Supra), it was held
      that “It is true that finally at the time of trial the accused  is  to
      be given an opportunity to  cross-examine  the  witness  to  test  its
      truthfulness. But that stage would  not  arise  while  exercising  the
      court’s power under Section 319 CrPC. Once the deposition is recorded,
      no doubt there being no cross-examination, it would be a  prima  facie
      material which would enable  the  Sessions  Court  to  decide  whether
      powers under Section 319 should be exercised or not.” In Ranjit  Singh
      (Supra), this Court held that “it is not necessary for  the  court  to
      wait until the entire evidence is collected,” for exercising the  said
      power. In Mohd. Shafi (Supra), it was held that the pre-requisite  for
      exercise of power under Section 319 Cr.P.C. was  the  satisfaction  of
      the court to proceed against a  person  who  is  not  an  accused  but
      against whom evidence occurs, for which the court can even  wait  till
      the cross examination is over and that there would be no illegality in
      doing so. A similar view has been taken by a two-Judge  Bench  in  the
      case of Harbhajan Singh & Anr. v. State of Punjab & Anr. (2009) 13 SCC
      608. This Court in Hardeep Singh (Supra) seems  to  have  misread  the
      judgment in Mohd.  Shafi  (Supra),  as  it  construed  that  the  said
      judgment laid down that for the exercise of power  under  Section  319
      Cr.P.C., the court has to necessarily wait till the witness  is  cross
      examined and  on  complete  appreciation  of  evidence,  come  to  the
      conclusion whether there is  a  need  to  proceed  under  Section  319

      82.   We have given our thoughtful consideration to the diverse  views
      expressed in the aforementioned cases.  Once  examination-in-chief  is
      conducted, the statement becomes part of the record. It is evidence as
      per law and in the true sense, for at best, it may be  rebuttable.  An
      evidence  being  rebutted  or  controverted  becomes   a   matter   of
      consideration, relevance and belief, which is the stage of judgment by
      the court. Yet it is evidence and it is material on the basis  whereof
      the court can come to a prima facie opinion as to complicity  of  some
      other person who may be connected with the offence.

      83.   As held in Mohd. Shafi (Supra) and Harbhajan Singh (Supra),  all
      that is required for the exercise  of  the  power  under  Section  319
      Cr.P.C. is that, it must appear to the court that  some  other  person
      also who is not facing the trial, may also have been involved  in  the
      offence. The pre-requisite for the exercise of this power  is  similar
      to the prima facie view which the magistrate must come to in order  to
      take cognizance of the offence. Therefore, no straight-jacket  formula
      can and should be  laid  with  respect  to  conditions  precedent  for
      arriving at such an opinion and, if the Magistrate/Court is  convinced
      even on the basis of evidence appearing  in  Examination-in-Chief,  it
      can exercise the power under  Section  319  Cr.P.C.  and  can  proceed
      against such other person(s). It is essential to note that the Section
      also uses the words ‘such person could be tried’ instead of should  be
      tried. Hence, what is required is not to have  a  mini-trial  at  this
      stage by  having  examination  and  cross-examination  and  thereafter
      rendering a decision on the overt act of  such  person  sought  to  be
      added. In fact, it is this mini-trial that would affect the  right  of
      the person sought to be arraigned as an accused rather than not having
      any cross-examination at all, for in light of sub-section 4 of Section
      319 Cr.P.C., the person would be entitled to a fresh  trial  where  he
      would have all  the  rights  including  the  right  to  cross  examine
      prosecution witnesses and examine defence witnesses  and  advance  his
      arguments upon the same. Therefore, even on the basis of  Examination-
      in-Chief, the Court or the Magistrate can proceed against a person  as
      long as the court is satisfied that  the  evidence  appearing  against
      such person is such that it prima  facie  necessitates  bringing  such
      person to face trial. In fact, Examination-in-Chief untested by  Cross
      Examination, undoubtedly in itself, is an evidence.

      84.   Further, in our opinion, there does not seem  to  be  any  logic
      behind waiting till the cross-examination of the witness is  over.  It
      is to be kept in mind that at the time  of  exercise  of  power  under
      Section 319 Cr.P.C., the person sought to be arraigned as an  accused,
      is in no way participating in the trial. Even if the cross-examination
      is to be taken into consideration, the person sought to  be  arraigned
      as an accused cannot cross examine the witness(s) prior to passing  of
      an order under Section  319  Cr.P.C.,  as  such  a  procedure  is  not
      contemplated by the Cr.P.C. Secondly, invariably the State  would  not
      oppose or object to naming of more persons as an accused as  it  would
      only help the prosecution in completing the chain of evidence,  unless
      the witness(s) is obliterating the  role  of  persons  already  facing
      trial.  More so, Section 299  Cr.P.C.  enables  the  court  to  record
      evidence in absence of the  accused  in  the  circumstances  mentioned

      85.   Thus, in view of the above, we hold that power under Section 319
      Cr.P.C. can be exercised at the stage of completion of examination  in
      chief and court does not need to wait till the said evidence is tested
      on cross-examination for it is the satisfaction of the court which can
      be gathered from the reasons recorded by  the  court,  in  respect  of
      complicity of some other  person(s),  not  facing  the  trial  in  the

      Q. (iv) What is the degree of satisfaction required for  invoking  the
      power under Section 319 Cr.P.C.?

      86.   Section 319(1) Cr.P.C. empowers the  court  to  proceed  against
      other persons who appear to  be  guilty  of  offence,  though  not  an
      accused before the court.

            The word “appear” means  “clear  to  the  comprehension”,  or  a
      phrase near to, if not synonymous with “proved”.  It imparts a  lesser
      degree of probability than proof.

      87.   In Pyare Lal Bhargava v. The State of  Rajasthan,  AIR  1963  SC
      1094, a four-Judge Bench of this Court was concerned with the  meaning
      of the word ‘appear’. The court held that the appropriate  meaning  of
      the  word  ‘appears’  is  ‘seems’.  It  imports  a  lesser  degree  of
      probability than proof. In Ram Singh & Ors.   v.  Ram  Niwas  &  Anr.,
      (2009) 14 SCC 25, a two-Judge Bench of this Court was  again  required
      to examine the importance of the word ‘appear’  as  appearing  in  the
      Section. The Court held that for the fulfillment of the condition that
      it appears to the court that a person had committed  an  offence,  the
      court must satisfy  itself  about  the  existence  of  an  exceptional
      circumstance enabling it to exercise  an  extraordinary  jurisdiction.
      What is, therefore,  necessary  for  the  court  is  to  arrive  at  a
      satisfaction that the evidence adduced on behalf of  the  prosecution,
      if unrebutted, may lead to conviction of  the  persons  sought  to  be
      added as an accused in the case.

      88.   At the time of taking cognizance, the court has to see whether a
      prima facie case is made out to proceed against  the  accused.   Under
      Section 319 Cr.P.C., though the test of prima facie case is the  same,
      the degree of satisfaction that is required is much stricter.  A  two-
      Judge Bench of this Court in Vikas v. State of  Rajasthan,  2013  (11)
      SCALE 23, held that on the  objective  satisfaction  of  the  court  a
      person may be 'arrested' or 'summoned', as the  circumstances  of  the
      case may require, if it appears from the evidence that any such person
      not being the accused has committed an offence for which  such  person
      could be tried together with the already arraigned accused persons.

      89.   In Rajendra Singh (Supra), the Court observed:

            “Be it noted, the court need  not  be  satisfied  that  he  has
           committed an offence. It need only appear  to  it  that  he  has
           committed an offence. In other words, from the evidence it  need
           only appear to it that someone else has committed an offence, to
           exercise jurisdiction under Section 319 of the Code. Even  then,
           it has a discretion not to proceed, since the expression used is
           “may” and not “shall”.  The  legislature  apparently  wanted  to
           leave that discretion to the trial court so as to enable  it  to
           exercise its jurisdiction under  this  section.  The  expression
           “appears” indicates an application of mind by the court  to  the
           evidence that has come before it and then taking a  decision  to
           proceed under Section 319 of the Code or not.”

      90.   In Mohd. Shafi (Supra), this Court held that it is evident  that
      before a court exercises its discretionary jurisdiction  in  terms  of
      Section 319 Cr.P.C., it must  arrive  at  a  satisfaction  that  there
      exists a possibility that the accused so summoned  in  all  likelihood
      would be convicted.

      91.   In Sarabjit Singh & Anr. v. State of Punjab & Anr., AIR 2009  SC
      2792, while explaining the scope of Section 319 Cr.P.C.,  a  two-Judge
      Bench of this Court observed:

           “….For the aforementioned purpose, the courts  are  required  to
           apply stringent tests; one of the tests being  whether  evidence
           on record is such which would reasonably lead to  conviction  of
           the person sought to be  summoned……Whereas  the  test  of  prima
           facie case may be sufficient for taking cognizance of an offence
           at the stage of framing of charge, the court must  be  satisfied
           that there exists a strong suspicion. While  framing  charge  in
           terms of Section 227 of the Code, the court  must  consider  the
           entire materials on record to form an opinion that the  evidence
           if unrebutted would lead to a judgment of conviction. Whether  a
           higher standard be set  up  for  the  purpose  of  invoking  the
           jurisdiction under Section 319 of the Code is the question.  The
           answer to these questions should be rendered in the affirmative.
           Unless a higher standard for the purpose of forming  an  opinion
           to summon a person as an additional accused is  laid  down,  the
           ingredients thereof viz. (i) an extraordinary case, and  (ii)  a
           case for sparingly (sic sparing) exercise of jurisdiction, would
           not be satisfied.”
                                                         (Emphasis added)

      92.   In Brindaban Das &  Ors. v. State of West Bengal,  AIR  2009  SC
      1248, a two-Judge Bench of this Court took a  similar  view  observing
      that the court is required to consider whether such evidence would  be
      sufficient to convict the person being  summoned.  Since  issuance  of
      summons under Section 319 Cr.P.C. entails a de novo trial and a  large
      number of witnesses may have been examined  and  their  re-examination
      could prejudice the prosecution and delay the trial, the  trial  court
      has to exercise such discretion with great care and perspicacity.
            A similar view has been re-iterated by  this  Court  in  Michael
      Machado & Anr. v. Central Bureau of Investigation & Ors., AIR 2000  SC

      93.   However, there is a series of cases  wherein  this  Court  while
      dealing with the provisions of Sections 227, 228, 239, 240,  241,  242
      and 245 Cr.P.C., has consistently held that  the court at the stage of
      framing of the charge has to apply its mind to the question whether or
      not there is any ground for presuming the commission of an offence  by
      the accused.  The court has to see as to whether the material  brought
      on record reasonably connect the accused  with  the  offence.  Nothing
      more is required to be enquired into. While dealing with the aforesaid
      provisions, the test of prima facie case is to be applied.  The  Court
      has to find out whether the materials offered by the prosecution to be
      adduced as evidence are sufficient for the court  to  proceed  against
      the accused further. (Vide: State of  Karnataka  v.  L.  Munishwamy  &
      Ors., AIR 1977 SC 1489; All India Bank Officers' Confederation etc. v.
      Union of India & Ors.,  AIR  1989  SC  2045;  Stree  Atyachar  Virodhi
      Parishad v. Dilip Nathumal Chordia, (1989) 1 SCC 715; State of M.P. v.
      Dr. Krishna Chandra Saksena, (1996) 11 SCC 439; and State of  M.P.  v.
      Mohan Lal Soni, AIR 2000 SC 2583).

      94.   In Dilawar Babu Kurane v. State of Maharashtra, AIR 2002 SC 564,
      this Court while dealing with the provisions of Sections 227  and  228
      Cr.P.C., placed a very heavy reliance on the earlier judgment of  this
      Court in Union of India v. Prafulla Kumar Samal & Anr.,  AIR  1979  SC
      366 and held that while  considering  the  question  of   framing  the
      charges, the court may weigh the evidence for the limited  purpose  of
      finding out whether or not a prima facie case against the accused  has
      been made out and whether  the  materials  placed  before  this  Court
      disclose grave suspicion  against  the  accused  which  has  not  been
      properly explained.  In such an eventuality, the court is justified in
      framing the charges and proceeding with the trial.  The court  has  to
      consider the broad probabilities of the case, the total effect of  the
      evidence and the documents produced before the court but court  should
      not make a roving enquiry into the pros and cons  of  the  matter  and
      weigh evidence as if it is conducting a trial.

      95.   In Suresh v. State of Maharashtra, AIR 2001 SC 1375, this  Court
      after taking note of the earlier judgments  in  Niranjan  Singh  Karam
      Singh Punjabi v. Jitendra Bhimraj Bijjaya, AIR 1990 SC 1962 and  State
      of Maharashtra v. Priya Sharan Maharaj,  AIR 1997  SC  2041,  held  as
            “9.……at the stage of Sections 227 and 228 the Court is required
           to evaluate the material and documents on record with a view  to
           finding out if the facts emerging therefrom taken at their  face
           value disclose the existence of all the ingredients constituting
           the alleged offence. The Court may, for  this  limited  purpose,
           sift the evidence as it cannot be expected even at that  initial
           stage to accept all that the prosecution states as gospel  truth
           even if it is opposed to common sense or the broad probabilities
           of the case. Therefore, at the stage of framing  of  the  charge
           the Court has to consider the material with a view to  find  out
           if there is ground for presuming that the accused has  committed
           the  offence  or  that  there  is  not  sufficient  ground   for
           proceeding against him and not for the purpose  of  arriving  at
           the conclusion that it is not likely to lead to  a  conviction.”
                           (Emphasis supplied)

      96.   Similarly in State of Bihar v. Ramesh Singh, AIR 1977  SC  2018,
      while dealing with the issue, this Court held:
           “……If the evidence which the Prosecutor proposes  to  adduce  to
           prove the guilt of the accused even if fully accepted before  it
           is challenged in cross-examination or rebutted  by  the  defence
           evidence, if any, cannot show that  the  accused  committed  the
           offence, then there will be no sufficient ground for  proceeding
           with the trial…..”

      97.   In Palanisamy Gounder & Anr. v. State, represented by  Inspector
      of Police, (2005) 12 SCC 327, this Court deprecated  the  practice  of
      invoking the power under Section 319 Cr.P.C. just to conduct a fishing
      inquiry, as in that case, the trial court exercised that power just to
      find out the real truth, though there was no valid ground  to  proceed
      against the person summoned by the court.

      98.   Power under Section 319 Cr.P.C. is a discretionary and an extra-
      ordinary power. It is to be exercised  sparingly  and  only  in  those
      cases where the circumstances of the case so warrant. It is not to  be
      exercised because the Magistrate or  the  Sessions  Judge  is  of  the
      opinion that some other person may also be guilty of  committing  that
      offence. Only where strong and cogent evidence occurs against a person
      from the evidence led before the  court  that  such  power  should  be
      exercised and not in a casual and cavalier manner.

      99.   Thus, we hold that though only a  prima  facie  case  is  to  be
      established from the evidence led before  the  court  not  necessarily
      tested on the anvil of Cross-Examination, it  requires  much  stronger
      evidence than mere probability of his complicity. The test that has to
      be applied is one which is more than prima facie case as exercised  at
      the time of framing of charge, but short of satisfaction to an  extent
      that the evidence, if goes unrebutted, would lead  to  conviction.  In
      the absence of  such  satisfaction,  the  court  should  refrain  from
      exercising power under Section 319 Cr.P.C.  In Section 319 Cr.P.C. the
      purpose of providing if ‘it appears from the evidence that any  person
      not being the accused has committed any offence’  is  clear  from  the
      words “for  which  such  person  could  be  tried  together  with  the
      accused.”  The words used are not ‘for  which  such  person  could  be
      convicted’.  There is, therefore, no scope for the Court acting  under
      Section 319 Cr.P.C. to form  any  opinion  as  to  the  guilt  of  the

      Q.(v)  In  what  situations  can  the  power  under  this  section  be
      exercised: Not named in FIR; Named in the FIR but  not  charge-sheeted
      or has been discharged?

      100.  In Joginder Singh & Anr. v. State of Punjab & Anr., AIR 1979  SC
      339, a three-Judge Bench of  this  Court  held  that  as  regards  the
      contention  that  the  phrase  “any  person  not  being  the  accused”
      occurring in Section  319  Cr.P.C.  excludes  from  its  operation  an
      accused who has been released by the police under Section 169  Cr.P.C.
      and has been shown in Column 2 of the charge-sheet, the contention has
      merely to be rejected. The said expression clearly covers  any  person
      who is not being tried already by the Court and the  very  purpose  of
      enacting such a provision like Section 319 (1) Cr.P.C.  clearly  shows
      that  even  persons  who  have  been  dropped  by  the  police  during
      investigation but against whom evidence showing their  involvement  in
      the offence comes before the criminal court, are included in the  said

      101.  In Anju Chaudhary v. State of U.P. & Anr., (2013) 6 SCC  384,  a
      two-Judge Bench of this Court held that even in the cases where report
      under Section 173(2) Cr.P.C. is filed in the court  and  investigation
      records the name of a person in Column 2, or even does  not  name  the
      person as an accused at all, the  court  in  exercise  of  its  powers
      vested under Section 319 Cr.P.C. can summon the person as  an  accused
      and even at that stage of summoning, no hearing is contemplated  under
      the law.

      102.  In Suman v. State of Rajasthan & Anr., AIR 2010 SC 518,  a  two-
      Judge Bench of this Court  observed  that  there  is  nothing  in  the
      language of this sub-section from which it  can  be  inferred  that  a
      person who is named in the FIR or complaint, but against whom  charge-
      sheet is not filed by the police, cannot  be  proceeded  against  even
      though in the course of any inquiry into or trial of any offence,  the
      court finds that such person has committed an  offence  for  which  he
      could be tried together with the other accused. In Lal Suraj  (supra),
      a two-Judge Bench held  that  there  is  no  dispute  with  the  legal
      proposition that even if a person had not been charge-sheeted, he  may
      come within the purview  of  the  description  of  such  a  person  as
      contained in Section 319 Cr.P.C. A similar view had been taken in  Lok
      Ram  (Supra), wherein it was held that a person, though had  initially
      been named in the FIR as an accused, but not charge-sheeted, can  also
      be added to face the trial.

      103.  Even the Constitution Bench in Dharam Pal (CB) has held that the
      Sessions Court can also exercise its original jurisdiction and  summon
      a person as an accused in case his name appears in  Column  2  of  the
      chargesheet, once the case had been committed to it.  It means that  a
      person whose  name  does  not  appear  even  in  the  FIR  or  in  the
      chargesheet or whose name appears in the FIR and not in the main  part
      of the chargesheet but in Column 2 and has not  been  summoned  as  an
      accused in exercise of the powers under Section 193 Cr.P.C. can  still
      be summoned by the court, provided the court  is  satisfied  that  the
      conditions provided in the said statutory provisions stand  fulfilled.

      104.  However, there is a great difference with regard to a person who
      has been discharged. A person who has  been  discharged  stands  on  a
      different  footing  than  a  person  who  was   never   subjected   to
      investigation or if subjected  to,  but  not  charge-sheeted.  Such  a
      person has stood the stage  of  inquiry  before  the  court  and  upon
      judicial examination of the material collected  during  investigation;
      the court had come to the conclusion that there is not  even  a  prima
      facie case to proceed against such person.  Generally,  the  stage  of
      evidence in trial is merely  proving  the  material  collected  during
      investigation and therefore, there is not much change as  regards  the
      material existing against the person so discharged.  Therefore,  there
      must exist compelling circumstances to exercise such power. The  Court
      should keep in mind that the witness when giving evidence against  the
      person so discharged, is not doing so merely to  seek  revenge  or  is
      naming him at the behest of  someone  or  for  such  other  extraneous
      considerations. The court has  to  be  circumspect  in  treating  such
      evidence and try to separate the chaff from the grain. If  after  such
      careful examination of the evidence, the court is of the opinion  that
      there does exist evidence to proceed against the person so discharged,
      it may take steps but only in  accordance  with  Section  398  Cr.P.C.
      without resorting to the provision of Section 319 Cr.P.C. directly.

      105.  In Sohan Lal & Ors. v. State of Rajasthan, (1990) 4 SCC  580,  a
      two-Judge Bench of this Court held  that  once  an  accused  has  been
      discharged, the procedure for  enquiry  envisaged  under  Section  398
      Cr.P.C. cannot be  circumvented  by  prescribing  to  procedure  under
      Section 319 Cr.P.C.
      106.  In Municipal Corporation of Delhi v. Ram Kishan Rohtagi &  Ors.,
      AIR 1983 SC 67, this Court held that if the  prosecution  can  at  any
      stage produce evidence which satisfies the court that those  who  have
      not been arraigned as accused or against whom  proceedings  have  been
      quashed,  have  also  committed  the  offence,  the  Court  can   take
      cognizance against them under Section 319 Cr.P.C. and try  them  along
      with the other accused.

      107.  Power under Section 398 Cr.P.C. is in the nature  of  revisional
      power which can be exercised only by the High Court  or  the  Sessions
      Judge, as the case may be. According to Section  300  (5)  Cr.P.C.,  a
      person discharged under Section 258 Cr.P.C. shall not be  tried  again
      for the same offence except with the consent of the Court by which  he
      was discharged or of any other  Court  to  which  the  first-mentioned
      Court is subordinate. Further, Section 398 Cr.P.C. provides  that  the
      High Court or  the  Sessions  Judge  may  direct  the  Chief  Judicial
      Magistrate by himself or by any of the Magistrate subordinate  to  him
      to make an inquiry into the case against any person  who  has  already
      been discharged.

      108.  Both these provisions contemplate an  inquiry  to  be  conducted
      before any person, who has already been discharged, is asked to  again
      face trial if some evidence appears  against  him.  As  held  earlier,
      Section 319 Cr.P.C. can also be invoked at the stage of inquiry. We do
      not see any reason why  inquiry  as  contemplated  by  Section  300(5)
      Cr.P.C. and Section 398 Cr.P.C. cannot be an inquiry under Section 319
      Cr.P.C. Accordingly, a person discharged can also be  arraigned  again
      as an accused but only after an inquiry as  contemplated  by  Sections
      300(5) and 398 Cr.P.C. If during or after such inquiry, there  appears
      to be an evidence against such person, power under Section 319 Cr.P.C.
      can be exercised. We may clarify that the word ‘trial’  under  Section
      319 Cr.P.C. would be eclipsed by virtue of above  provisions  and  the
      same cannot be invoked so far as a person discharged is concerned, but
      no more.

      109.  Thus, it is evident that power under Section 319 Cr.P.C. can  be
      exercised against a person not subjected to investigation, or a person
      placed in the Column 2 of the Charge-Sheet and against whom cognizance
      had not been taken, or a person  who  has  been  discharged.  However,
      concerning a person who has been discharged,  no  proceedings  can  be
      commenced against him  directly  under  Section  319  Cr.P.C.  without
      taking recourse to provisions of Section 300(5) read with Section  398


      110. We accordingly sum up our conclusions as follows:

      Question Nos.1 & III

      Q.1 What is the stage at which power under Section 319  Cr.P.C. can be


      Q.III Whether the word "evidence" used in Section 319(1)  Cr.P.C.  has
      been used in a comprehensive sense and includes the evidence collected
      during investigation or the word "evidence" is limited to the evidence
      recorded during trial?

      A. In Dharam Pal's case, the Constitution Bench has already held  that
      after committal, cognizance of an  offence  can  be  taken  against  a
      person not  named  as  an  accused  but  against  whom  materials  are
      available from the papers filed by  the  police  after  completion  of
      investigation. Such cognizance can be taken under Section 193  Cr.P.C.
      and the Sessions Judge need not wait till 'evidence' under Section 319
      Cr.P.C. becomes available for summoning an additional accused.

      ?      Section 319 Cr.P.C., significantly, uses  two  expressions  that
      have to be taken note of i.e.  (1)  Inquiry  (2)  Trial.  As  a  trial
      commences after framing of charge, an inquiry can only  be  understood
      to be a pre-trial inquiry. Inquiries  under  Sections  200,  201,  202
      Cr.P.C.; and under Section 398 Cr.P.C.  are  species  of  the  inquiry
      contemplated by Section 319 Cr.P.C. Materials coming before the  Court
      in course of such enquiries can  be  used  for  corroboration  of  the
      evidence recorded in the court after  the  trial  commences,  for  the
      exercise of power under Section  319  Cr.P.C.,  and  also  to  add  an
      accused whose name has been shown in Column 2 of the chargesheet.

           In view of the above position the word 'evidence' in Section 319
      Cr.P.C. has to  be  broadly  understood  and  not  literally  i.e.  as
      evidence brought during a trial.

      Question No. II

      Q.II Whether the word "evidence" used in Section 319(1) Cr.P.C.  could
      only mean evidence  tested  by  cross-examination  or  the  court  can
      exercise the power under the said provision even on the basis  of  the
      statement made in the examination-in-chief of the witness concerned?

      ?A. Considering the fact  that  under  Section  319  Cr.P.C.  a  person
      against whom material is disclosed is only summoned to face the  trial
      and in such an event  under  Section  319(4)  Cr.P.C.  the  proceeding
      against such person is  to  commence  from  the  stage  of  taking  of
      cognizance, the Court need not  wait  for  the  evidence  against  the
      accused proposed to be summoned to be tested by cross-examination.

      Question No. IV

      Q.IV What is the nature of the satisfaction  required  to  invoke  the
      power under Section 319 Cr.P.C. to arraign  an  accused?  Whether  the
      power under Section 319 (1) Cr.P.C. can be exercised only if the court
      is satisfied that the accused  summoned  will  in  all  likelihood  be

      A. Though under Section 319(4)(b)  Cr.P.C.  the  accused  subsequently
      impleaded is to be treated as if he had been an accused when the Court
      initially took cognizance of the offence, the degree  of  satisfaction
      that will be required for summoning a person under Section 319 Cr.P.C.
      would be the same as for ?framing  a  charge.  The  difference  in  the
      degree of satisfaction  for  summoning  the  original  accused  and  a
      subsequent accused is on account of the fact that the trial  may  have
      already commenced against the original accused and it is in the course
      of such trial that materials are disclosed against the newly  summoned
      accused. Fresh summoning of an accused will result  in  delay  of  the
      trial - therefore the degree of satisfaction for summoning the accused
      (original and subsequent) has to be different.

      Question No.V

      Q.V Does the power under Section 319 Cr.P.C.  extend  to  persons  not
      named in the FIR or named in the FIR but not chargesheeted or who have
      been discharged?

      A.    A person not named in the FIR or a person though  named  in  the
      FIR but has not been chargesheeted or a person who has been discharged
      can be summoned under Section 319 Cr.P.C. provided from  the  evidence
      it appears that such person  can  be  tried  along  with  the  accused
      already facing trial. However, in so far as an accused  who  has  been
      discharged is concerned the  requirement  of  ?Sections  300  and   398
      Cr.P.C. has to be complied with before he can be summoned afresh.

           The matters be placed before the  appropriate  Bench  for  final
      disposal in accordance with law explained hereinabove.

                            (P. SATHASIVAM)

                                             (DR. B.S. CHAUHAN)

                                                (RANJANA PRAKASH DESAI)

                                             (RANJAN GOGOI)


      New Delhi,
                          January 10, 2014


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