Sagar vs State Of U.P on 10 March, 2022


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Supreme Court of India

Sagar vs State Of U.P on 10 March, 2022

Author: Ajay Rastogi

Bench: Ajay Rastogi, Abhay S. Oka

                                                                  NON­REPORTABLE


                                   IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                                 CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
                             CRIMINAL APPEAL NO(S). 397         OF 2022
                               (Arising out of SLP(Crl) Nos.7373 of 2021)



          SAGAR                                                       ….APPELLANT(S)

                                                VERSUS


          STATE OF U.P. AND ANOTHER                               ….RESPONDENT(S)



                                              JUDGMENT

Rastogi, J.

Leave granted.

2. The instant appeal has been filed by the appellant assailing

the correctness of the order dated 28 th July, 2021 passed by the

High Court of Judicature at Allahabad setting aside order dated 30 th

January,
Signature Not Verified 2018 passed by the Additional Sessions Judge,
Digitally signed by
Anita Malhotra
Date: 2022.03.10

Muzaffarnagar, whereby the trial Court had rejected the application
15:44:06 IST
Reason:

filed by the complainant under Section 319 of the Code of Criminal
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Procedure, 1973 (hereinafter referred to as “the Code”) for

summoning the appellant as accused and to face trial in Case

Crime No.164 of 2014 under Section 302 IPC registered at PS

Fugana, District Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh.

3. The brief facts of the case culled out from the record are that

on a written complaint made by one Ravinder s/o Sadhuram that

on 10th September, 2014, both his sons Sachin and Nitin were

called by Jagpal s/o Shital Singh and his nephew Sagar s/o Charan

Singh (appellant) from his house for tying the sugarcane crop and

his son Nitin was seen in the company of Jagpal and Sagar

(appellant) by the complainant while he was returning back and

later at about 9.00 a.m. when the complainant went to the field of

Jagpal and called Nitin, Jagpal asked Sagar to disconnect the

electric wire and at some distance he saw Nitin lying near the Mend

in a naked position, and was burnt by electric wire around the

neck. On calling Jagpal and Sagar, they ran away from the spot.

On the said written complaint Case Crime No.164 of 2014 came to

be registered under Section 302 IPC.

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4. After investigation, chargesheet came to be filed against Jagpal

Singh s/o Shital Singh. At the same time, it was recorded in the

chargesheet that from the statements of the complainant and

witnesses and inspection of the place of incident, naming of the

accused Sagar who was a juvenile and minor at the relevant point

of time, was found to be wrong. No case was made out against him

and challan was filed against Jagpal under Section 302 IPC.

5. After the statements of complainant (PW.1) and Sadhu Ram

(PW.2), father of the complainant were recorded, the complainant

during trial filed application under Section 319 of the Code on 17 th

March, 2016, stating, inter alia, that during the course of

investigation when the statement of complainant and his father

were recorded under Section 161 of the Code, the investigating

officer had arbitrarily removed the name of the present appellant

from the chargesheet, although he was also involved in committing

the said crime and this fact has been recorded by PW.1 and PW.2 in

their statements on oath while recording their deposition during the

course of the prosecution and accordingly asked to summon the

present appellant also for trial for the crime committed by him.

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6. The learned trial Judge after taking into consideration the

material on record and so also the statements of PW.1 and PW.2

recorded a finding that neither the complainant (PW.1) nor his

father (PW.2) were eye­witness and it has only been stated about

removal of the electric wire by the appellant and this fact was

noticed by the investigating officer even when the chargesheet came

to be filed and the investigating officer has not found the present

appellant to have participated in the commission of crime and at

least at the stage when Section 319 of the Code is to be invoked,

there must be a strong and cogent evidence occurred against a

person from the evidence led before the Court and taking into

consideration the material available on record, was not satisfy to

summon the present appellant under Section 319 of the Code and

consequently rejected the application by an order dated 30 th

January, 2018. The finding recorded by the learned trial Judge in

passing the order dated 30th January, 2018 is reproduced

hereunder:

“In the present session trial, the Ld. Counsel for the
Complainant has argued that in the captioned Session Trial, in the
FIR, name of Sagar S/o Charan Singh was written and in the
statements of the Complainant, name of Sagar has come and

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hence he should be summoned for Trial. In this regard, it is clear
from the statement of PW­1 that the Complainant is not the eye
witness of the incident and he has got the name of accused Jagpal
and Sagar written in FIR on the basis of Jagapal and Sagar having
gone with his son. In the same way, the PW­2, in the cross­
examination has only stated about removal of the electricity wire
by Sagar. This is important to state that the Investigating Officer of
the case has found the naming of Sagar as incorrect and hence he
did not include his name in the charge­sheet. In addition to that, it
has been accepted in the Cross­examination of Sadhuram that “the
investigation of the case has been done by many Inspectors. First
it was done by Fugana Police thereafter my son Ravinder got the
Investigation transferred to crime branch”. Under Section 319,
summoning cannot be done on the ground that some evidence has
come against the person. The evidence should be of such nature
which would satisfy the court that the said person is involved in
the crime.

In the opinion of the Court, from the evidence available on
record, there is no sufficient ground for summoning Sagar as
accused u/s 319 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Hence the
application is liable to be dismissed.”

7. The respondent/complainant, father of the deceased, filed

Criminal Revision Petition before the High Court of Judicature at

Allahabad. The learned Single Judge, without even appreciating the

evidence of PW.1 and PW.2, which was recorded during the course

of trial, in a casual and cavalier manner, set aside the well­reasoned

order passed by the learned trial Judge under its order impugned

dated 28th July, 2021. It will be apposite to quote the manner in

which the learned Single Judge has set aside a cogent reasoning

recorded by the learned trial Judge under its order dated 28 th July,

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2021. The relevant portion of the order of the learned Single Judge

dated 28th July, 2021 is reproduced hereunder:

“I have perused arguments of Ld. Counsel for Revisionist, the
case file and order under question.

After going by the arguments of both sides the Ld. Counsels
and the perusal of the case file, summarily the order dated
30.04.2018 passed by Additional Session Judge, Court No. 1,
Muzaffarnagar seems erroneous.

Therefore, this Criminal Revision is hereby accepted and
Session Revision No. 508 of 2015, State Versus Jagpal, passed by
Additional Session Judge, Court No. 1 Muzaffarnagar vide order
dated 30.01.2018 is hereby quashed it is hereby directed that
without being influenced by the merits of any observation made in
this order, after allowing sufficient opportunity to the parties, and
after complete perusal of the case file appropriate order be passed
in the matter within two months.

The Office is hereby directed to ensure of sending a copy of
this order and the record of the case to the Court concerned
without any delay.”

8. The scope and ambit of Section 319 of the Code has been well­

settled by the Constitution Bench of this Court in Hardeep Singh

v. State of Punjab and others 1 and paras 105 and 106 which are

relevant for the purpose are reproduced hereunder:

“105. Power under Section 319 CrPC is a discretionary and an
extra­ordinary 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
1 (2014) 3 SCC 92

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such power should be exercised and not in a casual and cavalier
manner.

106. 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 cross­examination, 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 CrPC. In Section
319
CrPC 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 CrPC to form any opinion as to the
guilt of the accused.”

9. The Constitution Bench has given a caution that power under

Section 319 of the Code is a discretionary and extraordinary power

which should be exercised sparingly and only in those cases where

the circumstances of the case so warrant and the crucial test as

noticed above 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. The learned Single Judge of the High

Court has even failed to consider the basic principles laid down by

this Court while invoking Section 319 of the Code, which has been

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considered by the learned trial Judge under its order dated 30 th

January, 2018.

10. Consequently, in our opinion, the appeal deserves to succeed

and the same is accordingly allowed. The order passed by the High

Court dated 28th July, 2021 is hereby quashed and set aside.

11. Pending application(s), if any, shall stand disposed of.

……………………………….J.

(AJAY RASTOGI)

………………………………J.

(ABHAY S. OKA)

NEW DELHI
MARCH 10, 2022.

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