Court to summon a person who is not named in the FIR under Section 319 of Cr.P.C. : Allahabad High Court

The evidence collected by the investigating officer during investigation are not required to be considered by the court below at the time of summoning the accused under Section 319 Cr.P.C. Said Justice Dinesh Pathak of Allahabad High Court in the matter of Smt Aarti v. State of UP and Another [CRIMINAL REVISION No. – 744 of 2021].

This order was given out in the case’s factual matrix is that, in relation to the dowry death of the first informant’s daughter, a first information report was filed in which the husband, father-in-law, mother-in-law, brother-in-law, and sister-in-law were implicated in the crime of cruelty and harassment with the victim for dowry demand. According to the first information report, the marriage of the first informant’s daughter with Sanjaydeep cost approximately Rs.50 lakhs, but the victim was later harassed for an additional Rs.20 lakhs in dowry. It is also claimed that, while one incident of harassment and cruelty for dowry demand occurred previously, it was settled amicably after the intervention of the family elders. The first informant’s daughter then went to her matrimonial home with her in-laws on October 18, 2018. He learned that his daughter had been admitted to Nayati Hospital in Mathura, where she died as a result of injuries.

Following a thorough investigation, the investigating officer filed a charge-sheet on 5.2.2019, in which the husband, father-in-law, and mother-in-law were named as defendants. Smt. Aarti, the current revisionist, was not named as an accused in the charge-sheet. Feeling aggrieved, informant filed an application (paper no. 41Kha) under Section 319 Cr.P.C. to summon the current revisionist and her husband Jaideep Saraswat, also known as Jethani and Jeth, to stand trial alongside three other o-accused against whom the charge-sheet was filed.After reviewing the record, the trial court granted the application (paper no. 41Kha) under Section 319 Cr.P.C. and summoned the present applicant to face the trial along with other co-accused under Sections 498A, 304B I.P.C., and 3/4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act.

Learned counsel also asserted that on the date of the incident, the present revisionist was not present at the scene, as evidenced by the CDR report pertaining to the location of Jaideep Saraswat and Smt. Aarti Saraswat’s mobile numbers, which was taken into account by the Investigating Officer in submitting the chargesheet. He also claims that the court below did not consider the statement of the loco pilot, who was piloting the train, recorded under Section 161 Cr.P.C., in which he stated that on the date of the incident, he was piloting the train from Gangapur City to Tughlakabad when all of a sudden one lady came on the middle of the truck and collided with the train.

In contrast, Sri Rupak Chaubey, learned counsel for the opposing party no. 2, contended that, with regard to cruelty and harassment for dowry demand, the opposing party no. 2 had previously filed a FIR, which was registered as case crime no. 1130 of 2019 under Sections 498A, 323, 328, 506 I.P.C., and Section 3/4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act. The opposition also claims that the loco pilot’s statement recorded under Section 161 Cr.P.C. has no bearing on summoning the accused under Section 319 Cr.P.C. for trial alongside other co-accused.

The aforementioned judgement under Section 319 Cr.P.C. can be exercised by the Court against a person who is not named in the First Information Report or who has no charge sheet filed by police against him, and the accused can be summoned solely on the basis of examination-in-chief of witnesses, without the need for cross-examination, etc. Concerning the Court’s degree of satisfaction for summoning the accused under Section 319 Cr.P.C., the Court stated that the test is the same as for framing charge. 

“In light of the foregoing, I believe the current revision has no merit. The impugned order, which is hereby affirmed, contains no illegality or perversity, and the instant revision is dismissed.” Quoted the court.

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