Ram Ratan Vs. State of
Rajasthan  INSC 846 (8 October 2010)
IN THE SUPREME COURT
OF INDIA CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 1965 OF 2010
(Arising out of S.L.P. (Criminal) No.4128 of 2010) Bangarayya ....Appellant
Versus State of Karnataka & Ors. ....Respondents
AFTAB ALAM, J.
counsel for the parties.
a report filed by the appellant on September 1, 2002, a case was registered
against 17 persons named as accused in the report. The police after
investigation, submitted charge sheet under sections 143, 147, 451, 323, 427,
504, 506 read with section 149 of the Penal Code against all the accused named
in the FIR, excepting accused nos. 2, 3 & 6. The learned magistrate proceeded
with the trial summoning only those accused against whom the charge sheet was
submitted. During the trial, prosecution witnesses 1 & 2 (examined on
August 24, 2007 and February 2, 2008 respectively) in their deposition narrated
the occurrence in detail and also 2 named accused nos.2, 3 & 6 (respondent
nos.2-4 herein), against whom the police had not submitted the charge sheet,
among the offenders. The prosecution then filed a petition under section 319 of
the Code of Criminal Procedure (hereinafter `the Code') for summoning those
three accused as well for facing trial. The magistrate by a brief order passed
on August 18, 2009, rejected the application. He took the view that the two
witnesses were related to the complainant and no independent witness had till
then been examined before him. He further observed that it was an old case in
which the accused had been appearing in court from 2003. Summoning of the three
more accused would further delay the matter. Some of the accused were
"teachers and well known persons" and they would suffer due to the
delay caused by summoning the additional accused.
the judgment and order passed by the magistrate, the appellant filed an
application under section 482 of the Code which was rejected by the High Court
by order dated December 15, 2009. The High Court declined to interfere in the
matter because the petition for summoning the three respondents as accused was
made after long delay.
are unable to see where was the delay. As noted above, the two prosecution
witnesses were examined on August 24, 2007 and February 2, 2008 respectively
and the petition under section 319 of the Code was filed 3 on March 6, 2008,
i.e. a month and four days after the second witness was examined. In those
facts it is quite unreasonable to hold that the application was made after long
delay and was, therefore, liable to be rejected.
reason assigned by the trial court is equally untenable. The two witnesses
being related to the complainant or the accused already before the court, being
"teachers and well known persons" can be no ground to reject the
petition under section 319 of the Code for summoning some other persons as well
for facing the trial.
are, therefore, constrained to interfere in the matter. The orders passed by
the High Court and the magistrate are set aside and the matter is remitted to
the magistrate to consider the petition under section 319 of the Code afresh
and pass an appropriate order on it, in accordance with law.
the result the appeal is allowed but with no order as to costs.