Can an accused added under article 319 CrPC request a discharge under article 227 CrPC? The Supreme Court has agreed to consider this issue raised in a request for special leave.
Appearing for a petitioner in a request for special leave, Senior Advocate S. Nagamuthu had argued that this question was answered in the negative. Jogendra Yadav Vs. Bihar State (2015) 9 SCC 244 and that said opinion is not correct in law.
“We are therefore of the opinion that it will be appropriate to examine the merits of the said proposal”the bench comprising Judges BR Gavai and PS Narasimha observed. Lead Counsel Ranjit Kumar has been appointed amicus curiae in the case.
In Jogendra (supra), it was held that an order to add an accused made after consideration of the evidence cannot be set aside by finding that there is insufficient cause to prosecute the accused without assessment of the evidence. It does not make sense that a person who is summoned as an accused and added as such to the proceedings on the basis of a stricter standard of proof should be allowed to be released from the proceedings on the basis of a lesser standard of evidence such as a prima facie connection to the offense necessary to convict the accusedobserved the court.
The Court had further held that a contrary view would render the exercise undertaken by a court under Section 319 of the Cr.PC, to summon an accused, on the basis of a higher standard of proof, entirely fruitless. and futile if the same court were to subsequently release the same defendant by exercising the power provided for in section 227 of the Cr.PC, on the basis of a simple prima facie opinion. “The exercise of the power provided for in article 319 of the Cr.PC, must be placed on a higher pedestal. Needless to say, the accused summoned under Section 319 of the Cr.PC, has the right to invoke a remedy under the law against an unlawful or abusive exercise of power under Section 319, but cannot have the effect of the order canceled by requesting a discharge under article 227 of the CP cr. If permitted, such a release action would be inconsistent with the purpose of CP cr. by enacting Section 319 which empowers the Court to summon a person to stand trial with the other defendants when it appears from the evidence that he has committed an offensee”, it was observed.
Case: Ram Janam Yadav vs. State Of UP | Special Authorization to Appeal (Crl.) No.3199/2021