November 22, 2018
In this recent case, the Three-Judge Bench of the Supreme Court delved into the law pertaining to Section 319 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The provision under Section 319 empowers the Court to proceed against person other than accused who appears from evidence available on record to be guilty of committing an offence.
Case name: Labhuji Amratji Thakor & Ors. v. The State Of Gujarat & Anr.
While delving into the statutory provision under Section 319 of CrPC noted that the provision states that 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 committed.
While relying on Constitutional Bench’s judgment in the case of Hardeep Singh vs. State of Punjab & Others, the Apex Court opined that the Court during the trial on the basis of any evidence is fully empowered to proceed against any person, whose name was not even included in the F.I.R. or the Charge Sheet.
That under Section 319 of CrPC, Court can proceed against any person, who is not an accused in a case before it. The Constitution Bench, however, has held that the person against whom the Court decides to proceed, “has to be a person whose complicity may be indicated and connected with the commission of the offence”.
Referring to Constitution Bench’s judgment in Hardeep Singhs’s case, the Supreme Court has given a caution that power under Section 319 of CrPC is a discretionary and extraordinary power, which should be exercised sparingly and only in those cases where the circumstances of the case so warrant.
The entire case can be accessed here .
 (2014) 3 SCC 92.