SECTION 311 OF Cr.P.C- TO RECALL A WITNESS AT ANY STAGE AFTER TRIAL5 min read

BY : SUBHAM

INTRODUCTION:-

1) This section confers a power in absolute terms. Where the court exercise the power under the second part of the section, the inquiry cannot be whether the accused has brought anything suddenly or unexpectedly.
2) But whether the court is right in thinking that the new evidence is needed by it for a just decision of the case.
3) If the court has acted without the requirement of just decision, the action is open to criticism but if the court is supportable in decision the action it cannot be said as exceeding the jurisdiction.

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ESSENTIAL INGREDIENTS OF THIS SECTION:-

The scope of this section is very wide. It enables any court at any stage of any inquiry, trial or other proceeding under the code to do one of three things:-
1) TO SUMMON ANY PERSON AS A WITNESS:-
a) The first essential talks about if the evidence of a witness appears to be essential to just decision of the case and it is the duty of the court to summon or recall examining any such person.
b) Even after both parties have closed their cases, it is open to the magistrate to summon any person as a witness if his evidence appears to him to be essential to the just decision of the case.
2) TO EXAMINE ANY PERSON WHO IS IN ATTENDANCE THOUGH NOT
SUMMONED:-

a) The second essential talks about which gives ample powers to the trial court that it can call any person as a witness, whether in the attendance of the court or not. The court can examine and re-examine any witness as it deems fit.
3) TO RECALL AND RE-EXAMINE ANY PERSON ALREADY EXAMINED:-
a) The third essential talks about that the evidence of any person appears to be essential to the just decision of the case, it is the obligatory on the court to summon and examine or recall and reexamine him.

IMPORTANT JUDGEMENTS RELATED TO THIS SECTION:-


In Rajaram Prasad Vs state of Bihar AIR (2013) 14 SCC 461:-
In this case following principles were culled:-
a) Where the court is right in thinking that the new evidence is needed by it? Whether the evidence sought to be led in under section 311 is noted by the court for a just decision of a case?
b) The exercise of the widest discretionary power under section 311 Cr.P.C should ensure that the judgement should not be rendered on inconclusive, speculative presentation of facts, as thereby the ends of justice would be defeated.

c) If evidence of any witness appears to the court to be essential to the just decision of the case, it is the power of the court to summon and examine or recall and reexamine any such person.
d) The exercise of power under section 311 Cr.P.C should be resorted to only with the object of finding out of the truth or obtaining proper proof for such facts, which will lead to a just and correct decision of the case.
e) The court arrives at the conclusion that additional evidence is necessary, not because it would be impossible to pronounce the Judgement without it, but because there would be a failure of justice without such evidence being considered.
f) The object of section 311 Cr.P.C simultaneously imposes a duty on the court to determine the truth and to render a just decision.
g) The power under section 311 Cr.P.C, must therefore be invoked by the court only in order to meet the needs of justice for strong and valid reasons and the same must exercised with care, caution and circumspection. The court should bear in mind that fair trial entails the interest of the accused, the victim and the society and therefore, the grant of fair and proper opportunities to the persons concerned, must be ensured being a constitutional goal, as well as a human right.
In Manju Devi Vs state of Rajasthan AIR ( 2019) :-
a) The Supreme Court held that the ages of the case, by itself cannot be decisive of the matter
when the prayer is made for the examination of the material witness.
b) The long duration of the case cannot displace the basic requirement of ensuring the just
decision.
In Vijay Kumar vs State of Rajasthan AIR ( 2002):-
The court held that keeping the application filed under section 311 undecided may itself tantamount to cause prejudice to accused.
In State (NCT of Delhi) vs Shiv Kumar Yadav AIR ( 2016):-
It was held that mere change of counsel cannot be a ground to recall the witness.

CONCLUSION:-

From this article we concluded that the three things which are essential for this section:-
a) To summon any person as witness
b) To examine any person who is in attendance though not summoned.
c) To recall and reexamine any person already examined.

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