The Allahabad High Court observed that Section 311, Cr.P.C. should be invoked when it is essential for the just decision of the case.

The court observed thus while holding that the calling of the investigating officer as a witness at the stage of final arguments does not appear to be essential for a just decision of a case.

The bench of Justice Subhash Vidyarthi stated, “In Harendra Rai vs. State of Bihar 2023 SCC OnLine SC 1023, a three judge bench of Hon’ble Court was held that Section 311, CrPC should be invoked when it is essential for the just decision of the case.”

In the present case, an application under Section 482 Cr.P.C. was filed to challenge the validity of the order passed by the District and Sessions Judge where an application filed under Section 311 Cr.P.C. to summon the investigating officer as a witness was rejected.

As per the Counsel for the Applicant, Advocate Aman Kumar Srivastva, an application under Section 311 Cr.P.C. can be filed at any stage of the trial, even before the delivery of the final judgement.

The High Court noted that during the trial, the prosecution examined as many as 5 witnesses but the investigating officer was not examined and an application under Section 311 Cr.P.C. was filed when the trial had reached the stage of arguments.

The single bench noted that the trial court held that it is for the prosecution to decide which witnesses it desires to produce as it did not produce the investigating officer as its witness. It further mentioned the trial Court's observation that the application was filed at the stage of arguments to cause a delay in the disposal of the trial.

The Court further observed, “The investigating officer is an officer of the prosecution and the prosecution chose not to produce him as its witness. In case the accused persons felt that evidence of the investigating officer was essential, the accused could have summoned him as a defence witness but the accused did not choose to summon him as a defence witness. The application for summoning the investigating officer has been filed when the trial reached at the stage of final arguments.”

As per the Court, submission of the final report is not a disputed question of fact and there is no necessity to examine the investigating officer to prove this fact.

Consequently, it rejected the application filed under Section 482 CrPC.

Cause Title: Sanjeev Kumar & Ors. v. State of U.P. (Neutral Citation: 2024:AHC-LKO:20271)

Appearance: Aman Kumar Shrivastav

Click here to read/download Judgment