Summoning New Accused: Judgment Pronouncement

Summoning New Accused After the Judgment is Delivered

In a unanimous Judgment, the 5-Judge Constitution Bench decided that new accused persons can be summoned in a trial until the punishment of the accused is decided. Justice A.S. Bopanna pronounced the Judgment on behalf of the Bench.

Can Trial Courts summon new accused after the Judgment is pronounced?

The Bench ruled that a trial will be considered to be concluded after the pronouncement of the Judgment only if the original accused are acquitted of all the charges raised against them. No new persons can be summoned in the trial after the acquittal is pronounced. 

If the accused persons are pronounced guilty, the trial will continue until their punishment is decided. The Trial Court may summon additional accused, based on the evidence examined so far, until this stage. 

Can Additional Accused be Summoned in a Separate Trial Based on the Same Facts?

In the event the trial is split against certain absconding accused, a new accused may be summoned with respect to the second trial provided the evidence in the second trial indicates the new accused’s involvement in the case. However, new accused persons cannot be summoned based on the evidence examined in the already concluded first trial.