“The presumption of innocence is the general law of the land as every man is presumed to be innocent unless proven to be guilty. Alternatively, certain statutory presumptions in relation to certain class of offences have been raised against the accused whereby the presumption of guilt prevails till the accused discharges his burden upon an onus being cast upon him under the law to prove himself to be innocent. Section 319 CrPC springs out of the doctrine judex damnatur cum nocens absolvitur (Judge is condemned when guilty is acquitted) and this doctrine must be used as a beacon light while explaining the
ambit and the spirit underlying the enactment of Section 319 CrPC.
It is the duty of the court to do justice by punishing the real culprit. Where the investigating agency for any reason does not array one of the real culprits as an accused, the court is not powerless in calling the said accused to face trial. The question remains under what circumstances and at what stage should the court exercise its power as contemplated in Section 319 CrPC?”
Tune in as we discover how the Supreme Court answered this question with respect to Section 319 CrPC.
Cause Title: Sartaj Singh v. State of Haryana & Ors.