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the provisions of Section 225 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1989 as applicable to the State of Jammu and Kashmir which reads as under :- “225. Effect of errors :- No error in stating either the offence or the particulars required to be stated in the charge, and no omission to state the offence or those particulars, shall be regarded at any stage of the case as material, unless the accused was in fact misled by such error or omission, and it has occasioned failure of justice.”

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 Reportable

 IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

 CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

 CRIMINAL APPEAL NOS.1660-1662 OF 2011

 (Arising out of S.L.P. (Criminal) Nos. 751-753 of 2011)

Santosh Kumari ... Appellant

 Versus

State of J & K & Others ... Respondents

 J U D G M E N T

J.M. PANCHAL, J.

1. The appellant is the widow of late Mr. Surinder Singh, 

who was murdered at about 9:00PM on June 28, 2007. 

Criminal Appeal No. 1660/2011 is directed against judgment 

dated October 20, 2010 rendered by the learned Single Judge 

of High Court of Jammu and Kashmir at Jammu in Criminal 

Revision No.29 of 2008 by which the order dated March 24, 

2008 passed by the learned Additional Sessions Judge, 

Kathua framing charges under Sections 302, 109, 147, 148 

read with Section 149 of Ranbir Penal Code against 

respondent Nos. 3 to 7 is set aside and the matter is 

remanded to the learned Judge, Samba to consider the case in 

terms of Sections 267, 268 and 269 of the Code of Criminal 

Procedure, 1989 (1933 A.D.) (as applicable in the State of 

Jammu and Kashmir). Criminal Appeal No. 1661 of 2011 is 

directed against order dated October 20, 2010 passed by the 

learned Single Judge of High Court of Jammu and Kashmir at 

Jammu in 561-A Cr.P.C. No.54 of 2009 by which prayer made 

by the respondent of the present appeal to quash order dated 

March 24, 2008 passed by the learned Additional Sessions 

Judge, Kathua in a Criminal Challan being File No. 33 of 2007 

titled as State Vs. Subhash Singh and Others framing charge 

against him for commission of offences under Sections 302, 

109, 147, 148 read with 149 of Ranbir Penal Code, is allowed. 

Criminal Appeal No. 1662 of 2011 is directed against 

judgment dated October 20, 2010 passed by the learned Single 

Judge of High Court of Jammu and Kashmir at Jammu in Bail 

 2

Application No.26 of 2010 by which the respondent Nos. 3 to 7 

have been released on interim bail pending trial against the 

respondents for above mentioned offences. As the three 

appeals arise out of common judgment and order dated 

October 20, 2010 rendered by the learned Single Judge of 

High Court of Jammu and Kashmir in Criminal Revision No.29 

of 2008, petition filed under Section 561-A Cr.P.C. No.54 of 

2009 and Bail Application No.26 of 2010, this Court proposes 

to dispose of them by this common judgment. 

2. The case of the prosecution is that respondent Nos. 3 to 

8 in criminal appeal No. 1660 of 2011 formed an lawful 

assembly on 29-06-2007, common object of which was to 

murder Surinder Singh and in prosecution of the common 

object of the said assembly, respondents Nos. 3 to 8 mounted 

a murderous assault on Surinder Singh, husband of the 

appellant, at village Sanoora, District Samba (J & K). The 

injured was immediately shifted to hospital for treatment. On 

the basis of the information given by the appellant, FIR 

No.113/2007 under Section 307 read with 109 of Ranbir Penal 

 3

Code was registered at police station Hiranagar, in connection 

with the aforesaid incident on June 29, 2007. On July 2, 

2007 injured Surinder Singh succumbed to his injuries in 

Military Hospital, Satwari, Jammu and, therefore, offence 

punishable under Section 302 of Ranbir Penal Code was 

added. On the basis of FIR lodged by the appellant, 

investigation was undertaken. During the course of 

investigation statement of the appellant and other witnesses 

were recorded under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal 

Procedure 1989. The dead body of the deceased was sent for 

postmortem examination. After completion of the 

investigation, the investigating agency had filed charge sheet 

in the Court of learned Magistrate for offences punishable 

under Sections 302, 109, 147, 148, 149 of the Ranbir Penal 

Code. As the offence punishable under Section 302 is triable 

exclusively by a Court of Sessions, the case was committed to 

Sessions Court for trial. The learned Additional Sessions 

Judge, after hearing the prosecution and the accused on the 

question of framing charge, framed necessary charge on March 

24, 2008 against each accused for the offences punishable 

 4

under Sections 302, 109, 147, 148, 149 of Ranbir Penal Code. 

3. Feeling aggrieved by the framing of above mentioned 

charges by the trial court on March 24, 2008, the respondent 

Nos. 3 to 7 in Criminal Appeal No.1660 of 2011 preferred 

Criminal Revision No. 29 of 2008 before the High Court. The 

High Court by order dated June 6, 2008 issued notice and 

summoned the record of the case from the trial court. On 

March 20, 2009, the respondent No. 8, who is original accused 

No.6, preferred a petition No. 54 of 2009 under Section 561-A 

of the Code of Criminal Procedure to quash order dated March 

24, 2008 passed by the trial court framing charges against 

him for commission of offences punishable under Sections 

302, 109, 147, 148 read with 149 of the Ranbir Penal Code. 

During the pendency of above numbered petitions, the High 

Court by order dated August 13, 2009 sent back the record to 

the trial court and granted liberty to the respondent Nos. 3 to 

8 to seek bail from the trial court. When the above numbered 

Revision and the petition filed under Section 561-A were 

pending disposal before the High Court, the prosecution 

 5

examined three eye witnesses to the occurrence viz. (1) 

Santosh Kumari, i.e., the appellant herein, (2) Surishta Devi 

and (3) Shakti Devi. It may be stated that the appellant and 

the Shakti Devi have fully supported the case of the 

prosecution. 

 Pursuant to the liberty granted by the High Court vide 

order dated August 13, 2009, the respondent Nos. 3 to 8 

applied for bail before the trial court. The trial court rejected 

Bail Application filed by the accused vide order dated February 

19, 2010. The record of the case indicates that except accused 

Iqram, who is respondent No.8 in Criminal Appeal No. 1660 of 

2011, all the other accused filed Bail Application No. 26 of 

2010 before the High Court claiming bail. The High Court by 

order dated August 10, 2010 directed the learned counsel for 

the accused to place on record the deposition of the witnesses 

recorded by the trial court. On August 13, 2010, Raman 

Singh, brother of accused Subash Singh, who is respondent 

no.3 in the main appeal, physically assaulted and threatened 

the son of the appellant as well as one Kuljit Singh who is one 

 6

of the witnesses in the case, allegedly in the court premises 

itself, to refrain them from deposing against the accused in 

the case. They were also warned that if they gave depositions 

against the accused they would be killed. Because of the 

assault mounted by brother of the accused, son of the 

appellant has lodged FIR No.183/2010 under Sections 341, 

195-A, 504, 506 of Ranbir Penal Code at Police Station Samba. 

With reference to above mentioned FIR statement of the son of 

the appellant was recorded under Section 164 Cr.P.C. on 

August 20, 2010. 

 On September 8, 2010 and October 7, 2010 the 

prosecution examined two more eye witnesses, i.e., (1) Raksha 

Devi and (2) Kamlesh Devi who had supported the prosecution 

case. 

4. The High Court by order dated October 20, 2010 has set 

aside the order dated March 24, 2008 passed by the trial court 

framing charge against the respondent Nos. 3 to 8 and has 

remanded the case to the trial court to consider it in terms of 

Sections 267, 268 and 269 of the Code of Criminal Procedure 

 7

1989. By the said order the High Court has directed release of 

all the accused persons except accused Subhash, who is 

respondent No.3 in the main appeal, pending consideration of 

the prosecution case for framing charge by the trial court. The 

above mentioned order dated October 20, 2010 of the High 

Court has given rise to the three instant appeals. 

5. This Court has heard the learned counsel for the parties 

and have considered the documents forming part of the 

appeals. 

6. The provisions relating to framing of charge against the 

accused before the trial commences, are contained in the Code 

of Criminal Procedure 1989 (1933 A.D.) which is applicable to 

the State of Jammu and Kashmir. The statute requires that 

every charge framed under the said code should state the 

offence with which the accused is charged and if the law which 

creates the offence gives it any specific name, the offence 

should also be described in the charge by that name only. The 

statute further requires that the law and section of the law 

against which the offence is said to have been committed has 

 8

to be mentioned in the charge. It is a fundamental principle of 

criminal law that the accused should be informed with 

certainty and accuracy the exact nature of the charge brought 

against him. The object of the statement of particulars to be 

mentioned in the charge is to enable the accused person to 

know the substantive charge, he will have to meet and to be 

ready for it before the evidence is given. The extent of the 

particulars necessary to be given in the charge depends upon 

the facts and the circumstances of each case. It is well settled 

law that in drawing up a charge, all verbiage should be 

avoided. However, a charge should be precise in its scope and 

particular in its details. The charge has to contain such 

particulars as to the time and place of the alleged offence and 

the person against whom it was committed as are reasonably 

sufficient to give the accused notice of the matter with which 

he is charged. One of the requirements of law is that when the 

nature of the case is such that the particulars mentioned in 

the charge do not give the accused sufficient notice of the 

matter with which he is charged, the charge should contain 

such particulars of the manner in which alleged offence was 

 9

committed as would be sufficient for that purpose. If `A' is 

accused of the murder of `B' at a given time and place, the 

charge need not state the manner in which `A' murdered `B'. 

7. Like all procedural laws, the Code of Criminal Procedure 

is devised to subserve the ends of justice and not to frustrate 

them by mere technicalities. It regards some of its provisions 

as vital but others not, and a breach of the latter is a curable 

irregularity unless the accused is prejudiced thereby. It places 

errors in the charge, or even a total absence of a charge in the 

curable class. That is why we have provisions like Sections 

215 and 464 in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. 

 The object of the charge is to give the accused notice of 

the matter he is charged with and does not touch jurisdiction. 

If, therefore, the necessary information is conveyed to him in 

other ways and there is no prejudice, the framing of the charge 

is not invalidated. The essential part of this part of law is not 

any technical formula of words but the reality, whether the 

matter was explained to the accused and whether he 

understood what he was being tried for. Sections 34, 114 and 

 10

149 of the IPC provide for criminal liability viewed from 

different angles as regards actual participants, accessories and 

men actuated by a common object or a common intention; and 

as explained by five Judge Constitution Bench of this Court in 

Willie Slavey Vs. The State of M.P. 1955 (2) SCR 1140 at p. 

1189, the charge is a rolled-up one involving the direct 

liability and the constructive liability without specifying who 

are directly liable and who are sought to be made 

constructively liable.

 In the light of above principles, the question whether 

proper charge was framed against the respondent Nos. 3 to 8, 

will have to be viewed.

8. In the present case, what was argued on behalf of the 

respondent Nos. 3 to 8 before the High Court was that the 

charge was invalid because there was no mention in the order 

of the trial court indicating the specific offence found to have 

been prima facie committed by one or the other accused 

individually or jointly nor there was any indication regarding 

the specific names of the offences sufficient for description in 

 11

the order of framing charge, but only sections of the law 

against which the offences were found to have been committed 

were mentioned.

 The High Court has held that mere mention of the 

sections of the law in the order framing the charge would not, 

serve the purpose of law, as it was likely to prejudice the 

accused in his trial, and that, the accused would be disabled 

to know the exact Charge he had to face. In view of the above 

mentioned conclusion, the High Court has set aside the order 

dated March 24, 2008 framing charge against the accused and 

has remanded the matter to the trial court to consider the case 

in terms of Sections 267, 268 and 269 of the Code of Criminal 

Procedure 1989 which are pari materia to Sections 226, 227 

and 228 of the Code of Criminal Procedure 1973.

9. In order to ascertain whether the Charge framed against 

respondent was proper or not, this Court proposes to 

reproduce order dated March 24, 2008 framing charge against 

Rajesh Singh son of Jagdish Singh, resident of Sanoora, tehsil 

Hiranagar, which reads as under :-

 12

"IN THE COURT OF ADDL. SESSIONS JUDGE 

 KATHUA

I, Vinod Chatterji Koul hereby charge you,

Rajesh Singh S/o Jagdish Singh R/o Sanoora, 

tehsil Hiranagar as under :

1. That on 28.6.07 at Sanoora at about 9.30 

 pm with criminal intention along with 

 other accused persons, having common 

 criminal object armed with lathies (sticks) 

 committed rioting and in that attacked 

 deceased Surinder Singh with an 

 intention to murder him attacked and 

 injured him seriously, who thereafter on 

 2nd July 2007 during treatment 

 succumbed to his injuries at Medical 

 College Jammu, and you thereby 

 committed offence punishable u/s 

 302/109/147/148/149 of the Ranbir 

 Penal Code and within the cognizance of 

 this Court. 

2. And I hereby direct you be tried by this 

 Court on the said charge. 

Dated 24.3.08 Sd."

"Statement of accused dated 24th March 2008

Rajesh Singh S/o Jagdish Singh R/o Sanoora, 

tehsil Hiranagar Caste rajput, employee by 

profession aged... 

Question: Whether you have understood the 

contents of the charge which has been read 

over and explained to you?

Answer: Yes

 13

 Question: Whether you have committed the 

 offence?

 Answer: No.

 Question: Whether you want to say anything 

 more?

 Answer: I am innocent and want trial of the 

 case.

 Sd."

 It may be mentioned that similar charge has been framed 

against each accused by order dated March 24, 2008.

 A fair and reasonable reading of the above quoted order 

dated March 24, 2008 makes it abundantly clear that accused 

Rajesh Singh on June 28, 2007 at Sanoora about about 9.30 

pm with criminal intention along with other accused, having 

common object armed with lathies (sticks) committed rioting. 

Thus, the charge contains particulars as to the time, place and 

date of the offence of rioting. The law which creates the 

offence gives it specific name, i.e., "rioting" and, therefore, the 

offence is described in the charge by that name, namely, 

"rioting". The charge further proceeds to state that while 

committing rioting accused Rajesh Singh and other assaulted 

 14

deceased Surinder Singh with an intention to murder him and 

injured him seriously. Thus the name of person with reference 

to whom common criminal object was formed by the members 

of the unlawful assembly was stated. It was also stated in the 

Charge that during the treatment injured Surinder Singh had 

succumbed to his injuries on July 2, 2007 at Medical College, 

Jammu. Thus the date on which the deceased succumbed to 

this injuries and the place where the deceased succumbed to 

his injuries were mentioned with precision. Finally in the 

Charge, it was mentioned that accused Rajesh Singh had 

committed offences punishable under Sections 302, 109, 147, 

148, 149 of the Ranbir Penal code. After framing Charge 

immediately the plea of accused Rajesh was recorded. The 

first question which asked to him was whether he had 

understood the contents of the Charge which was read and 

explained to him. In answer to the said question accused 

Rajesh Singh had answered in affirmative. The record shows 

that thereafter two questions were put to accused Rajesh 

Singh in answer to which he had claimed that he was innocent 

and had wished to be tried. 

 15

10. This is not a case of mere mention of the sections of the 

law in the charge or the order of framing charge. Therefore, 

the High Court was not justified in observing that mere 

mention of the sections of the law in the charge was likely to 

prejudice the accused in his trial and that he would be 

disabled to know the exact charge he had to face, nor the High 

court was justified in observing that the trial court was not 

alive to the provisions of Chapter XIX of the Code of Criminal 

Procedure. It is necessary to reproduce part of the order 

passed by the trial court which is relied upon by the High 

Court for the purpose of coming to the conclusion that mere 

mention of the sections of the law in the charge or the order 

framing charge, would not serve the purpose of the law. The 

said order reads as under :-

 "Upon consideration of the arguments of 

 the learned Public Prosecutor, the 

 learned counsel for the accused and the 

 written arguments besides the judgments 

 cited and also the statements of the 

 witnesses recorded by the police and 

 other connected documents on the file, I 

 am of the considered opinion that there 

 are reasonable grounds to presume that 

 accused Subash Singh S/o Krishen 

 16

 Singh, Rajesh Singh S/o Jagdish Singh, 

 Vijay Singh S/o Krishen Singh, Ranjit 

 Singh S/o Baldev Singh, Rakesh Singh 

 S/o Jagdish Singh and Ikram Singh S/o 

 Neter Singh caste Rajput residents of 

 Sonoora Tehsil Hiranagar have prima 

 facie committed offences punishable 

 under Sections 302/109/147/148 and 

 149 RPC. Offence punishable under 

 Section 302 RPC is exclusively triable by 

 the court of sessions. 

 Charges under Sections 

 302/109/147/148 and 149 RPC is 

 framed against accused Subash Singh, 

 Rajesh Singh, Vijay Singh, Ranjit Singh, 

 Rakesh Singh and Ikram Singh. The 

 contents of the charges framed have been 

 read over and explained to the accused 

 persons who have pleaded not guilty to 

 the said chages and have claimed to be 

 tried....."

11.A glance at the order quoted above would reveal that at 

 the stage of framing charge the learned counsel for the 

 accused had pleaded for discharge of the accused under 

 the relevant provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure 

 1989. Not only the learned counsel for the accused had 

 advanced oral arguments, but he had also submitted 

 written arguments and cited judgments as well as 

 statements of the witnesses recorded by the police and 

 17

 relied upon other connected documents on the file to 

 emphasize that the accused should be discharged. The 

 order of the trial court which is quoted by the High 

 Court in the impugned judgment is not the order 

 framing charge at all. It is a short order indicating that 

 no case was made out by the learned counsel for the 

 accused for discharging the accused at the stage of 

 framing charge and that the accused should be tried for 

 the offences which were mentioned in the order of 

 framing charge separately against each accused. 

12.On the facts and in the circumstances of the case, this 

 Court is of the opinion that a patent error of law 

 apparent on the fact of the record was committed by the 

 High Court in coming to the conclusion that in the order 

 of framing charge there was mere mention of the 

 sections of the law which was likely to prejudice the 

 accused in his trial, as the accused would be disabled to 

 know the exact charge he had to face. Having noticed 

 the charge which was separately framed against each 

 18

 accused, the inevitable conclusion to be reached by this 

 Court is that the High Court erred in law in holding that 

 it was obligatory for the trial court to have indicated in 

 its order and the charge sheet the description of the 

 offences for which one or the other accused had to be 

 tried because all necessary particulars which should be 

 stated as required by law were already stated by the 

 learned Judge of trial court while framing charge. 

 Further the fact that trial against the accused has / had 

made considerable progress in as much as material evidence 

of the eye witnesses to the occurrences was recorded by the 

trial court could not have been ignored while deciding the 

question whether proper charge against each accused was 

framed or not. The nature of charge to be faced was clearly 

understood by each accused which is evident from the plea 

recorded by the trial court after framing necessary charge that 

the nature of charge was very well understood by each 

accused. The fact is also evident from the averments made in 

the Revision Petition which was filed by the accused 

 19

challenging order framing charge. The fact that charge was 

clearly understood by each accused is also evident from the 

nature of cross-examination of the eye witnesses made on 

their behalf by their learned counsel. In view of the fact that 

all the eye witnesses have been examined and cross-examined 

on behalf of the accused, the High Court should have resorted 

to the provisions of Section 225 of the Code of Criminal 

Procedure, 1989 as applicable to the State of Jammu and 

Kashmir which reads as under :-

 "225. Effect of errors :- No error in stating 

 either the offence or the particulars required to 

 be stated in the charge, and no omission to 

 state the offence or those particulars, shall be 

 regarded at any stage of the case as material, 

 unless the accused was in fact misled by such 

 error or omission, and it has occasioned failure 

 of justice."

 The cross-examination of the eye witnesses on behalf of 

the accused would indicate that none of the accused was in 

fact misled by so-called error pointed out by the High Court 

nor it could be successfully pointed out by any of them that 

so-called error has occasioned failure of justice to him. The 

remand of the case to trial court for considering the case 

 20

afresh on the point of charge was not warranted at all, as 

there is nothing to suggest or indicate even remotely that the 

accused had or would have been misled by any error or 

omission in the Charge. Therefore, the order dated October 

20, 2010 rendered in Criminal Revision No.29 of 2008 

deserves to be set aside. For the similar reasons the order 

dated October 20, 2010 passed by the High Court in petition 

filed under Section 561-A Cr.P.C. No.54 of 2009 allowing the 

prayer made by the respondent No. 8 to quash the order dated 

March 24, 2008 will have to be set aside. 

13. It may be mentioned that the order admitting the 

accused except accused Subhash Singh to interim bail of 

Rs.25,000/- each to the satisfaction of the trial court pending 

consideration of the prosecution case afresh on question of 

charge, was not warranted nor justified at all. Before granting 

interim bail to the accused the High Court could not have 

afforded to ignore the testimony of eye witnesses including 

that of the appellant who is wife of the deceased, merely 

because deceased had received only one injury nor the 

 21

accused could have been accorded the benefit of temporary 

bail on the spacious plea that they were facing trial over a 

period of three years. The record of the case nowhere shows 

that the prosecution was responsible in any manner at all for 

so called delay in holding trial against the accused. The fact 

that accused are involved in commission of a heinous crime 

like murder which entails death or life imprisonment as 

punishment should have been taken into consideration before 

releasing the accused on interim bail. The trial court after 

having considered the gravity of the offence and the 

apprehension on the part of the prosecution that the accused 

would tamper with the evidence in the event of their release on 

bail had rightly refused to enlarge the accused on bail. The 

High Court while granting the relief of bail to the accused has 

completely ignored and over looked the aforementioned 

relevant factors which weigh heavily against the accused. 

Moreover, the complaint filed by Vijinder Singh that he and 

Kuljit singh, who is one of the witnesses in the present case, 

were physically assaulted and threatened in the Court 

premises will have to be given its due weight. The FIR 

 22

registered on August 13, 2010 is pending necessary 

investigation wherein the statement of Vijinder Singh who is 

son of the appellant was recorded on August 20, 2010 under 

Section 164 Criminal Procedure Code. The contents of the FIR 

would indicate that the accused either themselves or through 

their relatives would try to tamper the evidence which is going 

to be led by the prosecution in the case. 

14. Under the Circumstances, this Court is of the opinion 

that release of the accused except accused Subhash Singh on 

interim bail deserves to be set aside. The net result of the 

above discussion is that all the three appeals will have to be 

allowed. 

 For the foregoing reasons the three appeals succeed. 

Order dated October 20, 2010 rendered by the High Court of 

Jammu and Kashmir at Jammu in Criminal Revision No.29 of 

2008 is hereby set aside. Similarly the order dated October 

20, 2010 passed by the High Court in petition filed under 

Section 561-A Cr.P.C. No.54 of 2009 is also set aside. The 

order dated October 20, 2010 passed in Bail Application No.26 

 23

of 2010 by which the accused except accused Subhash Singh 

are enlarged on interim bail is also set aside. Accused 

Subhash Singh is already in custody. Therefore, it is directed 

that the other accused shall be taken in custody immediately.

 Having regard to the facts of the case and more 

particularly the fact that the trial has already commenced, the 

trial court is directed to complete the trial as early as possible 

and preferably within 9 months from the date of receipt of writ 

from this Court. Subject to above mentioned directions, all 

the three appeals stand disposed of.

 ...........................J.

 (J.M. PANCHAL)

 ...........................J.

 (H.L. GOKHALE)

NEW DELHI

SEPTEMBER 13, 2011.  24

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