Summons to the accused are valid if there is pre trial evidence indicating prima facie involvement of the accused.

In the case of Banerjee (1901), the court held that a fresh complaint can be entertained when there is a manifest error or miscarriage of justice in the previous order, or when fresh evidence is presented. The court also stated that summoning an accused is a serious matter and that the Magistrate must scrutinize the allegations made in the complaint to prevent innocent people from facing frivolous complaints.

The court upheld the orders passed by the trial court issuing summons against the accused Archbishop for the alleged offenses, as all the three courts had discussed in detail the prima facie involvement of the accused in the alleged offenses. The court also rejected the petitioners’ challenges to the observations made in the impugned judgment and stated that the said observations did not nullify any concluded transactions involving the properties of Catholic Churches.

The Criminal Appeal filed by the AppellantArchbishop, and all the SLPs filed by Eparchy of Bathery and
Catholic Diocese of Thamarassery were dismissed by the Supreme Court.

decided by the Supreme Court of India on 17.03.23


Sanjiv Narang Adv. is an Advocate on Record in the Supreme Court of India. His qualifications include an LLB from University of Delhi and a Masters degree in Personnel Management from Panjab University,Chandigarh.In his more than 3 decades of experience, he has practiced law at the District, High Court and Supreme Court levels.He also has more than a decade of experience in the field of Management. He is the author of two books namely Laws for Women in India and Innovation, Why What and How.