Dispensation with Personal Appearance in Criminal Case: Landmark Judgement by Supreme Court of India

In a significant legal development, the Supreme Court of India has delivered a landmark judgement regarding dispensation with personal appearance in a criminal case. The case pertains to the application filed under Section 205 of Cr.P.C. by the appellant seeking exemption from appearing before the Trial Court every Friday. The appellant, accused No. 3, has been diligently attending court proceedings since 2013. Find out more about this crucial ruling and its impact on the legal landscape.


  • Appellant required to attend Trial Court every Friday as per High Court directions
  • Appellant filed application under Section 205 of Cr.P.C. to dispense with personal appearance
  • Appellant, accused No. 3, has been appearing before Trial Court every Friday since 2013
  • Accused No 3 is aggrieved by the judgement and order dated 10.09.2018 passed by the High Court for the State of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh at Hyderabad.
  • The High Court dismissed the application and rejected the appellant’s prayer for dispensation with his personal appearance/attendance in the case related to charge-sheet bearing C.C. No 12 of 2013.
  • The appellant, as Accused No 3, was summoned by the Trial Court for offences under various sections of IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act.
  • On 07.06.2019, the appellant was granted bail in the case pending before the Principal Special Judge for CBI Cases in Hyderabad.

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  • The appellant has requested to dispense with his personal appearance before the Trial Court due to business commitments and inconvenience.
  • The ASG representing the CBI argues that the grounds provided by the appellant are not valid for exemption under Section 205 Cr.P.C.
  • The appellant is willing to file an undertaking to appear through his advocate and has no objection to evidence being recorded in his absence.
  • The ASG emphasizes that the appellant and others are involved in serious economic offenses, necessitating a swift trial.
  • The appellant cites precedent cases to support his request for exemption from personal appearance on Fridays.
  • The Trial Court dismissed the appellant’s application, leading to an appeal in the High Court.
  • The High Court dismissed the appeal and upheld the Trial Court’s decision, prompting the present appeal.
  • The appellant’s legal team asserts that there are no grounds to exempt him from appearing before the Trial Court.
  • The appellant is willing to comply with any imposed conditions and cites business commitments as reasons for seeking exemption.
  • Since 2013, the appellant has been attending the Trial Court every Friday where the charge-sheet has already been filed.
  • The trial is expected to be prolonged due to 13 charge-sheets filed in the case arising from the same FIR and involving multiple accused.
  • The counsel for the appellant referred to past court decisions in Bhaskar Industries Ltd. and Rameshwar Yadav, but the ASG argues that those decisions are not applicable considering the seriousness of the offenses in this case.
  • The offenses against the appellant in this case include Sections 120-B, 420, and 409 of IPC, along with sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
  • The ASG has requested the dismissal of the appeal.

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  • The Magistrate has the discretion to allow an accused to make the first appearance through a counsel.
  • Section 205(2) allows the Magistrate to direct the personal attendance of the accused at any stage of the proceedings.
  • Section 317(1) empowers the Magistrate to dispense with the personal attendance of the accused if represented by counsel.
  • The court can dispense with the personal appearance of the accused if it would inflict suffering and is in the interest of justice.
  • The accused’s presence in court is for trial proceedings, not just for marking attendance.
  • Exemption from personal appearance can be granted based on certain conditions and undertakings.
  • Legislature has provisions to enforce attendance even in the absence of the accused.
  • The primary concern of the criminal court should be the administration of criminal justice.
  • Court can grant relief to accused by dispensing with personal attendance if it would be too harsh on the accused.
  • Normal rule is for evidence to be taken in the presence of the accused.
  • Even in absence of accused, evidence can be taken if counsel is present and accused has exemption.
  • Precaution: Benefit of not attending court should be given only if accused undertakes not to dispute identity and has counsel present.
  • Precaution is necessary for the progress of the proceedings, including examination of witnesses.
  • Appellant did not make any effort to stall or delay the trial.
  • Similar applications for exemption on the same grounds were allowed for other co-accused in the same FIR.
  • Decision is based on the facts and circumstances of the case.

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  • The present appeal is allowed.
  • The impugned Judgment and order passed by the High Court as well as that of the learned Trial Court rejecting the application submitted by the appellant under Section 205 Cr.P.C. are quashed and set aside.
  • The application submitted by the appellant to dispense with his appearance before the Trial Court on all dates of adjournments is allowed with conditions.
  • The appellant must give an undertaking that he would not dispute his identity in the case and his counsel Sri Bharadwaj Reddy will appear on his behalf on every hearing date.
  • The appellant must appear before the Trial Court for framing of charges and whenever the Court insists on his appearance.
  • Failure of the advocate to appear on behalf of the appellant or any attempt to delay the trial may result in the Trial Court directing the appellant to appear on every date of adjournment.


Case Number: Crl.A. No.-001901-001901 / 2019

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