311. Power to summon material witness, or examine person present.

Any Court may, at any stage of any inquiry, trial or other proceeding under this Code, summon any person as a witness, or examine any person in attendance, though not summoned as a witness, or recall and re-examine any person already examined; and the Court shall summon and examine or recall and re-examine any such person if his evidence appears to it to be essential to the just decision of the case.

Comments:
(i) Power of Court to recall any witness or witnesses already examined or to summon any witness can be invoked even if the evidence in both sides is closed so long as the Court retains seisin of the criminal proceedings:
Mohanlal Shamji Soni v. Union of India, (1981)

(ii) Any person can be summoned as witness or recalled or re-examined at any stage of proceeding where essential;
Mohanlal Shamji Soni v. Union of India, (1991)

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(iii) It is crystal clear that the Court has been empowered to summon any person as a witness at any stage of inquiry, trial or other proceeding. The power is not confined to any particular class of person;
Heeralal v. State of Madhya Pradesh, (1997)

(iv) It is settled in law if the conditions under this section are satisfied the Court can call a witness not only on the motion of either the prosecution or the defence but also it can do so on its even motion;
Heeralal v. State of Madhya Pradesh, (1997)

(v) The discretion vested in the Court under section 311 is to be exercised judicially and not arbitrarily;
Raghunath Prasad v. State of Rajasthan, (1997)

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