The Hon’ble the Chief Justice of Telangana High Court held as follows,
From Para 42.1, 43, 44.1,
42.1. After referring to Section 205 CrPC, Supreme Court held that it is within the powers of the Magistrate and in his judicial discretion to dispense with the personal appearance of an accused either throughout or at any particular stage of such proceedings in a summons case, if the Magistrate finds that insistence on his personal presence would itself inflict enormous suffering or tribulations on the accused and the comparative advantage would be less.
43. Delhi High Court in Chandramauli Prasad (supra) examined Section 205 CrPC in the light of the decision of the Supreme Court in Bhaskar Industries Limited (supra) and held that provisions requiring the presence of the accused which mandate that the trial be held in his presence are enacted for the benefit of the accused. If the accused person himself does not wish to avail of the right of personal appearance on every date; if he reposes the fullest confidence in the court and in his advocate, and is confident that justice will be meted out to him even in his absence, then, provided his absence does not prejudice him in any way or hinder the progress of the trial, it is not necessary for the trial court to insist on his presence.
44.1. One of the criteria for exercising the power under Section 205 CrPC is that personal appearance of the accused on each and every date of trial should not result in unnecessary harassment of the accused. However, the Court must ensure that exemption from personal appearance is not abused to delay the trial.
And in Para 45,
45. In Hiremagalur Parthsarthy Shamalah (supra), Patna High Court while adverting to Section 205 CrPC and its discretionary nature, opined that power under Section 205 CrPC has to be exercised in a reasonable manner; Court should be liberal in granting exemption from personal appearance except where serious issues or allegations of moral turpitude are involved. Even after issuance of warrant, the High Court may dispense with the personal appearance in exercise of power under Section 482 CrPC if a proper case is made out for the ends of justice. In that case, the revision petitioners were high officials posted at Pune and Shillong while the trial was to be conducted at Patna. It was held that inconvenience would be caused if they were required to be present on each and every date of hearing; more so when the revision petitioners had given undertaking to be physically present in Court when so ordered by the Court. Mere fact that cognizance had been taken and the offences alleged are non-bailable cannot be reasons for rejecting the prayer under Section 205 CrPC.
Finally from Paras 48 and 49,
YS Jagan Mohan Reddy Vs Central Bureau of Investigation on 26 Aug 2022
48. In so far the impugned order is concerned, the trial court has taken note of the changed circumstances i.e., petitioner occupying the constitutional office of Chief Minister of the neighbouring State of Andhra Pradesh. However, trial court referred to certain observations made by this Court in the order dated 31.08.2017 that “offences committed by the petitioner are grave offences affecting the economy of the country”. I am afraid it is not open to the trial court to rely upon such observations at the very threshold. These are allegations against the petitioner brought in the form of charge sheet. At this stage, it cannot be said that petitioner had committed the offence(s). Further, the trial court erred that being away from Andhra Pradesh for two days was not a ground to invoke the discretion of the court. The trial court further erred in taking the view that the changed circumstances has no bearing having regard to the offences and allegations made by the respondent/CBI being grave in nature.
49. In my considered opinion, learned Principal Special Judge fell in grave error by bringing in the above factors while considering the request of the petitioner for exemption from personal appearance. This is further aggravated by the observation of the learned Principal Special Judge that in criminal proceedings trial should be conducted in presence of the accused and therefore, his request for exemption from personal appearance should not be considered. I am afraid learned Principal Special Judge failed to appreciate the fact that the principle that trial has to be conducted in presence of the accused is to ensure that the accused gets a fair trial; nothing is done behind the back of the accused. Provision seeking exemption from personal appearance is intended for the benefit of the accused. Those cannot be interpreted in a manner which causes hardship and prejudice to the accused.
The earlier order from trial Court is here.Y.S.Jagan Mohan Reddy Vs CBI on 01 Nov 2019
Index is here.