SAVAN RAJESHBHAI RATHOD Vs. STATE OF GUJARAT
SAVAN RAJESHBHAI RATHOD
STATE OF GUJARAT
Page 5: “Whether the accused has a right to demand the copies of the statements of the witnesses recorded under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure even if the Public Prosecutor makes a statement before the trial court that the prosecution do not proposes to rely upon such statements?”
Page 9: The statements recorded under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure are public documents, being the acts of a judicial officer done under the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, and the public servant in whose custody those documents are, is bound to issue copies thereof. An accused is, undoubtedly, entitled to inspect the statements of the prosecution witnesses recorded under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Such statements can be used by the prosecution for the purpose of corroborating the witnesses.
They can likewise be used by the defence for the purpose of contradicting such witnesses. If the Investigating Agency has recorded a statement of the witness under Section 161 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and the same witness has also given a statement before a Magistrate under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, there may be material contradictions in the two statements and the accused may like to utilize the same for his benefit and the ends of justice in that behalf can be secured by providing him the copies of all such statements, but such a purpose would be frustrated if the copies of only such statements as are sought to be relied upon by the prosecution, are supplied to the accused and by denying the supply of the rest.
Para 10: One of the established facets of a just, fair and transparent investigation is the right of an accused to ask for all such documents that he may be entitled to under the scheme contemplated by the Code of Criminal Procedure. The right of the accused to receive the documents/statements submitted before the court is absolute and it must be adhered to by the prosecution and the court must ensure supply of the documents/statements to the accused in accordance with law. The accused has a statutory right of confronting the witnesses with the statements recorded under Section 161 and Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
Para 11: I am not impressed by the submission of the learned APP that if the prosecution does not propose to rely upon the statements recorded of the witnesses under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, then there is no obligation to provide the copies of such statements to the accused.