Statement Recorded under 161 CrPC has no Evidentiary Value

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Title of the Case – Statement Recorded under 161 CrPC has no Evidentiary Value

Name of the case – Rajeev Kourav vs. Baisahab & ors., Crl.A. No. 232 of 2020 (Supreme Court)

Date of Judgment – February 11, 2020

Judges: Justice L. Nageswara Rao and Justice Deepak Gupta

Subject and sections involved – Section 161 in The Code Of Criminal Procedure, 1973

161. Examination of witnesses by police.

(1) Any police officer making an investigation under this Chapter, or any police officer not below such rank as the State Government may, by general or special order, prescribe in this behalf, acting on the requisition of such officer, may examine orally any person supposed to be acquainted with the facts and circumstances of the case.

(2) Such person shall be bound to answer truly all questions relating to such case put to him by such officer, other than questions the answers to which would have a tendency to expose him to a criminal charge or to a penalty or forfeiture.

(3) The police officer may reduce into writing any statement made to him in the course of an examination under this section; and if he does so, he shall make a separate and true record of the statement of each such person whose statement he records.

Issue:

  1. Whether the High Court was right in quashing criminal proceeding under Section 482 based on statement recorded under Section 161 of CrPC?

Fact of the Case:

In this case, an FIR was filed wherein it was stated that the wife of the complainant committed suicide because of harassment from her elder brother and their wives. A final report was filed after the completion of the investigation and thereafter a petition under section 482 of CrPC was filed by the respondent to quash the FIR on the ground that there is nothing on record to show that they have incited the deceased to take the extreme step of committing suicide.

The High Court summoned the record of the investigation and perused the statements recorded by the Appellant and his family members under Section 161 of CrPC. The High Court held that none of the persons whose statements under Section 161 CrPC were recorded has mentioned about the complaint of the deceased and that she was thinking of committing suicide due to the harassment of respondents.

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Ratio of the Case:           

The division bench of Supreme Court while quashing the order passed by High Court held that High Court cannot quash the criminal proceedings on the basis of its assessment of the statements recorded under Section 161 of Crpc. The statement recorded under Section 161 CrPC is wholly inadmissible in the evidence cannot be taken into consideration by the Court, while adjudicating a petition filed under Section 482 of CrPC.