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Report No. 154

Issue No. 4-Deletion of section 162, Cr. P.C. and Change in the Mode of Recording under section 161

Views of Judges

None of the Judges, has suggested to delete section 162 of the Code. Three/four have suggested for some amendment of both the sections. Two are silent on the issue and one has expressed satisfaction of the existing provisions. One of them says that further recording under section 161 of the important witnesses should not be accepted because: (a) if their statements are not recorded, that will give ample scope to the witnesses to change their version, (b) the large number of magistrate would be required to remain busy in recording the statement of important witnesses under section 164.

However, a proviso may be added in section 162 that where witnesses totally deny the statement under. section 162, the same may be allowed in evidence after showing his signatures made thereon. Another judge has suggested that a proviso may be added that in case of discrepancies in the said two statements, undue weight should not be given unless it affects the prosecution case.

Thirty Judicial Officers do not agree with the suggestion of Law Commission saying that the deletion of section 162 and amendment under section 161 will not serve any purpose. Eight have not responded to the issue. Three have agreed as suggested by Law Commission. However, one officer is of the view that section 161(2) and Proviso of section 162(2) may be deleted. Rest of officers have partly agreed with the proposal. The views of the Institute of Judicial Training & Research (U.P.) Lucknow, partly support the proposal of the Law Commission of India.

Views of Advocates/Public Prosecutors/Bar Associations

Six advocates are of the view that section 162 should not be deleted, however, some have suggested certain amendments in the existing provisions. One has suggested for the use of scientific means viz. tape recorder etc. to inspire greater confidence. But others have suggested that such move would increase the load on the already heavily burdened judicial officers. A provision for obtaining signature of literate witnesses may be made and a carbon copy of such statement should be furnished to the witnesses. Three advocates partly agreed with the suggestion and two are silent on the point. The Madras Bar Association has responded in the affirmative.

Views of Academicians

Dr. K.N. Chandrasekharan Pillai does not support the proposal and rest of the three academicians are silent on the issue.

Views of the State Law Commissions

The Himachal Pradesh Law Commission does not support the proposal. However, it has suggested that the statement under section 161 should be recorded in the presence of an Advocate/relatives/respectable person of the area/any other person of the choice of witness.

Views of Police Officers

Two police officers do not agree for deletion of section 162.' According to them the accused gets an opportunity to contradict the witnesses with the statements recorded during investigation. It helps the prosecution to refresh the memory of witnesses and confront them with in case of hostility. It is not necessary that the statements are recorded in detail and furnished to the accused and to the court. They don't agree for recording the statement of important witnesses under section 164. Mr. C. Anjaneya Reddy, Director-General (Vig. & ENFT), Hyderabad has given the example of report of National Police Commission on the issue.

Views of the State Governments

Only the Government of Gujarat has responded to the issue and it did not agree with the proposal.

The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 Back

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