Report No. 37
521. Section 175A (suggested)-regarding consequence of failure to send copies.-
It has been suggested that after section 175 of the principal Act, the following section may be inserted,-
"175A. Failure to send written statements.- If the police officer fails to send the statements recorded under sub-section (3) of section 161, or sub-section (1) of section 175, the Court shall presume that the statements were not in existence at the time when the statements were said to have been recorded, or, even if they were in existence they were not in the same forms as might have been found later."
In our view, the matter goes to the weight of the evidence. No change is required.
522. Section 176 and information to relatives.-
A suggestion to inform the relatives of the person whose dead body is the subject matter of the inquest1 under section 176 has been found worth accepting, and we recommend a provision to that effect.2 "Relatives" in this context would mean father, mother, son, daughter, wife, or husband as far as can be ascertained. The obligation will be to inform them, as far as practicable.
1. F. No. 27(5)/54-Judl. (Home Ministry File), Appendix III, Item 11.
2. See section 176 as proposed.
523. Section 176(1) and death in police custody.-
The following suggestion1 has been made by a Bar Council:
"In case of death of any person in the custody of the police, the power of holding inquest should be vested solely with a Magistrate armed with the same powers as he has in holding an inquiry into an offence.
Sub-section (1) of section 176 may therefore be substituted as follows:-
"When any person dies while in the custody of the police, the nearest Magistrate empowered to hold inquest should hold an inquiry into the cause of death. The Magistrate holding such an inquiry shall have all the powers which he would have in holding an inquiry into an offence and shall record the evidence taken by him in a manner prescribed for taking evidence in a warrant case."
The State Government concerned is in favour of this proposal, since the idea is to eliminate police investigation or even inquest by police in cases of death in police custody.
(If this suggestion is accepted, then as a consequential change, section 174 would also require amendment.)2
1. F 3(2)/55-L.C., Pt. III, S. No. 52,, p. 264 of the correspondence.
2. See discussion regarding section 174.
524. Our view on this suggestion is as follows:-
(a) Sections 174 to 176 do not contemplate investigation by the police at all, where the death is in police custody, even where the case falls under section 174(1)(A)(b)(c). In our view, this is already clear from the language of section 176, and needs no change. (b) As regards excluding even regular investigations (under section 154 to section 173) in such cases, that would not be practicable.
525. Sections 177 to 565.-
The sections of the Code after section 176 are proposed to be dealt with in later Reports.
In order to give a concrete picture of our recommendations, we have shown them in the form of draft amendments to the existing Code, in an Appendix. The other Appendices contain detailed discussion of several points arising under some of the sections. We have thought it proper to put them in Appendices, to avoid interruption of the main thread of discussion.
One of the Appendices summarises our recommendations in respect of other Acts.
J.L. Kapur, Chairman.
K.G. Datar, Member.
S.S. Dulat, Member.
T.K. Tope Member.
Rama Prasad Mookerjee1 Member.
P.M. Bakshi, Joint Secretary and Legislative Counsel
Dated: 16th December, 1967.
1. Shri Mookerjee has signed the Report subject to the note appended.