Report No. 185
VI. There was another suggestion that the word 'distinctly' should be deleted from section 27.
In the revised section 27 as drafted in the 152nd Report, once the words "so much of such information" were dropped, the words 'distinctly' were also dropped. The words 'distinctly' became necessary to confine the relevancy to the facts which were distinct from other parts of the statements. In fact, courts have been very zealous of retaining the words 'distinctly' if the words 'so much of such information' were to be retained. Sarkar says (1999, 15 Ed. p.549) that the words "relates distinctly" have been used by Taylor (section 902) while Phipson used the words 'strictly relates' (8th Ed p. 255) which are found in Leach's Crown Law (see Leach's notes R v. Warickshall and R v. Lockhart). The Supreme Court pointed out in Md. Inayatullah v. State of Maharashtra AIR 1976 SC 483 that 'distinctly' means 'directly, indubitably, strictly, unmistakably'.
If the format of the 152nd Report is not to be adopted, and the existing format is retained (of course, adding 'or' as discussed earlier), we do not want to relax the strictness of section 27 by dropping the word 'distinctly'. But if the format in 152nd Report is to be used, the word 'distinctly' can be dropped along with the words 'so much' of the information. We recommend the latter course.