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Report No. 172

4.3. Substitution of the proviso to sub-section (1) of section 160.-

Sub-section (1) of section 160 deals with the power of a police officer to require the attendance of witnesses who appear to be acquainted with the facts and circumstances of the case being investigated by him. It also casts an obligation upon the person so required to attend. The proviso as it now stands, however, says that "no male person under the age of 15 years or woman shall be required to attend at any place other than the place in which such male person or woman resides". We recommend raising the age from 15 years mentioned in the said proviso to 16 years.

4.3.1. Consideration of the view of "Sakshi" regarding presence of a relative or a friend or a social worker during the investigation.-

At this stage, we may deal with another suggestion put forward by Sakshi to provide that even where the statement of a male person under the age of 16 years or of a female is recorded by a police officer during the course of investigation, a relative or a friend or a social worker of the choice of such male person below 16 years or the woman, as the case may be, shall be allowed to be present throughout the period during which the statement is recorded. We are inclined to agree with this suggestion, particularly in the light of the decision of the Supreme Court in Nandini Satpathy v. P.L. Dani (AIR 1978 SC 1025).

4.3.2. Substitution of the proviso to sub-section (1) of section 160 recommended.-

Accordingly, we recommend that the proviso to sub-section (1) of section 160 be substituted to read as below: "Provided that no male person under the age of 16 years or woman shall be required to attend at any place other than the place in which such male person or woman resides. While recording the statement, a relative or a friend or a social worker of the choice of the person whose statement is being recorded shall be allowed to remain present. The relative, friend or social worker so allowed to be present shall not interfere with the recording of statement in any manner whatsoever."



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