Sec 145 The Evidence Act: Procedure to prove contradiction in evidence explained
Krishan Chander Vs State of Delhi
(2016) 3 SCC 108; CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 14 OF 2016
About/from the judgment:
It becomes amply clear from the perusal of the evidence of PW-10, I.O. in the case that the same has not been done by the prosecution. Thus, the statements of PW-2 marked from Section 161 of Cr.P.C. in his cross-examination cannot be said to be proved in the case to place reliance upon his evidence to record the findings on the charge. The position of law in this regard is well settled by this Court in the case of V.K. Mishra v. State of Uttarakhand (2015) 9 SCC 588. The relevant paras are extracted hereinbelow:
“16. Section 162 CrPC bars use of statement of witnesses recorded by the police except for the limited purpose of contradiction of such witnesses as indicated there. The statement made by a witness before the police under Section 161(1) CrPC can be used only for the purpose of contradicting such witness on what he has stated at the trial as laid down in the proviso to Section 162(1) CrPC. The statements under Section 161 CrPC recorded during the investigation are not substantive pieces of evidence but can be used primarily for the limited purpose: (i) of contradicting such witness by an accused under Section 145 of the Evidence Act; (ii) the contradiction of such witness also by the prosecution but with the leave of the Court; and (iii) the reexamination of the witness if necessary.
17. The court cannot suo motu make use of statements to police not proved and ask questions with reference to them which are inconsistent with the testimony of the witness in the court. The words in Section 162 CrPC “if duly proved” clearly show that the record of the statement of witnesses cannot be admitted in evidence straightaway nor can be looked into but they must be duly proved for the purpose of contradiction by eliciting admission from the witness during cross-examination and also during the crossexamination of the investigating officer. The statement before the investigating officer can be used for contradiction but only after strict compliance with Section 145 of the Evidence Act that is by drawing attention to the parts intended for contradiction.
18. Section 145 of the Evidence Act reads as under: ‘145. Cross-examination as to previous statements in writing.—A witness may be cross-examined as to previous statements made by him in writing or reduced into writing, and relevant to matters in question, without such writing being shown to him, or being proved; but, if it is intended to contradict him by the writing, his attention must, before the writing can be proved, be called to those parts of it which are to be used for the purpose of contradicting him.’
19. Under Section 145 of the Evidence Act when it is intended to contradict the witness by his previous statement reduced into writing, the attention of such witness must be called to those parts of it which are to be used for the purpose of contradicting him, before the writing can be used. While recording the deposition of a witness, it becomes the duty of the trial court to ensure that the part of the police statement with which it is intended to contradict the witness is brought to the notice of the witness in his crossexamination. The attention of witness is drawn to that part and this must reflect in his cross-examination by reproducing it. If the witness admits the part intended to contradict him, it stands proved and there is no need to further proof of contradiction and it will be read while appreciating the evidence. If he denies having made that part of the statement, his attention must be drawn to that statement and must be mentioned in the deposition. By this process the contradiction is merely brought on record, but it is yet to be proved.
Thereafter when investigating officer is examined in the court, his attention should be drawn to the passage marked for the purpose of contradiction, it will then be proved in the deposition of the investigating officer who again by referring to the police statement will depose about the witness having made that statement. The process again involves referring to the police statement and culling out that part with which the maker of the statement was intended to be contradicted. If the witness was not confronted with that part of the statement with which the defence wanted to contradict him, then the court cannot suo motu make use of statements to police not proved in compliance with Section 145 of the Evidence Act that is, by drawing attention to the parts intended for contradiction.” (emphasis laid by this Court)
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