Saturday, 21 October 2017

Whether accused can be convicted on basis of his statement U/S 313 of CRPC?

Insofar as contention taking the statement of first accused recorded Under Section 313 Code of Criminal Procedure, as an evidence it was submitted that the statement Under Section 313 Code of Criminal Procedure cannot be taken as an incriminating evidence against the accused. of course, the High Court in extenso referred to the statements of the first accused put to him in his cross-examination Under Section 313 Code of Criminal Procedure and observed as under:

A-1 did not utter a single word to assail that the market rate of DPC at Shillong at the relevant time was ranging from Rs. 5/- to Rs. 10/-. All that he said was that he was not aware of the market rate of a DPC at that time or that Rs. 42.75 was accepted and approved rate of DPC. These evasive replies, taken together with evidence of PW-6 and PW-13 and item No. 7(17) of Ext. P-5, complete the link in the chain of circumstances against A-1.
After so observing, the High Court held that those evasive replies Under Section 313 Code of Criminal Procedure taken together with the evidence complete the link in the chain of circumstances against A-1.

21. Where the accused gives evasive answers in his cross-examination Under Section 313 Code of Criminal Procedure, an adverse inference can be drawn against him. But such inference cannot be a substitute for the evidence which the prosecution must adduce to bring home the offence of the accused. The statement Under Section 313 Code of Criminal Procedure is not an evidence. In Bishnu Prasad Sinha & Anr. Vs. State of Assam, MANU/SC/7022/2007 : (2007) 11 SCC 467, this Court held that conviction of the accused cannot be based merely on his statement recorded Under Section 313 Code of Criminal Procedure which cannot be regarded as evidence. It is only the stand or version of the accused by way of explanation explaining the incriminating evidence/circumstances appearing against him. The statement made in defence by the accused Under Section 313 Code of Criminal Procedure can certainly be taken aid of to lend credence to other evidence led by the prosecution. Statements made Under Section 313 Code of Criminal Procedure must be considered not in isolation but in conjunction with the other prosecution evidence.



22. In the present case, it is not as if the High Court arrived at the conclusion and based conviction only on the statement made by the first accused Under Section 313 Code of Criminal Procedure. As seen from the reasonings of the High Court extracted above, the statement of first accused Under Section 313 Code of Criminal Procedure was taken with the evidences of PW-6 and PW-13 and items 7(17) of Ext. P5 as a link to complete the chain of circumstances against A-1. As elaborated earlier, the answers given by the first accused were considered not in isolation but in conjunction with other oral and documentary evidence. We find no substance in the contention that the High Court erred in taking the statement of first accused Under Section 313 Code of Criminal Procedure as a link to complete the chain of circumstances.
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

Criminal Appeal No. 2056 of 2014 (Arising out of SLP (Crl.) No. 553/2011) and Criminal Appeal Nos. 2057-58 of 2014 (Arising out of SLP (Crl.) Nos. 2203-2204/2011)

Decided On: 16.09.2014

 Edmund S. Lyngdoh Vs. State of Meghalaya


Hon'ble Judges/Coram:
T.S. Thakur and R. Banumathi, JJ.

Citation:(2016) 15 SCC 572.
Read full judgment here; Click here
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