How A Statement Is Recorded Under Section 164 Of CRPC

tatement or confession of an accused person or a witness capable of narrating useful information to the magistrate. A magistrate is empowered to record statements apart from those recorded in front of police and that statement is admissible as evidence.

Need for recording statement:

  1. To prevent witnesses from changing their statements eventually.
  2. It can be used for the purpose of cross-examining him and discrediting his evidence in the session’s court.
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Statements can be recorded in two methods as provided under the Code of Criminal Procedure 1972. Section 162 provides that statements can be recorded by the police officer whereas section 164 provides that statements can be recorded by the Magistrate.

In this article recording of statements has been discussed under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Recording of the statement under section 164 arises if the investigation officer forwards to record the statement of the complainant or when the complainant on its own motion approaches the Magistrate for recording their statement. Along with the scope and objective, evidentiary value of the statement recorded by the Magistrate is also discussed in the article. In the last section of article provision as to recording of statement of rape victim has been discussed briefly. 

Scope And Objective Of Recording Statement Under Section 164

Any statement made by the accused cannot be regarded as confession unless there is an admission of guilt. Therefore, every statement is not a confession. Section 164 (2)(3) and (4) says how the confession is to be recorded. There is a provision in the section which lays down the process of recording statements of the accused who is temporarily or permanently, mentally or physically disabled. Section 164 also provides that unless the accused voluntarily expresses to become the witness the magistrate cannot regard previously recorded statements as examination-in-chief nor the accused shall be subjected to cross-examination.

In case of offences relating to rape and under section 509 of the Indian Penal Code, the instance commission of offence is brought to the notice of the police, the statement shall be recorded by the Judicial Magistrate. If any statement or confession has been made to a magistrate, such magistrate shall forward the recording to the magistrate by whom the case is to be tried or inquired into.

Admission is not included in confession. Although every statement made is not a confession unless the guilt is admitted. In case of any mixed statement in which there is the presence of incriminating facts but there is no admission of guilt in the statement, it would not amount to a confession. These statements can be described as admission instead of confession. 

Under section 164 of CrPC, recording of the statements of a witness was needed
  • Firstly, for deterring the witness from changing their version of statement subsequently;
  • Secondly for getting over the immunity from the prosecution regarding the information which witness has given under section 162. 
  • Section 164 also minimises the scope of changing the version by the witness during the trial due to fear of being involved in perjury.

According to sub-section of section 164 of the Code, a Magistrate is authorised to record statements or confessions of the individual even if he has no jurisdiction in the case. In such a case where a Magistrate having no jurisdiction records the statement or confession shall forward it to the Magistrate having jurisdiction or by whom the case is to be tried.

The section provides that any Metropolitan Magistrate or Judicial Magistrate can record the statement prior to the commencement of the trial. However, the section does not provide for the recording of statements by the police officer.

Evidentiary Value Of Statement Or Confession

Confession or statement made under the section 164 of the Code is not regarded as a substantive piece of evidence. The only purpose of such a statement or confession is for contradicting or corroborating with the maker of such a statement. By the recourse to the section 145 of the Evidence Act the contradiction under section 164 be elicited. However, when a confession is made it is ordinarily admissible in evidence. The statement given is considered as a relevant fact which can be acted upon.

Further, based on the statement or confession made voluntarily an accused can be convicted. Warning by the Magistrate- Before recording any confession, the Magistrate ensures to explain to the individual that he or she is not bound to make a confession. If such an individual wishes to make a confession after the warning given by the Magistrate then it can be used as a piece of evidence against him.

Retracted confession does not imply the involuntary nature of the confession. Retracted confession is when any confession made by an accused is subsequently retracted. It can be used against such accused if supported by independent and corroborative evidence.

It is to be determined by the court, whether the accused was willing to give confession voluntarily or not, by the mental state of the accused at the time of giving a confession. Reasons must be recorded by the court regarding the retracted confession as well as the confession made initially.

Recording Of Statement In Rape Cases

According to the Amendment made in 2013, sub-section 5A has been inserted. This sub-section specifically deals with recording statement in case of offences relating to Rape and intention to outrage the modesty of a woman.

The Magistrate shall as soon as it has been brought to his knowledge by the police officer record the statement of the victim. The police officer is duty-bound to immediately take the victim to the nearest Judicial Magistrate when such commission of such offence comes to his knowledge.

Further, it has been provided under the section that while recording a statement of any individual being temporarily or permanently, physically or mentally disabled, the Magistrate shall take help of the interpreter or special educator and such recording shall be video graphed.

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FAQs On Statement CRPC 164

Any Metropolitan Magistrate or Judicial Magistrate can record the statement or confession made by the individual having no jurisdiction. Further such Magistrate shall forward the recording of statement to the Magistrate having jurisdiction.
Evidence under section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure is not a substantive piece of evidence.
The Magistrate is not required to record the statement every time at the instance of the Police or Investigating Officer. One can deny the recording of subsequent statements based on the statement given to the Magistrate and recorded. However, during the trial, the victim is examined when evidence is given.
The Judicial Magistrate shall record the statement of the person against whom offences such as rape under section 375 has been committed which is punishable under section 376, 376A, 376B, 376C, 376D,376DA, 376DB, 376E in the matter provided under sub clause (b) of section 64(5A) where the maker of the statement is cross-examined on such stamen as soon as the commission of the offence is brought to the notice of the police. No further recording of the statement is required during the trial.
The accused is not entitled to get a copy of statement recorded under section 164 except when the cognizance of the case has been taken. Further under section 207 and 208 of the Code the copies of the documents along with the statement recorded under section 164 shall be furnished to the accused free of cost when.
There is minimal chance of changing the statement which has been already recorded by the Magistrate. The motive behind recording the statement under section 164 by the Magistrate is to reduce the possibility of changing of statement by the witness at trial due to fear of being involved in perjury.

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