Recording Of Statement In Police Station

An accused is interrogated under section 161 of CrPc, the object is to produce the evidence before the court and the same is useful for framing the charges. Our experts explain to you the importance of admission of guilt by the accused person. It is admissible as evidence only if the court is satisfied that the statement is given voluntarily.

Limitations:

  1. Only statement of prosecution witness can be removed
  2. Only if it has been reduced to writing
  3. Such statement must be duly proved
  4. Can be used only if the attention is drawn towards it
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Overview

In this article the information of cognizable as well as non-cognizable offences has been described which helps in understanding the mode of recording statements by the police. The article also deals with the statements given by the witness or any other individual during investigation as recorded by the police. An investigation is only a preliminary stage for gathering evidence. Further, the police officer investigating the case shall examine the witnesses and reduce their statement in writing made to him during the examination. Section 161 of the Code of Criminal Procedures deals with the above-mentioned provision. Any statement recorded by the police shall not be used as evidence. The evidentiary value of the recorded statement has also been described in the final section of the article.

Information In Cognizable Offences

As mentioned earlier, a police officer can investigate by taking cognizance of the case only after a First Information Report (also known as FIR) has been lodged. Section 154 of the Code provides how information is to be given in cognizable cases.

The informant having knowledge of commission of an offence can visit the nearest police station where he can furnish all the information within his or her knowledge. Information can be given in writing or orally. When information received by the police is made orally, the same shall be reduced into writing and read out to the informant. However, the police officer is not under obligation to record any statement made to him. If any statement is reduced to writing, then the police officer must make a separate record of the statement of each of the persons.

Cognizable offences being the offences where the police do not require a warrant to arrest the accused are more serious in nature. It aids the police to start an investigation immediately. If, on lodging the FIR, the police do not take action, the complainant can go to the Magistrate under section 190 of the Code where the Magistrate makes an order to the police officer to make an investigation.

Information In Non-Cognizable Offences

The police station and police officer function as a medium between the citizens and the officers by helping them in the hour of crisis or risk or need. Before visiting a police station for recording a statement one has to inform the police officers of the commission of the offence against him or the state.

Police on recording the information received by the complainant examine it. If, on examination, the report of information made to be a cognizable offence, shall proceed to arrest the accused without warrant. Whereas, if on examination police finds the offence committed to be a non-cognizable offence shall wait for the orders from the Magistrate having jurisdiction to make an arrest and initiate an investigation. Therefore, it is important for registration of the information received which is also known as the First Information Report where police on its own motion or by the direction of the Magistrate start investigation.

On the other hand, non-cognizable offences are those offences where the police do not have the authority to make an arrest without a warrant. The informant is referred to the Magistrate. The police officer receiving an order from the Magistrate shall initiate an investigation. Section 155 of the Code provides how information is to be given in non-cognizable offences and whether police can proceed with such a complaint.

Recording Of The Statement By Police Officer

Section 161 of the Code provides an examination of the witness where statements are recorded by the police. These statements are further used to frame charges.

The police under this section are required to examine the individual and record his statement while making the investigation. The person investigated can also be the accused where he or she is examined by the police. Such an individual is obliged to answer the question put by the officer to him other than those which will incriminate him or any penalty or forfeiture.

The accused person under this section is protected as they have the right to stay silent in case of questions that would incriminate them. Every individual has the right against self-incrimination. Further, the police on examining the witness, acquainted with facts as well as circumstances of the case record the statements made by them during the investigation. As mentioned earlier, the statement of the witnesses is to be recorded separately.

The statement recorded by the police should not be in the form of indirect speech. Under section 161 (3) of the Code, the summary of the statements of witnesses recorded is to be mentioned in the case diary. In Muniswamy v. State, it was held that, if any statement is recorded in the vernacular language then a copy of the original shall be given to the accused. It was held in Dalla v. State of Rajasthan; the copies of the statements recorded by the investigating agency can be availed by the accused.

Evidentiary Value Of The Statement-

Section 161 of the Code provides that any statement recorded by the police is not a substantive piece of evidence. Therefore, it cannot be used as evidence by the prosecution. However, if the statement comes under Section 27 of the Evidence Act or Section 32 then such statements can be used as a piece of evidence by the prosecution.

Section 27 of the Evidence Act states how much information received from the accused may be proved and Section 32 states the cases where statements by the individual who are dead are not found, are relevant. When the statement of the witness during the investigation has not been recorded under section 161 of the Code then the evidentiary value to be attached to the evidence of such witness has to be looked into and if it is found that prejudice had been caused to the accused then the evidence of such witness may not be acted upon.

Further, section 162 provides that any statements made to police or recorded should not be signed which have been made during the investigation. Statements made in case of an offence of Rape shall be recorded by the Magistrate under the Amendment Act 2013 where the police officer or investigating officer should be a woman officer.

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FAQs On Recording Of Statement In Police Station

Cognizable offences are offences where the police do not require a warrant to make an arrest and proceed for investigation. Whereas in non-cognizable offences, police cannot make an arrest or investigate the case without the orders of the Magistrate having jurisdiction.
An FIR is the First Information Report made by the police upon receiving information from the informant or complainant. If police in case of a non-cognizable offence refer the informant to the Magistrate and on receiving orders from the Magistrate make an investigation.
Section 161 of the Code of Criminal Procedure provides examination of the witness. The police on examining the witness reduce the statement of the witness in writing. The individual is under obligation to answer the police during the investigation made by the police except in cases which would render him guilty.
A witness of an offence committed can be called by the police for recording or reducing their statement into writing by visiting the police station. An accused can also be called to visit the police station where the police officer can record his or her statement. Any other individual other than a witness or accused can visit the police station or be called by the police for recording of their statement.
Recording of statements is a weak piece of evidence. Therefore it cannot be used by the prosecution against the accused to incriminate him. However, any discrepancies while giving a statement and later in the trial will shake the credibility of the accused.
Statement under section 161 by the police is inadmissible in evidence and cannot be relied upon.
Statements made by the witness are recorded by the police under section 161. Copies of these statements are also given to the witness.

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Trishna Kumari

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