Section 162 CrPC – Effect Of Statement Signed By Witness

Section 162, Cr.P.C. contains a prohibition against obtaining the signature of witness whose statement is recorded during investigation.

 In State of U.P. v. M.K. Anthony , the Supreme Court observed that even if the signature of witness was obtained on the statement recorded by the investigating officer, Section 162 CrPC does not render his evidence inadmissible. “It merely puts the court on caution and may necessitate in depth scrutiny of the evidence. But the evidence on this account cannot be rejected outright. Section 162 of the CrPC does not provide that evidence of a witness given in the court becomes inadmissible if it is found that the statement of the witness recorded in course of the investigation was signed by the witness at the instance of the investigating officer. Such is not the effect of Contravention of Section 162 CrPC.” [Citation: AIR 1985 SC 48, 1985 CriLJ 493, 1984 (2) SCALE 728, (1985) 1 SCC 505]

 State of Rajasthan v. Teja Ram, AIR 1999 SC 1776 : No doubt the aforesaid prohibition is in peremptory terms. It is more a direction to the investigating officer than to the court because the policy underlying the rule is to keep witnesses free to testify in court unhampered by anything which the police claim to have elicited from them. (Tahsildar Singh vs. State of UP AIR 1959 SC 1012 and Razik Ram vs. JS Chouhan AIR 1975 SC 667). But if any Investigating Officer, ignorant of the said provision, secures the signature of the person concerned in the statement, it does not mean that the witnesses testimony in the court would thereby become contaminated or vitiated. The Court will only reassure the witness that he not bound by such statement albeit his signature finding a place thereon.

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