Accused Can’t Claim Unfettered Right To Inspect Case Diary: SC [Read Judgment]
The High Court of Uttarakhand had allowed an accused’s plea to use the case diary to contradict the police
Rejecting the plea of an accused facing trial to produce certain pages of police diary obtained by him through RTI for the purpose of contradicting the police officer, the Supreme Court in Balakram vs State of Uttarakhand, has reiterated that the accused cannot claim unfettered right to inspect the case diary.
The three-judge bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra held that right of the accused to cross-examine the police officer with reference to the entries in the police diary is very much limited in extent, and even that limited scope arises only when the court uses the entries to contradict the police officer or when the police officer uses it for refreshing his memory.
The High Court of Uttarakhand had allowed an accused’s plea to use the case diary to contradict the police. This application was filed by the accused after the completion of examination in the police officer.
Referring to sub-section (2) of Section 172 CrPC, the court said the trial court has unfettered power to call for and examine the entries in the police diaries maintained by the investigating officer. “The denial of right to the accused to inspect the case diary cannot be characterized as unreasonable or arbitrary. The confidentiality is always kept in the matter of investigation and it is not desirable to make available the police diary to the accused on his demand,” the court said.
The court also held that the entries in the police diary were neither substantive nor corroborative evidence, and they cannot be used against any other witnesses than against the police officer, that too for the limited extent.
Read the Judgment here.