Permitting an accused to submit his written statement even at the time of accused examination under Section 313 CrPC cannot be said to be an alien concept, the court said.
The Manipur High Court has held that an accused has a right to file a written statement at the time of examination under Section 313 CrPC and he would have the right to be furnished with the questions in advance so that he can submit his written statement.
Acting Chief Justice N Kotiswar Singh said furnishing of questions prepared by the Court to the accused to enable the accused to file his written statement under Section 313 CrPC should be normally allowed by the trial court, unless, the court is of the view that such request has been made to delay the trial or is vexatious and not warranted under the circumstances, as it is the discretion the court.
Before the trial court, the accused who is charged for offences under POCSO Act, had prayed for supplying questions to be put to the accused before examining him under Section 313 CrPC. Rejecting his plea, the special judge proceeded to examine him under Section 313 CrPC. This order was assailed before the high court.
“If the accused wants the questions prepared by the Court in advance, it cannot be said to be unreasonable. After all, the accused has to be afforded the full opportunity to explain the inculpatory evidences emerging against him after the Prosecution has led the evidence,” the bench said.
The court also said allowing the accused to know the questions in advance so that he can file his written statement will not cause any prejudice to anyone as these questions will be based on evidences already on record, but will further the cause of justice by affording the accused all the opportunities to defend himself properly, unless the court finds it to be vexatious or will delay the trial.
The court added that there is nothing under Sub-Section 5 of Section 313 CrPC which prevents the accused to submit to file written statement even after being examined orally by the court.