Questions & Answers By Justice V. Ramkumar- Investigation By Police-PART IX
Q.41 What are the options available to the Magistrate upon receipt of report either under Section 157 (1) or under Section 157 (2) Cr.P.C.?
Ans. As per Section 159 Cr.P.C. the Magistrate can direct an investigation or at once proceed to hold a preliminary inquiry or depute any subordinate Magistrate to conduct such preliminary inquiry or otherwise to dispose of the matter in the manner provided by the Cr.P.C. (Vide Pala Singh v. State of Punjab (1972) 2 SCC 640 = AIR 1972 SC 2679 – 3 Judges – J. M. Shelat, I. D. Dua, H. R. Khanna – JJ.)
Q.42 What is the purpose sending a report to the Magistrate under Section 157 (1) and (2)?
Ans. Its purpose is to keep the Magistrate informed of the investigation of such cognizable offence so as to be able to control the investigation and if necessary give appropriate direction under Section 159. (vide para 6 of Pala Singh v. State of Punjab (1972) 2 SCC 640 = AIR 1972 SC 2679 - 3 Judges - J. M. Shelat, I. D. Dua, H. R. Khanna – JJ.)
Q.43 Which is the report covered by Section 159 Cr.P.C which says "on receiving such report"?
Ans. It is the report under Section 157 (2) Cr.P.C and not under Section 157 (1) Cr.P.C because the question of directing an investigation by the Magistrate cannot arise in pursuance of the report referred to under Section 157 (1) intimating that the police officer proceeded with the investigation either in person or by deputing any one of his subordinate officers. (Vide State of Haryana v. Bhajan Lal 1992 Supp. (1) SCC 335 = AIR 1992 SC 604 – S. Ratnavel Pandian, K. Jayachandra Reddy – JJ.)
NOTE BY VRK: Section 159 Cr.P.C. does not say that "such report" occurring in that Section refers to the report under Section 157 (2) only and not under Section 157 (1) also.
Q.44 Is there any special procedure for recording the statement of a rape victim ?
Ans. Yes. If the offence alleged is rape, then the statement of the victim shall be recorded at the residence of the victim or at a place of her choice and as far as practicable by a woman police officer in the presence of her parents or guardian or near relatives or social worker of the locality. The victim shall not be required to attend before the Police Officer or any place other than the place in which the woman resides. (Vide 2nd proviso to Section 157 (1) and the proviso to Section 160 (1) Cr.P.C.). The second proviso to Section 161 (3) Cr.P.C. inserted with effect from 03-02-2013 further directs that the statement of the woman against whom the specified erotic offences including rape had been committed, shall be recorded by a woman police officer or any woman officer.
Q.45 Is Section 161 Cr.P.C. confined only to the interrogation of "witnesses" by a Police officer conducting an investigation ?
Ans. No. Even though the short title to Section 161 Cr.P.C. reads "Examination of witnesses by the Police", the body of the Section does not use the expression "witness", but uses the words "any person supposed to be acquainted with the facts and circumstances of the case". The said words not only include a witness but also an accused person. (Vide Mahabir Mandal v. State of Bihar (1972) 1 SCC 748 = AIR 1972 SC 1331 – 3 Judges – J. M. Shelat, H. R. Khanna, G. K. Mitter - JJ; Nandini Satpathy v. P.L. Dani (1978) 2 SCC 424 = AIR 1978 SC 1025 – 3 Judges – V. R. Krishna Iyer, Jaswanth Singh, V. D. Tulzapurkar – JJ; Velu Viswanathan v. State 1971 KLT 80 – T. C. Raghavan, P. K. Moidu – JJ; Mathew Zecharia v. State of Kerala 1974 KLT 42 – V. P. Gopalan Nambiar, George Vadakkel - JJ)