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Filing Of The Charge-sheet By Itself, Does Not Entitle An Accused To Copy Of Statement Recorded U/s 164 CrPC: SC [Read Judgment]

Ashok Kini
8 Oct 2020 1:19 PM GMT
Filing Of The Charge-sheet By Itself, Does Not Entitle An Accused To Copy Of Statement Recorded U/s 164 CrPC: SC [Read Judgment]
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Filing of the charge-sheet by itself, does not entitle an accused to copies of any of the relevant documents including statement under Section 164 of the Code, the Supreme Court observed while setting aside the Allahabad High Court order which allowed the plea of former Union Minister and BJP leader Chinmayanand to seek a certified copy of the statement of the rape victim.The right to receive...

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Filing of the charge-sheet by itself, does not entitle an accused to copies of any of the relevant documents including statement under Section 164 of the Code, the Supreme Court observed while setting aside the Allahabad High Court order which allowed the plea of former Union Minister and BJP leader Chinmayanand to seek a certified copy of the statement of the rape victim.

The right to receive a copy of such statement will arise only after cognizance is taken and at the stage contemplated by Sections 207 and 208 of the Code and not before, the three judge bench headed by Justice Uday Umesh Lalit held.

The court observed that the High Court 'completely erred and failed' in appreciating the directions issued in the judgment State of Karnataka vs. Shivanna alias Tarkari Shivanna, especially in a matter where the offences alleged against accused are of sexual exploitation.

The High Court in this case, had relied on Shivanna to hold that, once the investigation is over and a report is filed under section 173 of CrPC at that stage the copy of the statement under Section 164 CrPC along with other relevant documents can be asked by the concerned person. [The background facts of this can be read here] Disagreeing with this approach, the bench, also comprising Justices Vineet Saran and S. Ravindra Bhat, took note of the statutory provisions of Criminal Procedure Code and said:

"It is only after taking of the cognizance and issuance of process that the accused is entitled, in terms of Sections 207 and 208 of the Code, to copies of the documents referred to in said provisions. The filing of the charge-sheet by itself, does not entitle an accused to copies of any of the relevant documents including statement under Section 164 of the Code, unless the stages indicated above are undertaken.

Thus, merely because the charge-sheet was filed by the time the High Court had passed the order in the present matter, did not entitle Respondent No.2 to a copy of the statement under Section 164 of the Code."

The court further clarified that no person is entitled to a copy of statement recorded under Section 164 of the Code till the appropriate orders are passed by the court after the charge-sheet is filed. It said:

"The right to receive a copy of such statement will arise only after cognizance is taken and at the stage contemplated by Sections 207 and 208 of the Code and not before."
"Though, a copy of the statement recorded under Section 164 of the Code was made over to the accused, we must set aside the order passed by the High Court and lay down that under no circumstances copies of statements recorded under Section 164 of the Code can be furnished till appropriate orders are passed by the Court after taking cognizance in the matter."
Case no.: CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.659 OF 2020  
Case name: MISS "A" VS. STATE OF UTTAR PRADESH
Coram: Justices UU Lalit, Vineet Saran and S. Ravindra Bhat,


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