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How Can Section 164 Statements Be Given To Private Parties? Supreme Court Seeks Report From Trial Court

Padmakshi Sharma
26 Sep 2022 4:19 PM GMT
How Can Section 164 Statements Be Given To Private Parties? Supreme Court Seeks Report From Trial Court
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The Supreme Court bench comprising Chief Justice U.U. Lalit, Justices Ravindra Bhat and J.B. Pardiwala heard a matter where the statement made under Section 164 of CrPC was provided to private parties by the court. Right at the outset, CJI Lalit remarked–"We don't understand how can 164 copy be given? How can they get the copy? First of all, how can the court actually release that?...

The Supreme Court bench comprising Chief Justice U.U. Lalit, Justices Ravindra Bhat and J.B. Pardiwala heard a matter where the statement made under Section 164 of CrPC was provided to private parties by the court. 

Right at the outset, CJI Lalit remarked–

"We don't understand how can 164 copy be given? How can they get the copy? First of all, how can the court actually release that? These copies, 164 statements are supposed to be kept in a sealed cover. They must be opened only at appropriate stages. In stage of investigation, it is just not permissible. Secondly, to be given the copies in hands of a private party is something which just cannot be accepted."

The alleged contemptnors in the case submitted that they had applied for the copy and it was the court that had granted them the same and thus, they were not at fault. It was further submitted–

"The allegation by the wife is that I as a father have sexually exploited my children. So there is no question as far as the identity is concerned. The parties were known to each other. This is all pursuant to one long divorce proceeding."

However, the court was not satisfied and directed the concerned court to respond to it regarding the matter. CJI Lalit stated–

"Pursuant to the directions issued by this court in the last occasion, the concerned police officials are present in court. Mr Basant, learned senior advocate appearing on behalf of the alleged contemptnors 1, 2 and 3 submits that a copy of the 164 statement was given to the concerned person upon an application made to the court and under the orders passed by the court. The copy was not handed over by the alleged contemnors 1, 2 and 3. Mr Basant further submits that copy of the said statement was also given to the petitioner, under the application made on behalf of her by the concerned court. Before we take any decision in the matter, we would like to know the state of affairs and as such we direct the concerned court to respond to the following-

A. Whether any applications were preferred on behalf of the petitioner and respondent 4 and 5?

B. Whether copy of 164 statements were furnished in terms of such applications by the court?

C. Whether such action on part of the court is consistent with the principles and directions laid by this court?"

The court directed the response to be filed within two weeks and stated that the copies of the application were also to be furnished along with the response. The matter is listed for 1st November now. 

Case Title : Eega Soumya vs M Mahender Reddy and others CONMT.PET.(C) No. 555/2022 in SLP(Crl) No. 5073/2011 II-C

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