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Video Of Confession Made Before Police Inadmissible In Evidence: Supreme Court Sets Aside Concurrent Conviction In Murder Case

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
1 Oct 2022 5:49 AM GMT
Video Of Confession Made Before Police Inadmissible In Evidence: Supreme Court Sets Aside Concurrent Conviction In Murder Case
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While setting aside concurrent conviction in a murder case, the Supreme Court observed that videography containing confession made before police is inadmissible as evidence.Statement given by an accused to police under Section 161 of CrPC is not admissible as evidence, the bench comprising CJI Uday Umesh Lalit, Justices S. Ravindra Bhat and Sudhanshu Dhulia observed.In this case, the accused...

While setting aside concurrent conviction in a murder case, the Supreme Court observed that videography containing confession made before police is inadmissible as evidence.

Statement given by an accused to police under Section 161 of CrPC is not admissible as evidence, the bench comprising CJI Uday Umesh Lalit, Justices S. Ravindra Bhat and Sudhanshu Dhulia observed.

In this case, the accused were convicted under Section 302 IPC by the Trial Court and their appeals were dismissed by the High Court of Karnataka.

In appeal, the Apex Court bench noted that the entire case of the prosecution is based on the so-called confessional statements or voluntary statements given by accused while they were in police custody. As per the police, all the accused were arrested from a school building and formally arrested the next day. They confessed to as many as 24 crimes committed by them. Their confessions of how they planned and executed the murders has been captured on a video, which was also exhibited before the court. The Trial Court had held that these video tapes can also be used as corroborative evidence. This view was upheld by the High Court.

"Both the Trial Court and the Appellate Court went completely wrong in placing reliance on the voluntary statements of the accused and their videography statements. Under Article 20(3) of the Constitution of India, an accused cannot be compelled to be a witness against himself. Again, under Section 25 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872; a confessional statement given by an accused before a Police officer is inadmissible as evidence.", the bench observed.

The court also referred to a recent judgment Venkatesh @ Chandra vs State of Karnataka | 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 387 in which similar observations were made. While allowing the appeal, the bench said;

"The crime indeed was ghastly, to say the least. Yet, linking the crime to the present appellants is an exercise which was to be undertaken in the court of law under established principles of law. This has not been done."

Case details

Munikrishna @ Krishna vs  State By UIsoor PS | 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 812 | CrA 1597-1600 OF 2022 | 30 October 2022 | CJI Uday Umesh Lalit, Justices S. Ravindra Bhat and Sudhanshu Dhulia

Counsel : Advocate on Record Lakshmeesh S. Kamath appeared for the appellants, Additional Advocate General Nikhil Goel appeared for the State

Headnotes

Indian Evidence Act, 1872 ; Section 25 - Code Of Criminal Procedure, 1973 ; Section 161 - Both the Trial Court and the Appellate Court went completely wrong in placing reliance on the voluntary statements of the accused and their videography statements - A confessional statement given by an accused before a Police officer is inadmissible as evidence - Statement given by an accused to police under Section 161 of CrPC is not admissible as evidence. (Para 13)

Criminal Trial - Circumstantial Evidence -  In a case of circumstantial evidence, the Court has to scrutinize each and every circumstantial possibility, which is placed before it in the form of an evidence and the evidence must point towards only one conclusion, which is the guilt of the accused - A very heavy duty is cast upon the prosecution to prove its case, beyond reasonable doubt - Parameters under which the case of circumstantial evidence is to be evaluated - Referred to Hanumant Govind Nargundkar & Anr. v. State of Madhya Pradesh AIR 1952 SC 343. (Para 12)

Click here to Read/Download Judgment



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