A statement is a written document made and signed by a witness, telling
police what they know about a crime. Evidentiary is something constituting
evidence or having the quality of evidence and something that relates to the
evidence in a particular case.
Evidentiary value of statement recorded by the police in the course of
investigation under section 162 Cr.P.C.:
Every statement recorded by police officer during investigation is neither given
on oath nor is tested by cross-examination. According to the law of evidence the
facts stated therein are not considered as substantive evidence. But if the
person making the statement is called as a witness at the time of trial, his
former statements, according to the normal rules of evidence, could be used for
corroborating his testimony in court or for showing how his former statement was
inconsistent with his deposition in court with a view to discredit him.
Section 162 of the Cr.P.C. prohibits the use of the statements made to the
police during the course of the investigation for the purpose of corroboration.
It is based on the assumption that the police cannot be trusted for recording
the statements correctly and that the statements cannot be relied upon by the
prosecution for the corroboration of their witnesses as the statements recorded
might be of self serving nature. There is not a total ban on the use of the
statements made to police officers.
The defence is not deprived of
an opportunity to discover what a particular witness said at the earliest
opportunity. In Khatri vs. State of Bihar (1983)
the Court has observed that the
object of the section 162 Cr.P.C is to protect the accused both against
overzealous police officers and untruthful witnesses.
In the case of State of U.P. V. M.K.Anthony 1985,
it has been ruled by the
Supreme Court that S.162 does not provide that evidence of a witness in the
court becomes inadmissible if it is established that the statement of the
witness recorded during investigation was signed by him at the instance of the
police officer. The bar created by S.162 Cr.P.C. in respect of the use of any
statement recorded by the police during the course of investigation is
applicable only where such statement is sought to be used “at any inquiry or
trial in respect of any offence under investigation at the time when such
statement was made.
If any such statement is sought to be used in any proceeding
other than an inquiry or trial or even at an inquiry or trial but in respect of
an offence other than that which was under investigation at the time when such
statement was made, the bar of s.162 would not be attracted. Section 162 of Cr.P.C is enacted for the protection of the accused. The bar created by S.162
has no application in a civil proceeding or in a proceeding under Art.32 or 226
of the constitution. It has also no application under s.452 of the code for
disposal of property.
lt is immaterial whether the statement recorded under S.161 Cr.P.C. amounted to
a confession or admission. The statements falling under s.32(1) and s.27 of the
Evidence Act are exceptions to this rule. A dying declaration recorded by a
police officer during the course of investigation becomes relevant under s.32 of
the Evidence Act in view of the exemption provided by s.162(2).
Any part of such statement which has been reduced to writing may in certain
limited circumstances be used to contradict the witness who made it. The
- Only the statement of a prosecution witness can be used;
- Only if it has been reduced to writing;
- Any part of the statement recorded can be used; such part must be duly
- It must be a contradiction of the evidence of the witness in Courts;
- It can be used only after the attention of the witness has been drawn to
it or to those parts of it which it is intended to use for the purpose of
The restrictions on the use of previous statements of witnesses imposed by
Section 162 of the Code are confined in their scope to the use by the parties to
the proceedings of such statement. However, the Court while examining a person
as a Court witness under Section 311 of the Code or asking any question of any
witness under Section 165 of the Evidence Act, may make use of the previous
statement of such a witness and the restrictions put by Section 162 of the Code
on the use of previous statements are not applicable in such a case.
Evidentiary value of statements made during the period of investigation but
not during the course of investigation:
The restrictions imposed on the use of statements before police officer
applicable only to such statements as are made to the police officer during the
course of investigation. The words ‘in the course of’ imply that the statement
must be made as a step in a pending investigation. Any other statement, though
made during the time investigations were going on, is not hit by the prohibitory
rule of Section 162 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Therefore, such a
statement can be used for corroborating or contradicting purposes according to
the normal rules of evidence contained in Sections 157 and 145 of the Evidence
In Baleshwar Rai v. State of Bihar (1962)
, it has been held that it was
admissible as an admission as to the motive of the accused under Section 21 of
the Evidence Act, when an anonymous letter was written by the accused to the
police officer complaining about the act of a Chowkidar, who was ultimately
murdered by the accused.
Evidentiary value of Confession:
Confession is not defined in the Act. Confession is an admission made at any
time by a person charged with a crime stating or suggesting the inference that
he committed that crime. A confession may occur in many forms. When it is made
to the court itself then it will be called judicial confession and when it is
made to anybody outside the court, in that case it will be called extra-judicial
confession. It may even consist of conversation to oneself, which may be
produced in evidence if overheard by another.
In Sahoo v. State of U.P. (1966)
the accused who was charged with the murder of
his daughter-in-law with whom he was always quarrelling was seen on the day of
the murder going out of the home, saying words to the effect:
I have finished her and with her the daily quarrels.
The statement was held to be a confession
relevant in evidence, for it is not necessary for the relevancy of a confession
that it should be communicated to some other person.
Section 164 of Cr.P.C. empowers any Metropolitan or Judicial Magistrate whether
or not he has jurisdiction in the case to record any confession or statement of
a person made in the course of investigation by the police, or (when the
investigation has been concluded) at any time afterwards but before the
commencement of the inquiry or trial. It applies only to the statements recorded
in the investigation under Ch. 12 and is limited to the period before the
inquiry or trial.
The Magistrate shall, before recording any such confession,
explain to the person making it that he is not bound to make a confession and
that, if he does so, it may be used as evidence against him; and the Magistrate
shall not record any such confession unless, upon questioning the person making
it, he has reason to believe that it is being made voluntarily.
A confession to the police officer is the confession made by the accused while
in the custody of a police officer and never relevant and can never be proved
under Section 25 and 26 of IEA. Now as for the judicial confession and
confession made by the accused to some magistrate to whom he has been sent by
the police for the purpose during the investigation, they are admissible only
when they are made voluntarily.
If the making of the confession appears to the
court to have been caused by any inducement, threat or promise having reference
to the charge against the accused person proceeding from a person in authority
and sufficient in opinion of the court to give the accused person grounds, which
would appear to him reasonable for supporting that by making it he would gain
any advantage or avoid any evil of a temporal nature in reference to the
proceeding against him, it will not be relevant and it cannot be proved against
the person making the statement as per section 24 of the Act.
A confessional statement made by the accused before a magistrate is a good
evidence and accused be convicted on the basis of it but a confession made to a
police officer is not an admissible evidence in the Court of law.
Evidentiary Value of FIR:
First Information Report Commonly known as F.I.R is first and foremost important
step to set the criminal law in motion. Though the term F.I.R is nowhere
mentioned in the code of criminal procedure but information given under Section
154 of Cr.P.C. is popularly known as F.I.R.
Provision of section 154 makes possible that any person aware of the commission
of any cognizable offence may give information to the police and may, thereby
set the criminal law in motion. Such information is to be given to the officer
–in –charge of the police station having jurisdiction to investigate the
offence. The information so received shall be recorded in such form and
manner as under provided in Section 154.This section is intended to ensure the
making of an accurate record of the information given to the police.
The evidentiary value of FIR is far greater than that of any other statement
recorded by the police during the course of investigation. It is settled
principle of law that a FIR is not a substantive piece of evidence, that is to
say, it is not evidence of the facts which it mentions. However, its importance
as conveying the earliest information regarding the occurrence cannot be
In the case of Hasib vs. State of Bihar (1972) the Apex Court has held that
though the FIR is not substantive evidence, it can be used to corroborate the
informant under S.157 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, or to contradict him
under S.145 of the said Act, if the Informant is called as a witness at the time
Evidentiary value of dying declaration:Sham Shankar Kankaria vs. State of Maharashtra (2006)
is a case where the basis
of conviction of the accused is the dying declaration. The Apex court in this
case held that The situation in which a person is on deathbed is so solemn and
serene when he is dying that the grave position in which he is placed, is the
reason in law to accept veracity of his statement. It is for this reason the
requirements of oath and cross-examination are dispensed with. Besides, should
the dying declaration be excluded it will result in miscarriage of justice
because the victim being generally the only eyewitness in a serious crime, the
exclusion of the statement would leave the court without a scrap of evidence.
Though a dying declaration is entitled to great weight, it is worthwhile to note
that the accused has no power of cross-examination. Such a power is essential
for eliciting the truth as an obligation of oath could be. This is the reason
the court also insists that the dying declaration should be of such a nature as
to inspire full confidence of the court in its correctness. The court has to be
on guard that the statement of deceased was not as a result of either tutoring
or prompting or a product of imagination.
The court must be further satisfied
that the deceased was in a fit state of mind after a clear opportunity to
observe and identify the assailant. Once the court is satisfied that the
declaration was true and voluntary, undoubtedly, it can base its conviction
without any further corroboration. It cannot be laid down as an absolute rule of
law that the dying declaration cannot form the sole basis of conviction unless
it is corroborated. The rule requiring corroboration is merely a rule of
The dying declaration must be made by the deceased only. In the case of Suchand
Pal vs. Phani Pal
(2004) the SC held that the declaration made by the deceased
cannot be called dying declaration because it was not voluntary and answers were
not given by her, it was her husband who was answering.
Evidentiary value of articles seized:
The police also conduct search and seizures. The search and seizures should not
be unreasonable. They may be conducted by police with or without a warrant. In
case a search is conducted on a warrant issued by a Magistrate it must
invariably, contain the following details:
- The information as to the statement of facts showing probable cause that
a crime has been committed.
- A specification of a place or places to be searched.
- A reasonable time limit within which it may be conducted.
The police can also conduct a search without warrant when it is incidental to be
a lawful arrest or where the object of search is a mobile vehicle which can
quickly be removed out of police jurisdiction or when the accused has consented
to it. The burden of proving the consent, however lies upon the prosecution.
The legal provisions relating to search and seizures are so framed so as to
maintain a balance between the security of persons on the one hand and the
protection to police in discharging its duty properly on the other. Thus during
the course of investigation the police is empowered to make search, order
production of documents, seize any suspicious property, call witnesses, require
them to attend court and arrest persons suspected or having committed crime,
without warrant. After the investigation a police report is prepared upon which
proceedings are instituted before a Magistrate. The law requires that every
investigation should be completed without undue delay.
As soon as any property is seized, the Investigating Officer should hand over
the property along with a copy of the seizure memo to the Officer-in-charge of
the Malkhana who will make an entry in the Malkhana Sub-Module or Seized
Property Register. Record of seized property shall be maintained in the Malkhana
Sub-Module of CRIMES or in the prescribed form in all the CBI Branches.
Whenever inspection of documents kept in the Malkhana is permitted by a Court,
the Law Officer-in-charge of Malkhana or the SP of the Branch should make an
Officer responsible for supervising such inspection. Such designated Officer
shall be responsible for ensuring safety of all the documents.
All properties seized during investigation under the provisions of the Cr.P.C.
should invariably be forwarded to the Court in order to obtain orders
under Section 457 Cr.P.C. for their custody during the pendency of the case. No
case property relevant to the trial should be retained by CBI after the trial of
the case has commenced unless it has been so by the Court of competent
A complete file of photocopies of seizure memos should be maintained for the
purpose of checking the Seized Property Register. Properties relating to cases
recommended for suitable action may be disposed of after giving information to
the Department concerned as mentioned in the chapter pertaining to the
The procedure as laid down in the Criminal Procedure Code that makes the
statements made by a person to a police officer in the course of investigation
inadmissible in the Court of Law is a commendable and applaudable
step/procedural safeguard. If this safeguard was not installed in the Criminal
Procedure Code than the Police in their overzealous nature would have tormented
the accused inmates to extract confessions and admissions which they would
without the coercion never admit to.
So also the value given to other statements like confessions, dying
declarations, F.I.R is an appreciable step. The legal provisions relating to
search and seizures are so framed so as to maintain a balance between the
security of persons on the one hand and the protection to police in discharging
its duty properly on the other.