October 2, 2022

Section 162 CrPC- Protection against the use of statement made before police during investigation

Section 162

Section 162 occurs in chapter XII dealing with the powers of the Police to investigate into offences. That Section, so far as material, reads as under:

162 (1) No statement made by any person to a police officer in the course of an investigation under this chapter, shall, if reduced to writing be signed by the person making it, nor shall any such statement or any record thereof, whether in a police diary or otherwise, or any part of such statement or record be used for any purpose, save as hereinafter provided, at any inquiry or trial in respect of any offence under investigation at the time when such statement was made:

Provided that when any witness is called for the prosecution in such inquiry or trial whose statement has been reduced into writing as aforesaid, any part of his statement, if duly proved, may be used by the accused and with the permission of the Court, by the prosecution, to contradict such witness in the manner provided by section 145 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872;

and when any part of such statement is so used, any part thereof may also be used in the re-examination of such witness, but for the purpose only of explaining any matter referred to in his cross-examination.

(2) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to apply to any statement falling within the provisions of clause (1) of section 32 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, or to affect the provisions of section 27 of that Act.”

It bars the use of any statement made before a police officer in the course of an investigation under chapter XII, whether recorded in a police diary or otherwise, but by the express terms of the Section this bar 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 the statement made before a police officer in the course of an investigation under chapter XII 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 Section 162 would not be attracted.

Object of the section

This section has been enacted for the benefit of the accused, as pointed out by this Court in Tehsildar Singh and Another v. The State of Uttar Pradesh, it is intended

“to protect the accused against the user of statements of witnesses made before the police during investigation, at the trial presumably on the assumption that the said statements were not made under circumstances inspiring confidence.”

Supreme Court, in Tehsildar Singh’s case approved the following observations of Braund, J. in Emperor v. Aftab Mohd. Khan,

“As it seems to us it is to protect accused persons from being prejudiced by statements made to police officers who by reason of the fact that an investigation is known to be on foot at the time the statement is made, may be in a position to influence the maker of it, and, on the other hand, to protect accused persons from the prejudice at the hands of persons who in the knowledge that an investigation has already started, are prepared to tell untruths.”

and expressed its agreement with the view taken by the Division Bench of the Nagpur High Court in Baliram Tikaram Marathe v. Emperor that,

“the object of the section is to protect the accused both against overzealous police officers and untruthful witnesses.”

Protection against the use of statement made before police during investigation is, therefore, granted to the accused by providing that such statement shall not be allowed to be used except for the limited purpose set out in the proviso to the section, at any inquiry or trial in respect of the offence which was under investigation at the time when such statement was made. But this protection is unnecessary in any proceeding other than an inquiry or trial in respect of the offence under investigation and hence the bar created by the section is a limited bar.

No application of the section

It has no application, for example in a civil proceeding or in a proceeding under Article 32 or 226 of the Constitution and a statement made before a police officer in the course of investigation can be used as evidence in such proceeding, provided it is otherwise relevant under the Indian Evidence Act.