The object of recording the statement of the accused u/s 313 of the Code

The object of recording the statement of the accused u/s 313 of the Code is to put all incriminating evidence against the accused so as to provide him an opportunity to explain such incriminating circumstances appearing against him in the evidence of the prosecution. At the same time, also to permit him to put forward his own version or reasons, if he so chooses, in relation to his involvement or otherwise in the crime. The court has been empowered to examine the accused but only after the prosecution evidence has been concluded. It is a mandatory obligation upon the court and besides ensuring the compliance therewith the court has to keep in mind that the accused gets a fair chance to explain his conduct. The option lies with the accused to maintain silence coupled with simpliciter denial or in the alternative to explain his version and reasons for his alleged involvement in the commission of crime. This is the statement which the accused makes without fear or right of the other party to cross-examine him. However, if the statements made are false, the court is entitled to draw adverse inferences and pass consequential orders, as may be called for, in accordance with law. The primary purpose is to establish a direct dialogue between the court and the accused and to put to the accused every important incriminating piece of evidence and grant him an opportunity to answer and explain. Once such a statement is recorded, the next question that has to be considered by the court is to what extent and consequences such statement can be used during the enquiry and the trial. Over the period of time, the courts have explained this concept and now it has attained, more or less, certainty in the field of criminal jurisprudence.

 The statement of the accused can be used to test the veracity of the exculpatory nature of the admission, if any, made by the accused. It can be taken into consideration in any enquiry or trial but still it is not strictly evidence in the case. The provisions of Section 313(4) explicitly provides that the answers given by the accused may be taken into consideration in such enquiry or trial and put in evidence against the accused in any other enquiry or trial for any other offence for which such answers may tend to show he has committed. In other words, the use is permissible as per the provisions of the Code but has its own limitations. The courts may rely on a portion of the statement of the accused and find him guilty in consideration of the other evidence against him led by the prosecution, however, such statements made under this section should not be considered in isolation but in conjunction with evidence adduced by the prosecution. [ V.K. SASIKALA Vs. STATE REP. BY SUPERINTENDENT OF POLICE (2012) 9 SCC 771 ]


Categories: Criminal