Statement under section 161 CrPC inadmissible in Evidence and cannot be relied upon for Conviction, says SC

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statement 161 crpc

“A statement recorded under Section 161 Cr.P.C. can be used only to prove the contradictions and/or omissions.”

The Supreme Court has reiterated that a statement recorded under Section 161 of the Code of Criminal Procedure is inadmissible in evidence and cannot be relied upon or used to convict the accused. 

While setting aside a concurrent conviction in a murder case, the bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan and MR Shah observed that a statement recorded under Section 161 Cr.P.C. can be used only to prove the contradictions and/or omissions.

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Parvat Singh and others were convicted by the Trial Court finding them guilty of offences under Section 302 r/w Section 149 of the IPC for having killed one Bal Kishan. While confirming the Trial Court judgment, the High Court relied on the statement given by one of the prosecution witnesses under Section 161 Cr.P.C. in which she stated that the accused were having lathis. 

Perusing the evidence on record, the bench noted that there are material contradictions, omissions and improvements in the statement of the prosecution witnesses recorded under Section 161 Cr.P.C. as well as deposition before the Court qua the appellants. The bench observed that the statement that the accused were having lathis was not made in deposition as Prosecution witnesses. The bench said: 

As per the settled preposition of law a statement recorded under Section 161 Cr.P.C. is inadmissible in evidence and cannot be relied upon or used to convict the accused. As per the settled proposition of law, the statement recorded under Section 161 Cr.P.C. can be used only to prove the contradictions and/or omissions. Therefore, as such, the High Court has erred in relying upon the statement of PW8 recorded under Section 161 Cr.P.C. while observing that the appellants were having the lathis.

The bench, therefore, set aside the conviction observing that the benefit of material contradictions, omissions and improvements must go in favour of the accused.