Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Section 482 CrPC- HC Cannot Quash Criminal Proceedings On The Basis Of Its Assessment Of 161 Statements: SC

 The Court, while allowing the criminal appeal, held that quashing of criminal proceedings cannot be meted out by the High Courts if a prima facie case is made out disclosing the ingredients of the alleged offence.

The Bench emphasized that the appreciation of evidence in a petition under Section 482 CRPC was a matter of exceptional circumstance.

It was held,

"It is settled law that the evidence produced by the accused in his defence cannot be looked into by the Court, except in very exceptional circumstances, at the initial stage of the criminal proceedings. It is trite law that the High Court cannot embark upon the appreciation of evidence while considering the petition filed under Section 482 CrPC for quashing criminal proceedings"

Furthermore, Court took the view that statements recorded in terms of Section 161 CRPC were wholly inadmissible in evidence and were not a valid ground for allowing a petition under Section 482 CRPC.

"The conclusion of the High Court to quash the criminal proceedings is on the basis of its assessment of the statements recorded under Section 161 CrPC. Statements of witnesses recorded under Section 161 CrPC being wholly inadmissible in evidence cannot be taken into consideration by the Court"

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