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Can I recall prosecution witnesses if the court did not provide the police report?

Shivendra Pratap Singh

Advocate

07/07/2022

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Question: I am accused in a rape case. Can I recall prosecution witnesses if the court did not provide the police report? The prosecution is going very fast even though the court did not provide me with a copy of the police report. Therefore, my advocate is facing problems in cross examination of the prosecution witness. On the last date of hearing he objected and demanded from the court to provide me with the copy of the police report. 

But the court directed that it was the responsibility of the judicial magistrate to provide all papers. In the lengthy argument the court has directed the prosecution to provide all documents related to the charge sheet. When I get all the documents then the court can permit me to recall all witnesses. 

Asked from: Uttarakhand

The court is bound to supply all the documents submitted by the investigating officer along with the charge sheet. Section 207 of the code of criminal procedure casts a duty upon the court (judicial magistrate) to supply police papers to the accused before commencing of trial. 

The accused cannot defend his case if he has no information about the statement of witnesses. When the investigating officer submits a charge sheet under Section 173 of the code of criminal procedure he gives the copies of statements of witnesses. 

The court supplies, without delay, those copies to the accused under Section 207 crpc. The trial court, before commencement of trial, ensures itself that the provision of section 207 has been complied or not.

When, in any warrant- case instituted on a police report, the accused appears or is brought before a Magistrate at the commencement of the trial, the Magistrate shall satisfy himself that he has complied with the provisions of section 207. Section 238 CrPC  

You said that the court did not supply you with those documents. Therefore, you have the right to demand from the court to supply it immediately. Thereafter, you should move an application under Section 311 of the code of criminal procedure for the summoning of prosecution witnesses. 

You have the right to re-examine the prosecution witnesses after receiving the police report (police papers) under Section 207 crpc. Section 311 Cr.PC is a special provision which strengthens the arms of the court in its efforts to unearth the truth by summoning material witnesses. 

shivendra pratap singh advocate

Shivendra Pratap Singh

Advocate

Practising lawyer in the High Court Lucknow. You can consult on Criminal, Civil, Matrimonial, Writ, Service matters, Property, Revenue and RERA related issues.

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