Section 162 CrPC

Shivendra Pratap Singh

Advocate

High Court Lucknow

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Section 162 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), 1973, is an integral part of the Indian criminal justice system. It pertains to the statements made to the police during an investigation and the admissibility of those statements in court.

Understanding Section 162 CrPC

Section 162 states that no statement made by any person to a police officer during an investigation can be used for any purpose (at any inquiry or trial), except for the purpose of contradicting such a person, when the witness denies or varies any part of his statement. It is critical to understand that a statement made to the police is not a confession; it is merely a piece of information given during the investigation process.

Key Provisions of Section 162 CrPC

  1. Admissibility of Statements: The statements recorded by the police during an investigation are not considered substantive evidence and cannot be used for the purpose of a trial, except for contradicting the person who made the statement.
  2. No Requirement of Signature: As per Section 162(1), the police cannot obtain a signature on any statement it records during an investigation.
  3. Exemption in Case of Dying Declarations: Section 162(2) allows for an exception to the rule in the form of dying declarations. If the person who made the statement is dead, incapable of giving evidence, or cannot be found, the statement can be admitted as evidence.

Implications of Section 162 CrPC

Section 162 is a crucial aspect of India’s criminal law as it safeguards individuals from potential police coercion and upholds the principle of a fair trial. It maintains the right to silence as a fundamental principle, not allowing statements to the police during an investigation to be used against a person.

However, the provision also includes a cautionary measure, in the form of a contradiction clause. This ensures that a person cannot easily retract from their statement during the trial without some consequences.

Section 162, like other legal provisions, requires careful interpretation and application. Through various judgements, courts have provided guidance on its usage. For instance, inPakala Narayana Swami vs Emperor (1939)’, it was clarified that a confession made to police during an investigation is not admissible as evidence, emphasizing the importance of Section 162 in ensuring fairness in criminal proceedings.