Legal Article

Video recording during investigation

Shivendra Pratap Singh

Advocate

High Court Lucknow

Article

Reading Time:

Published on: 30 Jul, 2023

The Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) in India does not have specific provisions mandating the video recording of all investigation proceedings. However, there have been several amendments and guidelines issued by courts and authorities that encourage the video recording of certain investigation procedures, particularly those involving the statement recording of certain vulnerable witnesses, including victims of sexual offenses and children.

  1. Section 161 CrPC: Section 161 CrPC deals with the examination of witnesses by the police during the investigation. While it does not explicitly require video recording, certain guidelines issued by the courts encourage video recording to ensure the accuracy and transparency of witness statements.
  2. Guidelines by Supreme Court and High Courts: The Supreme Court of India and various High Courts have issued guidelines to ensure fair investigation practices. Some of these guidelines suggest the use of video recording in specific situations, such as recording the statements of victims of sexual offenses, child witnesses, or witnesses in sensitive cases.
  3. Recording of Confessions under Section 164 CrPC: Section 164 CrPC deals with the recording of confessions and statements by a Judicial Magistrate or Executive Magistrate. While the section does not explicitly mention video recording, certain courts have used video recording as a method to ensure the voluntariness and accuracy of confessions.
  4. Section 161(3) CrPC: Section 161(3) CrPC gives the accused the right to inspect and compare any part of a statement recorded under Section 161 CrPC during the investigation. Video recording can serve as a reliable method to fulfill this requirement.
  5. High-Profile Cases and Sensitive Matters: In some high-profile cases or sensitive matters, courts may order video recording of investigation proceedings to maintain transparency and to avoid any allegations of tampering or manipulation of evidence.
  6. National Investigation Agency (NIA) Act: The NIA Act, which deals with the functioning of the National Investigation Agency, explicitly provides for the video recording of the statement of a person during the investigation.

While the CrPC itself does not explicitly mandate video recording during investigation proceedings, it is essential to consider that video recording can be an effective tool to ensure transparency, accuracy, and protection of the rights of witnesses and accused persons. The use of video recording is more prevalent in specific types of cases involving vulnerable witnesses or when there is a need to maintain a high level of transparency in the investigation process.

It is crucial to refer to specific guidelines issued by courts and authorities and the practice followed in individual jurisdictions to understand the current approach towards video recording during investigations.