Indrakunwar V State of Chattisgarh

The Supreme Court recently while acquitting the women accused of killing her own child, also decided the question of what may be required of the convict in her statement under Section 313 Crpc.

The Apex Court penned down the following principle-

  1. The object, evident from the Section itself, is to enable the accused to themselves explain any circumstances appearing in the evidence against them.
  2. The intent is to establish a dialogue between the Court and the accused. This process benefits the accused and aids the Court in arriving at the final verdict .
  3. The process enshrined is not a matter of procedural formality but is based on the cardinal principle of natural justice, i.e., audi alterum partem.
  4. The ultimate test when concerned with the compliance of the Section is to enquire and ensure whether the accused got the opportunity to say his piece.
  5. In such a statement, the accused may or may not admit involvement or any incriminating circumstance or may even offer an alternative version of events or interpretation. The accused may not be put to prejudice by any omission or inadequate questioning.
  6. The right to remain silent or any answer to a question which may be false shall not be used to his detriment, being the sole reason.
  7. This statement cannot form the sole basis of conviction and is neither a substantive nor a substitute piece of evidence. It does not discharge but reduces the prosecution’s burden of leading evidence to prove its case. They are to be used to examine the veracity of the prosecution’s case.
  8. This statement is to be read as a whole. One part cannot be read in isolation.
  9. Such a statement, as not on oath, does not qualify as a piece of evidence under Section 3 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872; however, the inculpatory aspect as may be borne from the statement may be used to lend credence to the case of the prosecution.
  10. The circumstances not put to the accused while rendering his statement under the Section are to be excluded from consideration as no opportunity has been afforded to him to explain them.
  11. The Court is obligated to put, in the form of questions, all incriminating circumstances to the accused so as to give him an opportunity to articulate his defence. The defence so articulated must be carefully scrutinized and considered.
  12. Non-compliance with the Section may cause prejudice to the accused and may impede the process of arriving at a fair decision.

In the instance case, the prosecution alleged that convict (appellant) had relation with co-villager and she conceived the child. Upon giving birth, she killed the child and throw the corpse into debris.

In the Section 313 Crpc statement, the accused had admitted that she was pregnant . Since the appellant was living alone, the trial court hold the inference from her admission of pregnancy and proceeded to hold her guilty of the murder of the child. The Supreme Court took a critical view of the approach taken by the trial court, which was affirmed by the High Court.

In the context of Section 313 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the Court said : “Although there is a requirement by law to disclose the aspects required to adjudicate in a criminal matter such duty cannot unreasonably and unwarrantedly step over the fundamental right of privacy.”

Written by Adv Rohit Yadav

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This field is required.

This field is required.


The following disclaimer governs the use of this website (“Website”) and the services provided by the Law offices of Kr. Vivek Tanwar Advocate & Associates in accordance with the laws of India. By accessing or using this Website, you acknowledge and agree to the terms and conditions stated in this disclaimer.

The information provided on this Website is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as legal advice or relied upon as such. The content of this Website is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship between you and the Law Firm. Any reliance on the information provided on this Website is done at your own risk.

The Law Firm makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, regarding the accuracy, completeness, reliability, or suitability of the information contained on this Website.

The Law Firm disclaims all liability for any errors or omissions in the content of this Website or for any actions taken in reliance on the information provided herein. The information contained in this website, should not be construed as an act of solicitation of work or advertisement in any manner.