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The evidentiary value of a statement recorded can be assessed and evaluated by the trial court at the time of framing of the charges: High Court of J&K and Ladakh

The evidentiary value of a statement recorded under Section 164-A Cr. P. C can be assessed and evaluated by the trial court at the time of framing of the charges and the same cannot be done in these proceedings as held bt he Hon’ble High Court of J&K and Ladakh through a learned bench of Justice Sanjay Dhar in the case of Jalal-Ud-Din Mir & Others Vs State Of J&K Through Sho P/S Sumbal [CRMC No.279/2017].

The brief facts of the case are that, according to the petitioners, a false and frivolous FIR for offences under Section 366, 376, 109 RPC came to be registered against them with Police Station, Sumbal, Sonawari, and after investigation of the case, a challan came to be presented against them before the Court of Judicial Magistrate, 1st Class, Sumbal. It is the case of petitioners that petitioner No.1 had entered into wedlock with the prosecutrix on 30.05.2009 as per Muslim rites. A Nikah Nama and a marriage agreement was executed by petitioner No.1 and the prosecutrix, copies whereof have been placed on record. It is alleged that petitioner No.1 and the prosecutrix lived together as husband and wife for about two months but thereafter parents of the prosecutrix, being not happy with the marriage, lodged a false FIR against the petitioners. It is further alleged that the parents of the prosecutrix took away her custody from petitioner No.1 against her will and wish, whereafter she entered into a wedlock with another person.   

It is further averred in the petition that in her statement recorded under Section 164-A Cr. P. C after about two and a half months of registration of the case, the prosecutrix implicated the petitioner by speaking falsehood just to wreak vengeance upon them. According to the petitioners, the statement of the prosecutrix recorded under Section 164-A Cr. P. C does not inspire confidence and contents thereof sound preposterous and absurd. On these grounds, petitioners have sought quashment of the criminal proceedings initiated against them on the basis of the challan laid before the trial court.

After hearing the parties and a perusal of the Statement of the prosecutrix recorded under Section 164-A Cr. P. C, The Hon’ble High Court stated that “From the aforesaid statement of the prosecutrix, it is clear that she has implicated all the petitioners and has levelled allegations of kidnapping and rape against them. So far as the contention of petitioners that statement of the prosecutrix was recorded after two months of registration of FIR is concerned, the merits of the same cannot be determined in these proceedings. The evidentiary value of a statement recorded under Section 164-A Cr. P. C can be assessed and evaluated by the trial court at the time of framing of the charges and the same cannot be done in these proceedings. Similarly, the contention of the petitioners that the petitioner No.1 had entered into wedlock with the prosecutrix cannot be gone into in these proceedings. The validity of the alleged marriage is a question which cannot be gone into in these proceedings.”   

Click here to read the Judgment                                                                                        

Judgment Reviewed by – Aryan Bajaj

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