The Hon’ble Supreme Court, on 8th October 2020, in the matter of Miss ‘A’ v. State of Uttar Pradesh and Anr. pronounced that no person is entitled to a copy of statement recorded under Section 164 of the CrPC till cognizance is taken and at the stage contemplated by Sections 207 and 208 of the CrPC and not before.
The Hon’ble Supreme Court observed that:
The Scheme of the relevant provisions of the CrPC shows that after the conclusion of the investigation, an appropriate report under Section 173 of the CrPC is to be filed by the police giving information as required by Section 173. In terms of Section 190 of the CrPC, the concerned Magistrate may take cognizance of any offence inter alia upon a police report. At the stage of exercise of power under Section 190 of the CrPC, the Magistrate may deem fit that the matter requires further investigation on certain aspects/issues and may pass appropriate direction. It is only after taking of the cognizance and issuance of process that the accused is entitled, in terms of Sections 207 and 208 of the Code, to copies of the documents referred to in said provisions. (Para 15)
The filing of the charge-sheet by itself, does not entitle an accused to copies of any of the relevant documents including statement under Section 164 of the Code, unless the stages indicated above are undertaken. (Para 15)
No person is entitled to a copy of statement recorded under Section 164 of the CrPC till the appropriate orders are passed by the court after the charge-sheet is filed. The right to receive a copy of such statement will arise only after cognizance is taken and at the stage contemplated by Sections 207 and 208 of the CrPC and not before. (Para 17)
Under no circumstances copies of statements recorded under Section 164 of the CrPC can be furnished till appropriate orders are passed by the Court after taking cognizance in the matter. (Para 19)
Copy of judgment: Judgement_08-Oct-2020
-Adv. Tushar Kaushik