The Apex Court, while delivering a judgment, expressed its concern over the statements recorded under Section 313 of CrPC and stated that it should not be handled in a casual and cursory manner.
The bench comprising of Chief Justice of India made an observation that examination of accused under Section 313 is not a mere procedural formality, rather works on the principle of fairness and court should take due care and caution while examining accused and recording statements.
The bench stated that the trial court is under an obligation to carry on its duty effectively and examine the accused fairly, while incorporating Section 313 of CrPC.
In the instant case, the bench was hearing an appeal filed by the accused who were convicted under Sections 304B and 306 of Indian Penal Code. The appellants had been convicted by the trial court and were sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for seven and five years, respectively. The apex court upheld the trial court’s judgment.
The bench expressed its concern towards casual behaviour of trial courts while examining accused and observed that Section 313 embodies valuable principle of audi alteram partem and thus the accused should be given an opportunity to explain the incriminating material which had appeared against him.
The bench also discussed about Section 232 of CrPC and observed that if upon recording the evidence placed by prosecution, examining the accused, and hearing the prosecution as well as defence side, the judge considers that evidence is not sufficient to hold the guilt of accused, the judge shall be duty bound to pass an order of acquittal.
The above observations were made by the Supreme Court in the case of Satbir Singh v State of Haryana.