Madras High Court reserves order on cops' access to copies of statements

The Madras High Court has reserved its order on whether the police is entitled to get copies of statement of witnesses, recorded under CrPC section 164, and other documents.
Madras High Court reserves order on cops' access to copies of statements
Madras High Court

Chennai

The matter came up before the first bench of Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice PN Prakash after it was raised during hearing of a bail plea that police do not get easy access to copies of statements of witnesses and the accused, dying declaration and test identification parade report, which delays the probe.
The first bench yesterday reserved its order after hearing arguments of the advocates on the issue.
The matter relates to a bail application filed in connection with a sexual abuse case allegedly involving the founder and chairman of Tirupur school for deaf and speech impaired.
During the hearing of the bail plea on July 7, it was brought to the notice of the judge that the police are made to run from pillar to post to secure the copies of statements of witnesses and the accused, besides the dying declaration and test identification parade report, on account of which the probe gets delayed.
As a result, the police is unable to file the final report within 90 days and the accused get released on compulsory or statutory bail under Section 167 of CrPC, the Additional Public Prosecutor had said.
Recording the submission, Justice PN Prakash had said, "The submission of the learned Additional Public Prosecutor cannot be lightly brushed aside and requires remedial measures."
"Hence, this court is of the view that an authoritative pronouncement of a division bench on the following issue is necessary to settle the controversy and provide guidance to the magistrates in the state."
He then directed the Registry of High Court to place the matter before the Chief Justice for referring the issue to a division bench for an authoritative pronouncement.
Yesterday, it came up before the first bench, which reserved its order.

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