A Comparative Study of Ss. 154, 161,162 and 537 of the Code Criminal Procedure, 1898 and Art. 40, 140, 151 of the Qanun-I-Shahadat Order, 1984
Munir Ahmad Mughal
Punjab University Law College; Superior Law College; LIMIT Law College, Lahore
February 1, 2012
The paper is a comparative study of various kinds of statements recorded under the General procedural law of Pakistan. The process of investigation by a Police Officer begins after an FIR is lodged by any person regarding the commission of a cognizable offence under section 154. This is a statement earliest in time, recorded by the Police and signed by the maker. It is not on oath nor is it a substantive piece of evidence. A copy of FIR is given to the maker.
The police-officer after recording of the FIR is vested with all the powers to investigate the facts and circumstances of the case under section 161 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898. Such statement is neither on oath, nor signed by the maker. It is also not a substantive piece of evidence. A copy of the statement recorded under section 161 of the Cr. P. C. is the right of the accused to demand and obligation of the prosecution to give seven days prior to trial.
Similarities in FIR and a Statement u/s. 161:
The similarities between an FIR and a Statement u/s. 161 are that both are recorded by a police-officer. Both are previous statements in view of Articles 150 and 153 of the Qanun-i-Shahadat Order, 1984 . Both are not substantive piece of evidence. Both cannot be used in any way as substantive evidence to form the basis of conviction. FIR can only be used to corroborate the statements of the maker under section 153 of the Qanun-i-Shahadat Order, 1984 or to contradict it under section 140 of the Qanun-i-Shahadat Order, 1984. It cannot be used as evidence against the maker at the trial if he himself becomes an accused, nor to corroborate or contradict other witnesses. An FIR is undoubtedly a most important document in a criminal case, which has been investigated and eventually prosecuted in the Court by the Police. It may not be evidence by itself, but it certainly furnishes a clue to the possible truth of the allegations against the accused.
The FIR is admissible under Article 21 of the Qanun-i-Shahadat Order, 1984. The FIR can be used only to corroborate or contradict its maker. But not for contradiction of other witnesses. Therefore where complainant is not produced in evidence, FIR loses its evidentiary value.
Dissimilarities in FIR and a Statement u/s. 161
The dissimilarities between the two are that FIR is earlier to investigation while a Statement u/s. 161 is during the investigation by the police-officer. FIR is signed by the maker while a Statement u/s. 161 is not signed by the maker.
Where the defence wants to contradict and challenge the testimony of a witness with reference to his previous statement reduced into writing, i.e. the FIR, the provisions of Article 40 of the Qanun-i-Shahadat Order, 1984 come into play, and the previous statement of the witness, either made by him i writing or reduced into writing, cannot be used for the purpose of contradicting him unless his attention has first been drawn to those parts of the previous statement by which it is proposed to contradict him. It is a principle of fair play that such an opportunity should be given to the witness when he is before trial Court.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 14working papers series
Date posted: February 6, 2012
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