Section 313 CrPC , the fundamental principle of fairness

Question

Section 313 of the code of criminal procedure, a fundamental principle of fairness. 

Question asked on 24/11/2014

Answered by: Advocate Shivendra

In the criminal trial after registration of the FIR, police investigates the crime. After that, submits its report, i.e. charge-sheet.  Charge sheet shows those evidence and circumstances which incriminate the accused. Court frames charges by that charge sheet and incriminating material collected by police during the investigation. After the recording of prosecution evidence, section 313 crpc provides an opportunity to the accused to apprised the incriminatory proof against him and get his explanation about such incriminatory evidence. 

Section 313 Cr.P.C. prescribes a procedural safeguard for an accused by giving him an opportunity to explain the facts and circumstances appearing against him in the evidence. It imposes a duty on the Court to question the appropriately accused and reasonably to bring home to him the exact case.

The court shall not administer an oath or warn the accused before examination under section 313. Such an opportunity being given to the accused is part of a fair trial.

Importance of this section

If trial court did not seek the explanation of accused in respect of any incriminating evidence, then that (evidence) cannot be considered against the accused [Sharad Birdhichand Sarda v. State of Maharashtra, (1984) 4 SCC 116]. The court is bound to take explanation from accused regarding the incriminating circumstances proved against him.

In Naval Kishore Singh v. State of Bihar, (2004) 7 SCC 502 the Supreme Court has opined that examination, under section 313, shall not be carried out as an empty formality. It is only after the entire prosecution evidence is unfurled the accused would be in a position to articulate his defence and to give an explanation to the circumstances appearing in the evidence against him.

In Kuldip Singh & Ors. V State of Delhi (2003) 12 SCC 528, Supreme Court held that when exigent incriminating circumstance was not put to the accused during his examination under Section 313 Cr.P.C., the prosecution cannot use that piece of evidence against the accused.

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