Delhi High Court Sets Aside the Order of the Trial Court in the Chief Secretary Assault Case

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In the case of Mr. Arvind Kejriwal & Anr. V. State NCT of Delhi, Mr.Justice Suresh Kumar Kait has set aside the 24.07.2019 Order of the Trial Court wherein the court did not allow access to crucial documents in the Chief Secretary Assault Case.

Brief facts of the case

The Petitioner filed an Application under Section 207 of CrPC to supply certain deficient documents, including the copy of the statement of one witness V. K. Jain recorded. The Trial Court declined to supply a copy of the witness’s statement and held, as per the prosecution, no statement under Section 161 of CrPC was recorded, and therefore, the same could not be supplied. A Revision Petition was accordingly filed before the Trial Court, but it was disposed of stating that as it was a record of oral examination by the IO and was noted in the case diary, it could not constitute a statement under Section 161 and therefore, could not be given to the accused.

Arguments Before the Court

Senior Advocate, on behalf of the Petitioners, submitted to the Court that impugned order categorically stated that VK Jain had been examined in-depth and that the statement was being withheld because it did not suit the prosecution case. It was also submitted that there is an obligation on the Magistrate to see that all the documents necessary for the accused are furnished to him before the trial.
On behalf of Respondent No. 2/Complainant, Senior Advocate submitted that on 21st February, despite VK Jain being called for examination, no statement under Section 161 had been recorded. Further, statements mentioning 21st September were, in fact, referring to 22nd and the 21st was a typing error. It was also argued that “under Section 173(5) and (6) and Section 207, what is to be supplied to an accused are the specified documents and no more. It was also submitted that records of the Case Diary could not be sought due to the ban imposed by Section 172(3).

Court’s Decision

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The court observed and considered the question does the statement of VK Jain recorded on 21.02.2018 amounted to the statement recorded under Section 161 of the Code. It was noted that the Case Diary stated that the witness had been examined in-depth and that a report had been prepared. Court then referred to Section 161 of the CrPC, case of Ashutosh Verma v. CBI (2014), and observed that even at the stage of scrutiny of documents under Section 207, the court should supply all the documents to the accused. It was observed that the issue of the source of the document and states that if the evidence is relevant, it is admissible irrespective of how it is obtained. The court set aside the impugned order of the Trial Court.

The judgment can be accessed here.


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