Shailesh Kumar v. State of Uttarakhand: Accused's Rights and Case Diary

Chambers of Ishaan Garg

Ch. No. 217, Western Wing, District & Sessions Court, Tis Hazari, New Delhi, Delhi 110054

+91 8851742417, +91 8800386163

Citation: 2024 INSC 143

Judgment: 26-Feb-2024

Accused's Rights and Case Diary

1. Cross-Examination Right

The Supreme Court affirms the accused's right to cross-examine a police officer about case diary entries used to refresh their memory.

2. Court's Use of Case Diary

If the court uses a case diary to contradict a police officer, the accused can peruse the relevant statement and cross-examine the officer.

3. Access to Case Diaries

The accused can access case diaries for cross-examination when a police officer uses them to refresh their memory, despite no right to seek their production under Section 172(3) of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

4. Justices' Observations

Justices MM Sundresh and SVN Bhatti note that an accused can peruse a prior statement recorded in a case diary when a police officer uses it to refresh their memory, as per Section 145 or Section 161 of the Evidence Act.

5. Investigating Officer's Duty

The Investigating Officer must record in their case diary, but the accused has no right to seek its production or peruse it, except in certain cases.

6. Case Diary Relevance

The bench discusses the case diary's relevance and evidentiary value, maintained by an Investigating Officer to record daily investigation proceedings.

7. Section 172 of CrPC Amendments

The Investigating Officer must mention witness statements recorded during the investigation in their case diary, as per sub-section (1-A) and (1-B) of Section 172 of CrPC.

8. Sections 145 and 161 of the Evidence Act

Section 172(3) of CrPC refers to Sections 145 and 161 of the Evidence Act, extending their benefits to an accused in certain cases.

9. Conviction on Weak Grounds

The Court finds the conviction based on weak grounds, with alterations and missing pages in the case diary suggesting the crime did not occur on the alleged date.

10. Case Diary Corrections

Corrections and missing pages in the case diary, used against the appellant, actually aided the prosecution, leading the Court to overturn the conviction.