Investigating officer should immediately take victim to magistrate

Considering the consistent recurrence of rapes and gang rapes all over the country, including in metropolitan cities, the Supreme Court has ordered fast-tracking of recording the statements of the victims and witnesses.

Upon receipt of information on the offence, the investigating officer should take immediate steps to take the victim to any metropolitan judicial magistrate, preferably woman, for recording her statement under Section 164 Cr.PC, a Bench of Justices Gyan Sudha Mishra and V. Gopala Gowda said, issuing a series of directions.

Recording the statements of the victim and other witnesses multiple times should be stopped as this was the primary reason for delay in trial. It was high time such measures of reform in the Cr.PC were introduced after deliberation and debate by the legal fraternity.

Evidence recorded for the first time should be kept in a sealed cover to be produced and treated as deposition by the witnesses, which would be admissible at the stage of trial. “The accused could cross-examine them with further liberty to lead his defence. It can surely cut short and curtail protracted trials.”

In case of delay exceeding 24 hours in taking the victim to the magistrate, the investigating officer should record the reasons in the case diary and hand it over to the magistrate, the Bench said. “Section 164 A of the Cr.PC imposes an obligation on the part of investigating officer to get the victim immediately medically examined. A copy of the medical report should be handed over to the magistrate who records the statement of the victim under Section 164.”

The Bench directed that a copy of this order be circulated to all Directors-General of Police of all States and the Commissioners of Police in metropolitan cities and Union Territories.

  • Recording statements multiple times is the reason for trial delay

  • Evidence recorded for first time should be kept in sealed cover for being produced before court