Staff Reporter

Accused had sought the relief citing his age and his inability to come to Delhi to take part in the trial

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court has allowed a plea by a 90-year-old accused to record his statement in a case under the Negotiable Instruments Act through his son who is a co-accused in the case.

Alternative method

Allowing the plea of petitioner Ram Pratap, Justice V. K. Jain said in a case where the accused was not able to appear in the court to record his statement due to an ailment or physical disability, the court had to record it through a suitable alternative method.

The accused had sought the relief citing his age and his inability to come to Delhi to take part in the trial from Kolkata where he at present stays.

He has appointed his son as an attorney to record the statement on his behalf.

Section 313 of the Criminal Procedure Code provides for recording of a statement by an accused in which the court reads out charges against him and asks him to explain them.

This is the penultimate proceeding in the trial of a criminal case.

Providing opportunity

The purpose of recording the statement was to provide an opportunity to the accused to explain the charges instituted against him and also to assist the court in conducting a fair trial, Justice Jain observed.

Justice Jain further observed that in a situation where the appearance of the accused was not possible to record the statement, the court had to evolve a methodology to complete the proceeding keeping in view that no inconvenience or prejudice was caused to the accused and it was conducted as per procedure.

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