Statements to be recorded under Section 164 of Cr.P.C.

Advocates staging a protest against the murder of lawyer couple Gattu Vaman Rao and P.V. Nagamani, in Sangareddy.  

Advocate General B.S. Prasad on Monday informed Telangana High Court that investigators would record the statements of the accused in the sensational lawyer couple murder case under section 164 of Criminal Procedure Code (Cr.P.C.).

However, recording statements of all the accused and the witnesses in the case would require a couple of weeks time, the Advocate General told a bench of Chief Justice Hima Kohli and Justice B. Vijaysen Reddy. The bench was hearinga PIL petition taken up by it suo moto over the murder of lawyers Gattu Vaman Rao and his wife P.V. Nagamani practising in the HC.

The couple was killed on the fringes of Kalvacharla village on Manthani-Peddapalli road while returning to their house in Bowenpally, Hyderabad, after attending Manthani court on February 17.

Taking up the gory killings as PIL plea suo moto, the bench had directed the State government the next day to file a status report on the matter by March 1.

After perusing the report on Monday presented by the government, Chief Justice Hima Kohli sought to know why the investigators could not record the statements of the accused and the witnesses under Section 164 of the Cr.P.C.

The police officials probing the twin murders recorded statements of the accused under Section 161 of the Cr.P.C.

That would be of little help in building up the case since the statements made under section 161 of Cr.P.C. are not admissible, the bench felt. The AG told the bench that investigators would require a couple of weeks as the list of witnesses, whose statements are to be recorded, is long.

Meanwhile, the police had to gather crucial evidence relating to the crime - like mobile phones used by the accused, their Call Data Record and details of the scene of offence, he said. The video footage recorded by surveillance cameras at Manthani court from where the couple had started for Hyderabad before being murdered was also collected by the police.

Justice B. Vijaysen Reddy noted that a video clip had shown Vaman Rao speaking to onlookers, while lying on road with bleeding injuries inflicted with arms, for considerable time. The judge felt that the police should have rushed Mandal Revenue Officer or a gazetted officer to Mr. Rao and recorded the latter’s dying declaration. That would have become a crucial evidence to ensure conviction to the culprits, he said. The AG replied that police focus at that time was to shift the injured persons to the hospital for treatment. However, the couple could not be saved as they succumbed to their injuries, he said.

The bench headed by the Chief Justice directed Ramagundam Police Commissioner to file a fresh status report on the investigation into the double murder and posted the matter to March 15 for next hearing.

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Printable version | May 9, 2021 4:23:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/statements-to-be-recorded-under-section-164-of-crpc/article33966350.ece

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