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Emperor Vs. H.Z. Salve - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtMumbai
Decided On
Case NumberCriminal Sessions, 5th of 1933, Case No. 20
Judge
Reported inAIR1934Bom233; (1934)36BOMLR384
AppellantEmperor
RespondentH.Z. Salve
Excerpt:
indian evidence act (i of 1872), section 27 - confession by accused to police-finding of property-admissibility of statement.;an accused person stated to the police: 'the throat was cut with a knife, and the knife was on a paniara of the mori in the kitchen.' in consequence of the statement, the police found the knife at the place indicated. at the trial of the accused, the above statement was offered in evidence:-;that the first part, which was the incriminating part, of the statement and which did not directly lead to the discovery of the knife, should be excluded under section 27 of the indian evidence act, 1872, but the second part of the statement should be admitted in evidence. - .....such a place'.5. in the present case, i think that, although the police-officer has written down one sentence as constituting the statement made to him, it is capable of being divided, and should be divided, in two parts. the incriminating part, in my opinion, is not directly connected with the discovery of the thing (the knife) and the knife could be traced or discovered directly from the statement which would remain after omitting the incriminating part. in my opinion, the statement amounts to the following: 'shevantibai told us that the throat was cut with the knife, and the knife was on a paniara of the mori in the kitchen'. the first part, which is the incriminating part, and which does not directly lead to the discovery of the knife should, in my opinion, under section 27 of the.....
Judgment:

Kania, J.

1. The witness, Sub-Inspector Sorabji, states that when he questioned accused No. 2 on September 21 at about twelve noon, she told him about the knife. When questioned as to what were the exact words, so far as he remembered, which were told to him by accused No. 2, he wrote them down from memory. According to him, Shevantibai told him and the other police-officers that the knife, with which the throat was cut, was washed and kept on a paniara of the mori in the kitchen. The learned Advocate General contends that as this is one statement made by accused No. 2, and it is in consequence of that statement that the knife (Exh. Z/8) was ultimately traced in the kitchen by the police-officers, the whole statement is admissible under Section 27 of the Indian Evidence Act. In support of his contention, he relies on the decisions in Lalji Dusadh v. King-Emperor I.L.R. (1927) Pat. 747 In re Sogaimuthu Padayachi (1925) 27 Cr.L.J. 394 Queen-Empress v. Nana I.L.R. (1889) Bom. 260 and Emperor v. Ganu Chandra (1931) 34 Bom. L.R. 303

2. In my opinion, the principle stated in Lalji Dusadh v. King-Emperor is somewhat wider than is justified by the principles laid down by this High Court. In my opinion, the correct and exact scope of statements made admissible under Section 27 is laid down so far back as 1874 by Mr. Justice West in Reg. v. Jora Hasji (1874) 11 B.H.C.R. 242 The learned Judge, after pointing out that Section 27 was an exception to Sections 24, 25 and 26, observed as follows (p. 244):

Whatever be the nature of the fact discovered, that fact must, in all cases, be itself relevant to the case, and the connection between it and the statement made must have been such that that statement constituted the information through which the discovery was made, in order to render the statement admissible. Other statements connected with the one thus made evidence, and so mediately, but not necessarily or directly, connected with the fact discovered, are not to be admitted, as this would rather be an evasion than a fulfilment of the law, which is designed to guard prisoners accused of offences against unfair practices on the part of the police.

3. The decision in Emperor v. Ganu Chandra also shows that, although a series of statements may be made as if in one sentence to the police-officer, the Court should dissect them and admit only such portion of that statement as directly led to the discovery of the thing, as provided in Section 27. The point, in my opinion, is made still more clear by the decision in Amiruddin Ahmed v. Emperor I.L.R. (1917) Cal. 557 where it is stated as follows:

If a single statement contains more information than is contemplated by Section 27, the whole statement is not admissible but only the particular information which led to the discovery.

4. As an illustration, it is pointed out, in the authorities, that, if a prisoner accused stated as follows: 'You will find a stick at such and such a place; I killed Rama with it,' the duty of the Court is to exclude the latter part, namely, 'I killed Rama with it' and admit only the first part, namely, 'you will find a stick at such and such a place'.

5. In the present case, I think that, although the police-officer has written down one sentence as constituting the statement made to him, it is capable of being divided, and should be divided, in two parts. The incriminating part, in my opinion, is not directly connected with the discovery of the thing (the knife) and the knife could be traced or discovered directly from the statement which would remain after omitting the incriminating part. In my opinion, the statement amounts to the following: 'Shevantibai told us that the throat was cut with the knife, and the knife was on a paniara of the mori in the kitchen'. The first part, which is the incriminating part, and which does not directly lead to the discovery of the knife should, in my opinion, under Section 27 of the Indian Evidence Act, be excluded, because it does not fall under the word 'directly' in that section. The latter part, namely, 'the knife was on a paniara of the mori of the kitchen', is the only statement, which directly led to the discovery of the knife in the kitchen, and should be admitted in evidence.


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