1. It has been repeatedly laid down that the proper stage at which to apply for a copy of a witness's statement is at the beginning of the cross-examination. This was apparently done by the counsel for the accused; and so the Magistrate was bound to grant the application.
2. This method however, if strictly followed, would lead to interminable delays. In practice, copies are either granted in advance or the Court reads out the relevant part of the accused's statement or the vakil is allowed to look into the diary. In the last two cases, copies must still be furnished if required; but the examination of witnesses need not be held up while this is being done.
3. Some co-operation between the counsel and the Court is necessary to make Section 162, Criminal Procedure Code work smoothly.
4. The petition is allowed and the Magistrate ordered to furnish the copies prayed for.