Subba Rao, J.
1. The question in this revn. is whether a D. S P. can plead privilege Under Section 124, Evidence Act, in respect of statements made by the witnesses in an investigation made by his subordinates. The accused is a Sub-Inspector of Police. A complaint was made against him to the D. S. P. & on the complaint he directed the Circle Inspector of Police to make an investigation. Daring the course of the investigation, statements were recorded from varioua persons. On enquiry the police did not take any action. Then a private complaint was filed in the Ct. of the Sub-Mag. of Vizianagaram. The accused filed an appln. for calling for the statement recorded by the Inspector for the purpose of contradicting the witnesses. The D. S. P. in his letter dated 6.3.1950 (Re. 6810/R. 3/99) claimed privilege in respect of those state. ments. The Stationary Sub-Mag. Vizianagaram accepted his plea and held that the statements could not be given to the accused for the purpose of contradiction. A revision petn. was filed to the Dist. Mag. of Vizagapatam against that order who held that those statements were made in the course of a public enquiry by the police & the D. S. P. could not plead privilege in respect of these statements. But in view of the remarks made by Govinda Menon J. in The King v. Kotrappa, 1948 M. w. N. Crl. 129 : A. I. R. 1949 Mad. 11 : 50 or L. J. 83 he thought that that was not a fit case for submission to the H. C. & therefore he dismissed the revn. After the revn. was dismissed, the Sub Mag. refused the request of the accused on the ground that his previous order had become final inasmuch as the revn. was dismissed by the District Mag. The present revn. is filed by the accused against that order.
2. Section 124, Evidence Act runs thus :
'No public officer shall be compelled to disclose communications made to him in official confidence when he considers that the public interests would suffer by the disclosure.'
This section can therefore be applied only when the communication was made to a public officer in official confidence. The statements made by the witnesses in an investigation made by the Circle Inspector under Or. P. C. cannot be considered to be statements made in official confidence. The accused is certainly entitled to use those statements to contradict the prosecution witnesses.
3. The order of the lower Ct. is accordingly set aside.