1. In this case the question referred by Kumaraswami Sastri, J, is, whether a retracted statement of an approver is evidence against an accused. In Queen-Empress v. Rangi 10 M. 295 . Kernan, J., observed: As the second prisoner has withdrawn all the confessional statements made by hermit is necessary, according to the rulings of this Court, to examine the evidence and see if there is reliable independent evidence of corroborate to a material extent and in material particulars the statements contained in the withdrawn confessional statements. If no such corroborative evidence exists, then the contradictory statements of the second prisoner remain, and doubt exists as to which statement is true, and the confesaional statements cannot be safely relied on against the prisoner.'
2 Again in Queen-Empress v. Rama Tevan 15 M 352, the Court pointed out that the right acurse to have been adopted at the trial was to have treated the evidence given by the two approvers before the Committing Magistrate as evidence in the case under Section 288 of the Code of Criminal Procedure to have allowed the other accused to cross--examine them.
3 The Allahabad High Court has also rolled in Queen Empress v. Soneju 21 A. 175 . that there is nothing in the previous rulings of that Court which would make inadmissible, under Section 288, Code of Criminal Procedure, the statement of the approver made before the Magistrate.
4. It seems to me, therefore, that the question referred must be answered in the affirmative. What the probative value of such a statement is and what are the safeguards or the nature of the corroboration to be required seems to me to be beyond the reference which has to do only with the question of admissibility. The criminal appeal is, therefore, dismissed.