New Delhi: The Delhi Police were reprimanded by a court here for its evasive attitude on audio-video recording of the statement of witness during the trial of criminal cases.
The court expressed its displeasure that despite the procedure being permitted under the law, the Delhi Police have considered the videographing and recording of evidence as vitiating the trial system.
The stand was taken by the police in two reports filed by office of Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar and the Additional CP, South West District, in pursuance of the court`s January 4 order.
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate D K Sharma had passed the direction in a case of death of a person in a road accident.
The judge had said the statement of public witnesses, complainant, eye witnesses and injured be recorded through video conferencing.
The court had acquitted the accused in the case owing to marked discrepancies in the statement of the father of the deceased recorded in writing by the police and his deposition in the court.
Resenting the attitude of Delhi Police on adopting audio-video means despite it being provided for in the Code of Criminal Procedure, the judge said "this court fails to understand when there is a statutory provision, how have they raised such excuses"?
After perusing the police report, the ACMM said "the report is entirely silent as to what steps were taken for the last about five years and if the audio-video recording of the statement was such a serious issue amounting to adopting a new procedure of trial, why were they silent for such a long period"?
"It appears that while preparing the report, they themselves sit in appeal over the order passed by this court and arrived at a conclusion that the trial procedure should not be vitiated by adopting a new procedure as this court has suggested something new which is not provided in the statute," he added.
The court then called for a fresh status report from the Delhi Police by March 16 regarding the steps taken by it in last five years in this regard.
On the issue of inconvenience to the witnesses, the court said "when the statement of witness can be recorded in writing, then why can`t it be recorded electronically and there is no mention as to what type of inconvenience will be caused to the witness while recording his statement through audio-video means.."