Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Identification of person arrested : Section 54-A Cr PC


Section 54-A of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 empowers the Court to direct specifically the holding of the identification of the arrested person at the request of the prosecution.

Section 54-A of the Code of Criminal Procedure ( in short Cr PC ) reads as follows: 

Where a person is arrested on a charge of committing an offence and his identification by any other person or persons is considered necessary for the purpose of investigation of such offence, the Court, having jurisdiction, may on the request of the officer in charge of a police station, direct the person so arrested to subject himself to identification by any person or persons in such manner as the Court may deem fit.

Further, Section 53-A of the Code of  Criminal Procedure talks about examination of person accused of rape by medical practitioner which reads as follows:

(1) When a person is arrested on a charge of committing an offence of rape or an attempt to commit rape and there are reasonable grounds for believing that an examination of his person will afford evidence as to the commission of such offence, it shall be lawful for a registered medical practitioner employed in a hospital run by the Government or by a local authority and in the absence of such a practitioner within the radius of sixteen kilometers from the place where the offence has been committed by any other registered medical practitioner, acting at the request of a police officer not below the rank of a sub-inspector, and for any person acting in good faith in his aid and under his direction, to make such an examination of the arrested person and to use such force as is reasonably necessary for that purpose.

(2) The registered medical medical practitioner conducting such examination shall, without delay, examine such person and prepare a report of his examination giving the following particulars, namely:-
(i)  the name and address of the accused and of the person by whom he was brought,
(ii)  the age of the accused,
(iii)  marks of injury, if any, on the person of the accused,
(iv)  the description of material taken from the person of the accused for DNA profiling, and
(v) other material particulars in reasonable detail.

(3) The report shall state precisely the reasons for each conclusion arrived at.

(4) The exact time of commencement and completion of the examination shall also be noted in the report.

(5) The registered medical practitioner shall, without delay, forward the report of the investigating officer, who shall forward it to the Magistrate referred to in Section 173 as part of the documents referred to in clause (a) of sub-section (5) of that section.

Explanation of the term 'examination' and 'registered medical practitioner' as it appeared in the Section 53 of the Code of Criminal Procedure are as follows

(a) 'examination' shall include the examination of blood, blood stains, semen, swabs in case of sexual offences, sputum and sweat, hair samples and finger nail clippings by the use of modern and scientific techniques including DNA profiling and such other tests which the registered medical practitioner thinks necessary in a particular case.

(b) 'registered medical practitioner' means a medical practitioner who possess any medical qualification as defined in clause (h) of Section 2 of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 and whose name has been entered in a Medical Register.

Relevancy of 'identification' is given under Section 9 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872.

The object of conducting a 'test identification parade' is two fold. First is to enable the witnesses to satisfy themselves that the prisoner whom they suspect is really the one who was seen by them in connection with the commission of the crime. Second is to satisfy the investigating authorities that the suspect is the real person whom the witnesses had seen in connection with the said occurrence.

Test identification parade must be held at earliest possible opportunity with necessary safeguards and precaution. At the parade people with similar height and features should be mixed up with the accused in proportion of not less than 1 to 9. Magistrate should also take care that there is no occasion for any police officer to be present at the parade to prompt the witness.

The identification parades belong to the stage of investigation and are essentially governed by the Section 162 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Where an accused himself refuses to participate in a test identification parade, in such case, it is not open to him to contend that the statement of the eye-witnesses made for the first time in Court, wherein they specifically point towards him as a person who had taken part in the commission of crime should not be relied upon ( Munna vs. State AIR 2003 SC 3805 ).



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