Evidence in trial under Official Secrets Act.

Right of defendant in trial under Official Secrets Act of India:

In camera trial:

Section 14 Official Secrets Act does not take away the right of the accused to get copies of either the statements recorded by the police or the documents gathered by it during investigation.

As long as the prosecution is relying upon the documents forwarded by it to the trial Court along with the chargesheet it will not be open to the prosecution to deprive the accused the copies of those documents.

1. That Section 14 apart from providing that proceedings of the Court may be held’ in camera under the circumstances mentioned in the section, does not in any way affect or override the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code relating to enquiries or trials held there under.
2. That Section 14 does not in any way deprive the valuable rights of the accused to get copies of the statement recorded by the Magistrate or statements of witnesses recorded by the police or the documents obtained by the Police during the investigation as envisaged by Criminal Rules 308 and 310 framed under the CrPC by various High Courts nor does Section 14 in any way affect the right of the accused to get copies under Section 548 of the CrPC
3. That the opening words of Section 14 do not amount to a non obstante clause but are merely in the nature of an enabling provision reserving the inherent powers of the Court to exclude the public from the proceedings if the Court is of the opinion that it is just and expedient to do so.

[Source: Superintendent & Remembrancer v. Satyen Bhowmick, 1981 AIR 917, 1981 SCR (2) 661.
followed in Ujjal Dasgupta vs State (Del.)]
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