Custodial Interrogation to obtain confession is not permissible

Non-cooperation of accused with investigator:

Petition for cancellation of bail on the allegations that accused refused to confess to the I.O. if permissible?

“…It appears, the IO was of the view that the custody of the appellant is required for recording his confessional statement in terms of what the co-accused had already stated in the Statement under Section 161 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. The IO was of the opinion that the appellant was not cooperating because he kept reiterating that he had not purchased the food-grains. The purpose of custodial interrogation is not just for the purpose of confession. The right against self-incrimination is provided for in Article 20(3) of the Constitution. It is a well settled position in view of the Constitution Bench decision in Selvi and others v. State of Karnataka (2010) 7 SCC 263, that Article 20(3) enjoys an “exalted status”. This provision is an essential safeguard in criminal procedure and is also meant to be a vital safeguard against torture and other coercive methods used by investigating authorities. Therefore, merely because the appellant did not confess, it cannot be said that the appellant was not cooperating with the investigation. However, in case, there is no co-operation on the part of the appellant for the completion of the investigation, it will certainly be open to the respondent to seek for cancellation of bail.

Having regard to the peculiar facts and circumstances of the case, we are of the view that the liberty as above should be left  to the jurisdictional Sessions Court, i.e., Sessions Court, Gondia.

In case there is no co-operation on the part of the appellant for the completion of the investigation, it will be open to the respondent to approach the Sessions Court, Gondia, Maharashtra in which case the Sessions Court having regard to the materials already collected by the IO, if so satisfied that the custodial interrogation of the appellant is still required for completion of the investigation, will be free to pass appropriate orders….”

[Source: Santosh vs The State Of Maharashtra decided by SC on 10 October, 2017]
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