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Madras High Court
In Re: V. Bati Reddi And Fifteen … vs Unknown on 15 July, 1913
Equivalent citations: (1915) ILR 38 Mad 302
Author: Ayling
Bench: Ayling


Ayling, J.

1. The chief point taken by the petitioners’ vakil is the fact that the Magistrate has taken into consideration against the remaining accused, under Section 30, Indian Evidence Act, the confessional statements of accused Nos. 14 and 17, who, when questioned under Section 342, Criminal Procedure Code, at the close of the prosecution case, made statements implicating themselves and their co-accused, and pleaded guilty on a charge being framed under Section 255. The vakil contends relying on the dictum of Boddam, J., in Queen-Empress v. Lakshmayya Pandaram (1899) I.L.R., 22 Mad., 491 that these were not the statements of persons “jointly tried” with the petitioners, and hence were inadmissible under Section 30, Indian Evidence Act.

2. The learned Judge has based his conclusion on two other cases Queen-Empress v. Pirbhu (1895) I.L.R., 17 All., 524 and Queen-Empress v. Pahuji (1895) I.L.R., 19 Bom., 195. With all respect, I do not consider that these decisions have any application to a case tried before a Magistrate under chapter XXI of the Criminal Procedure Code. Both relate to trials before a Sessions Court, where the accused’s plea of guilty is recorded under Section 271 at the outset of the trial. No doubt a prisoner who then pleads guilty and is convicted on his plea cannot be held to be tried jointly with others (co-accused) against whom the case proceeds under Section 272. But the present case is quite different. All the accused were jointly tried before the Magistrate, and their pleas were not recorded until after the close of the prosecution evidence, and after the recording of their statements now in question, I can see no reason why statements made under these circumstances should not be taken into consideration under Section 30, Indian Evidence Act.

3. No other ground is shown for interference and the petition is dismissed.

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