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PUNCHIHAMY v. SALOHAMY.
P. C., TangaUa, 14,544.
Evidence—Close of case for prosecution—Statement of accused—Irregularprocedure—Criminal Procedure Code, s, 296.
After the case for the prosecution is 'closed accused persons musteither give evidence or keep silence. It is improper to allow them tomake statements to which no responsibility attaches, and for which theycannot be punished, if untrue.
T the close of the case for the prosecution the Police Magis-trate recorded as follows:—
" The accused are informed of the difference between giving" evidence in their own defence and making statements. They“ elect to make statements.
" Duly warned, first accused makes a statement. Second and“ third accused have nothing to add to it.”
The accused called only one witness. The Police Magistratefound the accused guilty and sentenced them to one month’simprisonment each and to a fine of Rs. 10.
No appearance in appeal.
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Bonskr, G.J., affirmed the conviction and added:—
I observe that the Magistrate invented a procedure of his ownat the trial of this case. On the close of the evidence for theprosecution he records this:—“ The accused are informed of the“ difference between giving evidence in their own defence and“ making statements.”
Now there is nothing in the Criminal Procedure Code aboutaccused persons on their trial making statements not upon oath,and now that accused persons can give evidence on their ownbehalf they must either do that or keep silence. They cannotbe allowed to make statements to which no responsibility attaches,,and for which they cannot be punished, if untrue. Cases must bedecided upon legal evidence. Section 296 of the Criminal Proce-dure Code shows clearly that such a procedure as was adopted inthis particular case is not allowable.
PUNCHIHAMY v. SALOHAMY