CrPC Section 315: Accused as Competent Witness – Rights and Implications

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CrPC Section 315: Accused as Competent Witness – Rights and Implications

1. State the Code

Section 315 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) deals with the competency of an accused person to be a witness in a criminal trial.

2. Explain the Code

Section 315 states that an accused person is a competent witness in their own trial. This means they have the right to testify in their defense and can be questioned by both the prosecution and the defense. However, the accused person is not compelled to give evidence against themselves, meaning they can choose not to testify if they wish.

This section is based on the principle of **”right to silence”** and the **”privilege against self-incrimination”**. These principles are enshrined in the Indian Constitution and are considered fundamental rights.

3. Illustrate the Code

Let’s imagine a case where a person is accused of theft. They have the right to appear as a witness in their own trial and can choose to give evidence about their whereabouts on the day of the theft or any other relevant information that could help their case. However, they are not obligated to testify and can choose to remain silent if they prefer.

4. Common Questions and Answers

Q: Can an accused person be forced to testify?

A: No, an accused person cannot be forced to testify against themselves. They have the right to remain silent.

Q: What happens if an accused person chooses not to testify?

A: The court cannot draw any adverse inferences against the accused for their silence. It is important to remember that the burden of proof always lies with the prosecution.

Also Read  Indian Penal Code Section 17: "Government"

Q: Does this mean an accused person can lie on the stand?

A: No. While an accused person can choose to testify or remain silent, they cannot lie under oath. If they are found to be lying, they can be charged with perjury.

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