Delhi High Court: While deciding a criminal revision petition, a Single Judge Bench held that it is not necessary that charges framed based on the statements under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 coincide with allegations made in the FIR for them to be valid.
The facts were that the petitioner was charged under Sections 376, 506 and 384 of the Penal Code, 1860 but the rape charges were not levelled against the petitioner in the FIR. It was only, in the later stage of recording of statement under Section 164 of the CrPC that the allegation surfaced. However, the allegation was not supported by date, time or exact place except a comment that it was committed around 8-10 years ago.
The main contention of the petitioner was that an anticipatory bail had already been granted to the petitioner observing the fact that the date, month or the year when the rape was committed has not been mentioned and no reason has been given as to why no police complaint was filed after the incident. The Court rejected this contention as irrelevant and inapplicable to the present issue. Further, the Court held that charges can be framed on the basis of strong suspicion as appreciation of evidence is not in the domain of the court in the pre-trial stage.
The Court relied on the judgment of Union of India v. Prafulla Kumar, 1979 (3) SCC 4 to lay down that where the material placed before the court discloses grave suspicion against the accused but no proper explanation has been given in relation to it, the court will be fully justified in framing such charges. Any decision as to guilt or innocence can only be passed upon conclusion of trial. Further, the petitioner failed to point out any error of law or error of jurisdiction and hence, the impugned order does not require any interference or modification. The petition was therefore dismissed. [Mohsin Khan v. State, 2017 SCC OnLine Del 9315, decided on 14.07.2017]