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Section 167: Accused - Meaning of ,in the Context

Though the word Person defined in the Indian Penal Code ( S.11) and the General Clauses Act ( 3(42) which are identical and are not exhaustive but an inclusive one, the wirds acused or accused person or accused of an offence are not defined either in the Indian Penal Code or in the Indian Evidence Act, or in the General clauses Act,1897.

In the Code of Criminal Procedure also, these word are not defined except an inclusive meaning of the word Accused is given in the explanation to S. 273 of the Code of 1973, of course, confined only to the mode of taking and recording evidence in the course of trial or other proceedings as envisaged in the said section.

Though this explanation of the word accused limited to that S 273 can not and should not be strained andvstreched to such an extent to make it applicable in all circumstances ,wherever the word accused apoears in the Code , this explanation gives a clue providing or suggesting an answer to the problem

The prohibitive sweep of Art 20(3) which imposes ban on self accusation reads No person accused of any offence shall be compelled to be a witness against himself.. To bring a person within the meaning of accused of any offence ,that person must assimilate the character of an accused person in the sense that he must be accused of any offence.

While referring to person arrested and detained neither Art 22 nor S.167 employs the expression accused of any offence . Section 24 of the Evidence Act uses the expression accused person where as Ss 25 and 27 ,identical expression person accused of any offence is used.

But in S 26 neither of these two expression is used but any person , it was only while in examining the admissibility or otherwise of a statement of an accused person or a person accused of any offence ,this court in a series of judgments has dealt with the connotation of these two expression s but not otherwise.

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