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The Supreme Court has made an interesting observation in Santosh Vs. The State of Maharashtra, that “ If an accused does not admit his crime, it doesn’t mean he is not cooperating with the probe.”
In the present case, the accused was alleged for receiving embezzled foodgrains which were to be used for public distribution. The accused filed an anticipatory bail application under section 438 of Cr.P.C in the sessions trial court which was later on rejected, thereafter, he approached Bombay High Court who also rejected the same.
A division bench comprising of Justices Kurian Joseph and R Banumathi hearing the matter made an observation that the probe official was of a belief that the accused was not cooperating because he didn’t admit his crime. The bench referred to the case Selvivs State of Karnataka where the court observed that “The objective of custodial cross-examination is not just for the purpose of admitting. The right against self-incrimination is provided under Article 20(3) of the Constitution of India,”
Therefore, the court in the present case observed that– “Just because the appellant (accused in the present case) did not admit, it cannot be opined that the appellant was not cooperating with the probe process. However, in the present case, there is no cooperation on the part of the accused for finishing the probe, and it will certainly open for the respondent (probe agency) to sought for rejection of bail.”
Thus, if an accused is not admitting his crime in an investigation, it doesn’t mean he is not cooperating with the investigation process.