This review petition was filed by the accused who was found guilty in the case of Manoharan vs State by Inspector of Police, under sections 302, 376 (2) (f) and (g) and 201 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) and was awarded death sentence by the court.
Facts of the case are that X, a ten-year girl and Y, her seven-year old brother were enrolled in class V and II respectively in a private school in Coimbatore and would assemble at around 7:45 am in a pickup vehicle. On 29.10.2010, the children left the school as usual but when the vehicle came to pick them up, they could not be found. The driver of the vehicle called their father who was in Hyderabad at that time. So he called his wife to ask about the children. She said that they had already left the house. She started looking for her children along with her relatives.
The paternal grandmother of the children informed their mother that the children had been picked up by the former vehicle driver. But when they called in the school it was found out that they had not reached the school either. Te father of the children lodged a police complaint under section 363 of IPC. It was found during the investigation that the children were raped and murdered by a former employee and his friend (Manoharan) of the driver of the vehicle that used to pick the children for school. Both the accused were arrested and charged under section 364 A, 376, 302 read with section 201 of IPC.
After being produced before the Magistrate on 31.10.2010, the petitioner was given judicial custody.
The counsel appearing for the petitioner contended that the absence of an advocate during the proceedings before the Magistrate under section 164 of Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 (CrPC) had caused prejudice to the accused.
The Supreme Court, dismissing the above review petition said that section 164 of the CrPC does not contemplate that a confession or statement should necessarily be made in the presence of an advocate, except when the statement is being recorded with audio-video electronic means.