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The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898

( ACT NO. V Of 1898 )

Chapter XXIV

GENERAL PROVISIONS AS TO INQUIRIES AND TRIALS

Right of person against whom proceedings are instituted to be defended and his competency to be a witness
340.(1) Any person accused of an offence before a Criminal Court, or against whom proceedings are instituted under this Code in any such Court, may of right be defended by a pleader.
 
 
 
 
(2) Any person against whom proceedings are instituted in any such Court under section 107, or under Chapter X, Chapter XI, Chapter XII or Chapter XXXVI, or under section 552, may offer himself as a witness in such proceedings.
 
 
 
 
1[(3) Any person accused of an offence before a Criminal Court shall be a competent witness for the defence and may give evidence on oath in disproof of the charges made against him or any person charged together with him at the same trial:
 
 
 
 
Provided that-
 
 
 
 
(a) he shall not be called as a witness except on his own request in writing; or
 
 
 
 
(b) his failure to give evidence shall not be made the subject of any comment by any of the parties or the Court or give rise to any presumption against himself or any persons charged together with him at the same trial.]

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    Sub-section (3) was added by section 2 and Schedule of the Law Reform Ordinance, 1978 (Ordinance No. XLIX of 1978)
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