19 June 2020

Ocular evidence can be disbelieved if medical evidence makes ocular evidence improbable

Medical evidence Vs. oral evidence: which evidence has to be accepted?

   Thus, the position of law in cases where there is a contradiction between medical evidence and ocular evidence can be crystallised to the effect, that though the ocular testimony of a witness has greater evidentiary value vis-à-vis medical evidence, when medical evidence makes the ocular testimony improbable, that becomes a relevant factor in the process of the evaluation of evidence. However, where the medical evidence goes so far that it completely rules out all possibility of the ocular evidence being true, the ocular evidence may be disbelieved.

Ocular evidence can be disbelieved if medical evidence makes ocular evidence improbable
40. In the instant case as referred to hereinabove, as many as five assailants attacked one person but the prosecution case from the very inception of FIR, is very clear that accused-appellant Darshan Pasi shot fire when the deceased was sitting under the tree, causing him injury on chest and left palm, Lachiman Pasi and Sahai Pasi fired on his neck and skull inside boundary wall and Maharaj Deen and Gaya Prasad assaulted the deceased with banka. This fact is categorically substantiated by P.W.-1 in his oral testimony. The postmortem report reveals no firearm injury, either on neck or skull or any other part of the dead body, whereas remaining injuries relate to sharp edged weapon, which may be attributed to alleged use of banka by Maharaj Deen and Gaya Prasad.

   41. In any event unless the oral evidence is totally irreconcilable with medical evidence, it has primacy but here medical evidence makes ocular evidence improbable, thus, ocular evidence may be disbelieved, moreso in view of the fact that the P.W.-1 is the sole witness to shoulder the entire burden of prosecution case, as such, he has to be wholly reliable and trustworthy. A single fact discrediting the testimony of sole witness of prosecution, on whose premise the guilt is to be upheld, may lead towards his untrustworthiness. Thus, it can reasonably be concluded that a strict scrutiny and appreciation of testimony of P.W.-1 do not make him as much reliable and trustworthy to base the conviction of the accused-appellants on his sole and uncorroborated testimony. [Para No.39 to 41]

Allahabad High Court

Ram Sahai
State Of U.P.

Decide on 18/06/2020

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