Showing posts with label testimony. Show all posts
Showing posts with label testimony. Show all posts

23 August 2020

Evidence of child witness without oath can be relied upon if child witness is able to understand the questions and able to give rational answers thereof

Master Krishna Akhade (PW-4), son of deceased Sangita and the appellant -accused, was 4 year old tender aged child. It is abundantly clear from the evidence of Mr Mangesh Sonawane (PW-2) and Mr Mahesh Pagare (PW-3) that, Krishna Akhade (PW-4) was present in the house when the incident took place. As already referred to in foregoing paragraphs, master Krishna Akhade (PW-4) had not seen entire incident. Material portion of his testimony is as under:
"I am taking education in Balwadi. My mother's name is Sangita. The name of my father is Bhatu. The name of my sister is Divya. There was quarrel on that day in between my mother and father. My father beat to my mother by means of wooden log. I had seen the said incident. There was smoke in the house. Door was opened by Sonu uncle and Golu Uncle."[Para No.22]

    Record reveals that, before recording the evidence learned Additional Sessions Judge, Dhule ascertained as to whether master Krishna Akhade is a competent witness and whether oath can be administered to him by putting certain preliminary questions. Record further reveals that, considering very tender age of master Krishna Akhade, learned Additional Sessions Judge, Dhule decided not to administer oath to him. During cross-examination master Krishna Akhade clearly stated that, he had been awakened from sleep hearing shouting, which clearly establishes that, he had seen the incident not fully, but partly. Nothing is brought on record through his cross-examination, on the basis of which, his evidence can be discarded branding it to be tutored. No doubt, cross-examination of master Krishna Akhade (PW-4) reveals that, 1½ months prior to recording of his evidence maternal uncle Mangesh Sonawane (PW-2) had taken him to his house from the house of parental grandfather and grandmother. Merely for the reason that, master Krishna Akhade (PW-4) was in the custody of Mangesh Sonawane (PW-2) prior to his entering into the witness box, inference cannot be drawn that, Mr Mangesh Sonawane (PW-2) had tutored him before coming to the court for giving evidence. It is pertinent to note that, on very next day of the incident, statement of master Krishna Akhade under Section 161 of CrPC was recorded. Testimony of master Krishna Akhade is free from any omission or contradiction. Since the statement of master Krishna Akhade (PW-4) under Section 161 of CrPC was recorded on very next day of the incident when he was in the custody of parents of the appellant, question of his tutoring at that time by his maternal uncle Mr Mangesh Sonawane (PW-2) does not arise.[Para No.23]

Evidence of child witness without oath can be relied upon if child witness is able to understand the questions and able to give rational answers thereof
    In the matter of Dattu Ramrao Sakhare Vs. State of Maharashtra, 1997 (3) Mh.L.J. 452, the Hon'ble Supreme Court while dealing with the aspect of competency and credibility of child witness under Section 115 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, in paragraph no.5 of the Judgment, held as under :
"A child witness if found competent to depose to the facts and reliable one such evidence could be the basis of conviction. In other words even in the absence of oath the evidence of a child witness can be considered under Section 118 of the Evidence Act provided that such witness is able to understand the questions and able to give rational answers thereof. The evidence of a child witness and credibility thereof would depend upon the circumstances of each case. The only precaution which the court should bear in mind while assessing the evidence of a child witness is that the witness must be a reliable one and his/her demeanour must be like any other competent witness and there is no likelihood of being tutored."[Para no.24]

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.

25 April 2020

Importance of cross examination in criminal trial

A witness is required to be cross-examined in a criminal trial to test his veracity; to discover who he is and what his position in life is; or to shake his credit, by injuring his character, although the answer to such questions may directly or indirectly incriminate him or may directly or indirectly expose him to a penalty or forfeiture (Section 146 of the Evidence Act). A witness is required to be cross- examined to bring forth inconsistencies, discrepancies and to prove the untruthfulness of the witness.[Para No.56]

importance-of-cross-examination
   It is open to an accused to raise such reasonable doubt by cross-examination of the prosecution witnesses to discredit such witness in respect of truthfulness and veracity. However, where the statement of prosecution witnesses cannot be doubted on the basis of the touchstone of truthfulness, contradictions and inconsistencies, and the accused wants to assert any particular fact which cannot be made out from the prosecution evidence, it is incumbent upon the accused to cross- examine the relevant witnesses to that extent. The witness, in order to impeach the truthfulness of his statement, must be cross- examined to seek any explanation in respect of a version, which accused wants to rely upon rather to raise an argument at the trial or appellate stage to infer a fact when the opportunity given was not availed of as part of fair play while appreciating the statement of the witnesses.
Thanks to the Stay Home constrain occurred due to Corona Virus (COVID-19) that provided the Author an opportunity to conceptualize this blog!     ❁     This blog is designed & maintained by Adv. Jainodin Shaikh, Jalgaon
Adv. Jainodin's Legal Blog