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Art of deducing evidence from witness

Witnesses cannot be evaluated under one common parameter so as to deduce conclusion towards oneself as they vary based on their circumstances. It would be wrong to evaluated eye-witness in same way as that of the interested witness. The Supreme Court has ruled that the evidence of an interested witness is the kind of evidence of which the source is likely to be tainted.[1] The person concerned must have some direct interest in seeing that the accused person is somehow or other convicted because he has some animus against the accused or for some other reason,[2] while eye-witness are eyes and ears of justice. eye-witness’s account requires careful independent assessment and evaluation for its credibility, which should not be adversely prejudged, making medical, or any other evidence as sole touchstone for test of such credibility.

Evidence of eye-witness cannot be rejected merely because he was previously convicted in a criminal case and sentenced to undergo imprisonment. Before corroboration of evidence from eye-witness so as to support your case don’t forget to establish such witness as eye-witness and that can only be corroborated by other evidence or circumstances. In lack of which eye-witness may lose its credibility if it is being proved in court that the said witness is not an eye-witness. Where eye-witness to a ghastly murder early in the morning ran away from the scene, were reeling under shock and nervousness, roaming here and there, reached their respective homes only in the evening, their evidence cannot be questioned on account of their behaviour after witnessing the murder. The response and behaviour pattern of individuals in such situations differ from person to person and it cannot be said that response of every human being would be similar on such occasions.[3]

A single strong eye-witness is also importance to prove the guilt of the accused. However, the court may look for other corroborating evidences. Whether the court may seek corroboration depends upon the fact and circumstances of the case. However, the evidence of an interested witness requires careful scrutiny to discover falsehood, embellishment or exaggeration, which must be eschewed. If necessary, the court may look for appropriate reassurances before acting on the evidence.[4]

Injured witnesses are of greater importance. The testimony of injured witness is accorded a special status in law because such a witness comes with a built-in guarantee of his presence at the scene of the crime and is likely to spare his actual assailant in order to falsely implicate someone. Avery convincing evidence is required to discredit an injured witness.[5] So, if you have option between the witnesses and you have injured witness who is favouring your case, stay assure, to corroborate it to prove your case. if injured witness is on your side you have already won half of the case.

The evidences of close relative are on high doubt. However, sometimes such relationship is guarantee of truth.[6] Mere relationship does not make anyone interested. For example, wife[7], brother,[8] mother,[9] son,[10] relatives of the deceased, who are natural witnesses, are reliable if their evidence in otherwise found to be truthful.[11] The relatives of the deceased are a natural witness is not an interested witness.[12]

Don’t ever get confuse in criminal cases that respectability and veracity of evidence of the witness depends upon her/his status in life.[13] Where a mason and petty seller of saries or person from the lowest strata of society gave evidences as eye-witnesses against a few accused who came on motorcycle and attacked the victim with sickles and knives, killed him and fled away, the Supreme Court observed that their courage in coming forward to depose against the accused needs to be appreciated.[14]

The Hostile Witness not in all the circumstances is unqualified and thus disbelieved. Section 154 of Evidence Act, confers on Court a vast discretion than the term what hostility means. The court can permit cross –examination of hostile witness. The grant of permission does not amount to adjudication by the court as to the veracity of the witness.[15] The testimony of such hostile witness may not be rejected outright.[16] However, the court is slow to act on the testimony of such a witness and normally look for corroboration.[17] Corroboration is a rule of prudence for satisfying test of reliability. That part of the witness’s evidence found believable can be used for the purpose of corroborating the evidence of other witness. What you need to do if you have support from hostile witness in your favour is to stop other side to prove his evidences false. Such strong prove can be established from other circumstantial evidence.

Evidences in criminal trial to prove your case beyond reasonable doubt is vital but more than that you need to relate every evidences so gathered with the circumstances and take your evidence in the parallel line with the circumstances you want to prove. This way, you can stop other party from making your evidences appearing false and more than satisfying the defence satisfy the court of credibility of your evidence.

[1] Rameshwar s/o Kalyan Singh v. State of Rajasthan, AIR 1952 SC 54: (1952) SCR : 1952 CrLJ 547

[2] Dalbir Kaur v. State of Punjab, AIR 1977 SC 472: (1976) 4 SCC 158: (1977) 1 SCR 280

[3] Abu Thakir v. State, AIR 2010 SC 2119: 2010 AIR SCW 2799 : 2010 CrLJ 2840

[4] Daya Singh v. State of Haryana, AIR 2001 SC 1188: (2001) 3 SCC 468: 2001 SCC (Cri) 553; Anil Rai v. State of Bihar, AIR 2001 SC 3173: 2001 AIR SCW 2833: (2001) 7 SCC 318; Majju v. State of Madhya Pradesh, AIR 2001 SC 2939: 2001 AIR SCW 4405: (2001) 9 SCC 449; Dhanaj Singh v. State of Punjab AIR 2004 SC 1920: 2004 AIR SCW 1609: (2004) 3 SCC 654

[5] Brahma Swaroop v. State of U.P>, AIR 2011 SC 280: AIR 2011 SC (Cri) 155; 2010 AIR SCW 6704; Bhajan Singh alias Harbbhajan Singh v. Styate of Haryana, AIR 2011 SC 2552: (2011) 3 SCC (Cri) 241: (2011) 6 SCALE 630

[6] Masalti v. State of U.P> AIR 1965 SC 202: (1965) 1 cRlj 226: (1964) 8 scr 133; State of Punjab v. Jagir Singh Baljit Singh and karam Singh,AIR 1973 SC 2407: 1973 CrLJ 1589: 1973 SCD 903

[7] Vadivelu Thevar v. State of Madras, AIR 1957 SC 614: 1957 SCJ 527: 1957 CrLJ 1000

[8] Angnoo v.  State of U.P., AIR 1971 SC 296: (1971) 2 SC Cri R 35: 1970 Crlj 285; State of Punjab v. Ramji Das, AIR 1977 SC 1085: (1977) 4 SCC 597

[9] Rameshwar s/o Kalyan Singh v. State of Rajasthan, AIR 1952 SC 54: (1952) SCR 377: 1952 CrLJ 547

[10] Natthu v. State of U.P., AIR 1977 SC 2096: (1977) SCC (Cri) 571: (1977) 4 SCC 293

[11] Bikau Pandey v. State of Bihar, AIR 2004 SC 997: (2003) 12 SCC 616: 2003 AIR SCW 6624

[12] Dalbir Kaur v. State of Punjab, AIR 1977 SC 472: (1976) 4 SCC 158: (1977) 1 SCR 280; Varghese Thomas v. State of Kerala, AIR 1977 SC 701: (1976) 4 SCC 348: 1977 CrLJ 343

[13] Hazari LOal v. State (Delhi Admn.) AIR 1980 SC 873: 1980 CrLJ 564 : (1980) 2 scc 390

[14] Abuthagir v. State Rep. By Inspector of Police, AIR 2009 SC 2797: 2009 Cr LJ 3987: 2009 AIR SCW 4248

[15] Sat Paul v. Delhi Admn. AIR 1976 SC 294: (1976) 1 SCC 727: (1976) 2 SCR 11

[16] Anil Rai v. State of Bihar, AIR 2001 SC 3173: 2001 SC 951: 2006 AIR SCW 2833: (2001) 7 SCC 318

[17] Karuppana Thevar v. State of Tamil nadu, AIR 1976 SC 980: (1976) 1 SCC 31: 1976 CrLJ 768

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