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PCS (J) Notes: Credibility of Test Identificatiion Parade and Case Laws

The evidence of test identification parade is received under section 9 of Indian Evidence act.

Identification parade have been in common use for a very long time for the object of placing suspect in a line-up with other persons for identification. The purpose is to find out whether he is the operator of the crime.

This is necessary where the name of the offender is not mentioned by those who claim to be eye witnesses of the incident, but they claim that although they did not know him earlier, they could recall his features in sufficient details and would also be able to identify him it and when they happen to see him again.

There was no specific provision in the Evidence Act or Code of Criminal Procedure regarding identification parade of the accused till 2005. By the amendment of CrPC in 2005, a new Section 54A was inserted for identification of person arrested.

This provision enable the police to seek permission of the Court for identification of the accused and the Court may determine the manner of identification. The manner of identification includes ‘identification parade’. The police is not bound to hold identification parade.

In Pargan Singh v. State of Punjab, AIR 2014 SC 3790, under the given circumstances, 90 seconds was too long a period which could enable the eye-witness to watch the accused persons and such a horrible experience would not be easily forgotten.  Death of a friend and near death experience by the witness himself would be etched in the memory for a long. In such a traumatic experience, faces of accused persons would not have been forgotten even for a life time.

In Raju Choubey v. State of Chhattisgarh, AIR 2014 SC 3741, where two persons accused of murdering a woman were arrested on 29/11/2003 and the third accused on 22/12/2003 and their identification parade was held on 13/12/2003 and 26/12/2003 respectively and they were identified bby a child witness of 13 years of age before whom the incident took place in the house of the deceased where he worked as a domestic servant, the contention of delay in holding test identification parade were not acceptable. There was no evidence on record that the child witness had an opportunity to see and study the features of the accused between their arrest and test identification parade to enable a tutored identification.

According to Musheer Khan v. State of M.P., (2010) 2 SCC 748 , Test Identification Parade is not substantive evidence; it only assures that the investigatory process is progressing on right lines.  Test Identification Parade  is a part of the investigatory process under Section 162 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973. Test Identification Parade has been in common use for a very long time; the object is to place the suspect of crime in a line with other individuals for identification. The purpose is to find out whether or not the suspect/accused is the perpetrator of the crime. This is all the more essential where the name and details of the accused, although, are not known to the eyewitnesses of the incident, but, still by recalling the scene of crime and the physical features (face, eyes, complexion, height and/or physique) of the accused/suspect the eyewitnesses are able to identify the accused/suspect.  The rationale of Test Identification Parade  is to confirm the identity of the accused and to help the police in their investigation. In the case of, State of A.P. v. V.K. Venkata Reddy (1976) 1 SCC 463, the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India categorically held that, the evidence given by a witness in the court of law is substantive testimony while the identification made by the witness in the Test Identification Parade  is only confirmatory of the testimony made before the court of law.