The Madras High Court has allowed a revision petition by an accused in a bribery trap case and held that an accused is entitled to apply for deferring the cross-examination.
Justice AM Basheer Ahamed set aside orders of the trial court and cited proviso to Section 242(3) of CrPC, which permits cross-examination of any witnesses to be deferred until any of the witness or witnesses have been examined or recall any witness for further cross-examination. He stated, ‘When a specific proviso to sub Section 3 permits to make such an application for deferring the cross-examination of P.W.3, in this case, it would be proper to allow the application by deferring the cross-examination of P.W.3, till the completion of chief examination of other witnesses i.e., L.Ws.4 and 11 to speak about the demand of bribe on the trap proceedings.’
The accused in an alleged bribery trap case had filed a revision petition seeking directions to the trial court to defer the cross examination of P.W.3 till L.W.4 and L.W.11 are examined in chief, in the interest of justice and fair trial.
The Prosecutor contended that the Supreme Court had already given direction to the subordinate courts to cross-examine the prosecution witnesses on the same day, if not so the cross-examination should be completed on the next day and on this pretext, an adjournment should not be given and the trial court had fully followed the guidelines stated by the Supreme Court and has rightly dismissed the petition. Hence, it is a legally valid order.
The court dismissed the contentions of the government pleader and observed that since L.Ws.4 and 11 were not produced by the prosecution for examination on the date and hence, the petitioner filed for deferring the cross-examination of P.W.3 till L.Ws.4 and 11 are produced and examined by the prosecution and stated, ‘In the above stated scenario, the accused is entitled to file the impugned petition for deferring cross-examination of P.W.3, till other witnesses, who speak about same set of facts are produced by the prosecution, in the interest of justice and also fair trial.’
Read the Judgment here.
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