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Conviction Can Be Based On The Solitary Evidence Of A Child Witness, If It Inspires Confidence: SC [Read Judgment]

LiveLaw Research Team
27 May 2017 7:38 AM GMT
Conviction Can Be Based On The Solitary Evidence Of A Child Witness, If It Inspires Confidence: SC [Read Judgment]
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In a Criminal Appeal decided on Friday, the Supreme Court bench of Justices L.Nageswara Rao and Navin Sinha, has confirmed the conviction of a woman for the murder of her husband, based on the testimony of her 12-year old son that he saw her presence in the room when his father was killed by two assassins, and that she asked him to leave the room on the biding of one of the assailants.

Both the trial court and the Punjab and Haryana High Court have found the child witness reliable and convincing.

Justice Navin Sinha, who authored the judgment, observed: “We do find it a little strange, according to normal human behaviour, that at the dead of night, the appellant (the mother of the child witness), after witnessing an assault on her own husband, did not rush to the house of PW-1 (neighbour) for informing the same and sent her minor son for the purpose.

“The fact that she created no commotion by shouting and seeking help reinforces the prosecution case because of her unnatural conduct. We also cannot lose sight of the fact that the child witness was not deposing against another family member or a stranger, but his own mother. It would call for courage and conviction to name his own mother, as the child was grown up enough to understand the matter as a witness to a murder.”

The child witness had also clearly identified the other two appellants, having seen them during the occurrence.

The Supreme Court, therefore, found no reason to interfere with the conviction, and dismissed the appeals.

Read the Judgment here.

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