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Non-Examination Of Child Witnesses Not Fatal To Prosecution Case When Adult Witnesses Available: Telangana High Court

Jagriti Sanghi
14 Feb 2022 5:16 AM GMT
Non-Examination Of Child Witnesses Not Fatal To Prosecution Case When Adult Witnesses Available: Telangana High Court
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The Telangana High Court recently ruled that children cannot be called to the court and cited as witnesses unless it is very much essential and there were no other witnesses to prove the case. The non-examination of children is not fatal to the prosecution case when there were adult witnesses available, it added. The observation was made by Justice G. Radha Rani, while hearing an...

The Telangana High Court recently ruled that children cannot be called to the court and cited as witnesses unless it is very much essential and there were no other witnesses to prove the case. The non-examination of children is not fatal to the prosecution case when there were adult witnesses available, it added.

The observation was made by Justice G. Radha Rani, while hearing an appeal preferred by the State against the trial Court order acquitting the accused for offences under Sections 448 (house-trespass), 354 (Assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) and 506 (criminal intimidation) IPC.

The case of prosecution was that the complainant who is the victim aged 35 years lodged a report against the accused stating that the accused criminally trespassed into her house, outraged her modesty and threated her with dire consequences. She raised hue and cry, the colony people woke up and tried to catch the accused. But he managed to escape.

The report was lodged against the accused, he was arrested and after completing the investigation, police filed a charge sheet. The charges were framed by the Principal Assistant Sessions Judge.

After considering the oral and documentary evidence on record, the accused was acquitted on all counts. The trial court had observed that there is inconsistency in evidences of witness from the side of Prosecution. Furthermore, the Trial Court observed that the non-examination of minor children of victim who were sleeping in the house when the incident took place was fatal to the prosecution case.

Aggrieved by the said acquittal, the State preferred the Criminal Appeal on the ground that the reasons assigned in acquitting the accused were unsustainable and prayed to set aside the judgment of the trial Court.

Ruling of the Court

The High Court noted that the trial court failed to observe that the victim was a young widow, a tribal woman having two minor children, living in a hut and eking her livelihood by doing labour work. The trial court had pointed out that not bolting the door of the house from the inside does not appeal to reason, but failed to observe that she was living in a hut where there might not be strong doors and bolts to the house.

The observation of the trial court that non-examination of the children was fatal to the prosecution case also does not appeal to reason. The trial court had not given any cogent reasons for not believing the evidence of victim and other witnesses. The Court observed:

"Children cannot be called to the court and cited as witnesses unless it is very much essential and there were no other witnesses to prove the said facts. When there were adult witnesses available, the victim herself as well as the neighbours and the other persons who can speak about the incident, the non-examination of children to prove the incident is considered as not fatal."

The High Court ruled that the trial Court has committed an error in considering the evidence of prosecution witnesses and acquitted the accused on some minor inconsistencies which were not fatal to the prosecution case.

As a result, the Criminal Appeal was allowed setting aside the judgment of Trial Court. The accused was sentenced to undergo imprisonment and payment of fine.

Case Title: The State Of AP. v. Ajmeera Raghu

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Tel) 12

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