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Minor Contradictions Can Not Be A Ground To Discredit Witnesses' Testimony, Reiterates Supreme Court

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
28 March 2021 5:24 AM GMT
Minor Contradictions Can Not Be A Ground To Discredit Witnesses Testimony, Reiterates Supreme Court
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The Supreme Court reiterated that only contradictions in material particulars and not minor contradictions can be a ground to discredit the testimony of the witnesses. The bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and R. Subhash Reddy observed thus while dismissing the appeal filed by murder accused against the Judgment of Karnataka High Court which had reversed...

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The Supreme Court reiterated that only contradictions in material particulars and not minor contradictions can be a ground to discredit the testimony of the witnesses.  

The bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and R. Subhash Reddy observed thus while dismissing the appeal filed by murder accused against the Judgment of Karnataka High Court which had reversed their acquittal by the Trial Court.

The bench, referring to the evidence on record, observed that if the depositions of prosecution witnesses are considered along with the documentary evidence on record and medical evidence, it is crystal clear that their evidence is natural, trustworthy and acceptable. The trial court has disbelieved their testimony by referring to some minor contradictions. The court noted that, the witnesses are rustic villagers and incident happened when they were returning to their house after attending the coolie work

"This Court, in the case of Narayan Chetanram Chaudhary & Anr. v. State of Maharashtra5 , has considered the minor contradictions in the testimony, while appreciating the evidence in criminal trial. It is held in the said judgment that only contradictions in material particulars and not minor contradictions can be a ground to discredit the testimony of the witnesses.", the bench added.

In Narayan Chetanram Chaudhary, it was observed thus:

Only such omissions which amount to contradiction in material particulars can be used to discredit the testimony of the witness. The omission in the police statement by itself would not necessarily render the testimony of witness unreliable. When the version given by the witness in the court is different in material particulars from that disclosed in his earlier statements, the case of the prosecution becomes doubtful and not otherwise. Minor contradictions are bound to appear in the statements of truthful witnesses as memory sometimes plays false and the sense of observation differ from person to person. T

The court therefore dismissed the appeal observing that as the view taken by the trial court was not at all a possible view and the findings run contrary to the evidence on record, the High Court has rightly reversed the judgment of the trial court by convicting the accused.

Case: Rajendra @ Rajappa vs State of Karnataka CrA 1438 OF 2011
Coram: Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and R. Subhash Reddy
Counsel: Sr. Adv Kiran Suri
Citation: LL 2021 SC 189


Click here to Read/Download Judgment



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