Begin typing your search above and press return to search.
Top Stories

Testimony Of A Witness In A Criminal Trial Cannot Be Discarded Merely Because Of Minor Contradictions Or Omissions: Supreme Court

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
23 April 2022 5:19 AM GMT
Testimony Of A Witness In A Criminal Trial Cannot Be Discarded Merely Because Of Minor Contradictions Or Omissions: Supreme Court
x

The Supreme Court observed that the testimony of a witness in a criminal trial cannot be discarded merely because of minor contradictions or omissions.The bench comprising CJI NV Ramana, Justices Krishna Murari and Hima Kohli also observed that medical evidence adduced by the prosecution has great corroborative value.The court was considering appeals filed against the Patna High Court...

The Supreme Court observed that the testimony of a witness in a criminal trial cannot be discarded merely because of minor contradictions or omissions.

The bench comprising CJI NV Ramana, Justices Krishna Murari and Hima Kohli also observed that medical evidence adduced by the prosecution has great corroborative value.

The court was considering appeals filed against the Patna High Court judgment modifying the judgment passed by the Trial Court convicting the appellants- accused under Section 307 read with Section 34 Indian Penal Code to Section 324 IPC and confirming their conviction under Section 27 of the Arms Act.

In appeal, it was contended that the contradictory statements made by the prosecution witnesses cast a serious shadow of doubt on the genuineness of the prosecution story and, thus, the appellants have been wrongly convicted and are liable to be discharged. 

The court, referring to evidence on record, noted that there are minor contradictions with respect to the time of the occurrence or injuries attributed on hand or foot but the constant narrative of the witnesses is that the appellants were present at the place of occurrence armed with guns and they caused the injury on informant. 

"However, the testimony of a witness in a criminal trial cannot be discarded merely because of minor contradictions or omission as observed by this court in Narayan Chetanram Chaudhary & Anr. Vs. State of Maharashtra. This Court while considering the issue of contradictions in the testimony, while appreciating the evidence in a criminal trial, held that only contradictions in material particulars and not minor contradictions can be a ground to discredit the testimony of the witnesses."

The court also added that the evidentiary value of a medical witness is very crucial to corroborate the case of prosecution. The court noted that the doctor examined in this case has clearly stated that all the injuries attributed on the informant were caused by firearms.

It is not merely a check upon testimony of eyewitnesses, it is also independent testimony, because it may establish certain facts, quite apart from the other oral evidence. It has been reiterated by this court that the medical evidence adduced by the prosecution has great corroborative value as it proves that the injuries could have been caused in the manner alleged.

While dismissing the appeal, the court held that the evidence of prosecution witnesses establishes that the two appellants have caused hurt on the body of the informant. Dismissing the appeal, the court observed:

Thus, the charge of Section 324 IPC stands established against the two appellants. Once the charge against the appellants under Section 324 IPC of voluntarily causing injuries by firearm, which is a dangerous weapon stands established, they cannot escape the punishment for using arms prescribed by Section 27 of the Arms Act.

Case details

Anuj Singh @ Ramanuj Singh @ Seth Singh vs State of Bihar | 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 402 | CrA 150 OF 2020 | 22 April 2022

Coram: CJI NV Ramana, Justices Krishna Murari and Hima Kohli

Counsel: Sr. Adv Anjana Prakash for appellant, Adv Abhinav Mukerji, Adv Saket Singh for the Respondent State and Adv Gaurav Agrawal for intervenor

Headnotes

Criminal Trial - The testimony of a witness in a criminal trial cannot be discarded merely because of minor contradictions or omissions - Only contradictions in material particulars and not minor contradictions can be a ground to discredit the testimony of the witnesses. [Referred to Narayan Chetanram Chaudhary & Anr. Vs. State of Maharashtra (2000) 8 SCC 457 ] (Para 17)

Criminal Trial - Medical evidence adduced by the prosecution has great corroborative value as it proves that the injuries could have been caused in the manner alleged - It is not merely a check upon testimony of eyewitnesses, it is also independent testimony, because it may establish certain facts, quite apart from the other oral evidence. (Para 18)

Indian Penal Code, 1860 ; Section 324 - The presence of following ingredients is a must which are as follows:- 1. Voluntary hurt caused to another person by the accused, and 2. Such hurt was caused. (Para 21)

Indian Penal Code, 1860 ; Section 324 - Arms Act, 1950 ; Section 27 - Once the charge against the appellants under Section 324 IPC of voluntarily causing injuries by firearm, which is a dangerous weapon stands established, they cannot escape the punishment for using arms prescribed by Section 27 of the Arms Act. (Para 22)

Summary - Supreme Court Patna High Court judgment which modified the judgment passed by the Trial Court convicting the appellants- accused under Section 307 read with Section 34 Indian Penal Code to Section 324 IPC and confirming their conviction under Section 27 of the Arms Act.

Click here to Read/Download Judgment



Next Story