WITNESS IN INDIA BY: RACHITA MATHUR

A witness is a person who has personally seen an event happens. The event could be a crime or an accident or anything. Witness under Indian Evidence Act, 1872 is provided from Section 118 to 134. Any person who has witnessed the event is competent to testify, unless the Court considers that they are unable to understand the questions posed to them or unable to give rational answers as prescribed in Section 118 of Indian Evidence Act, 1872. The section states that a lunatic does not have the capacity to testify unless his lunacy does not prevent him from understanding the question and give a rational answer. In the case of Raju Devendra Choubey v. State Of Chhatisgarh on 21 August, 2014 Supreme Court held that the child had no reason to falsely implicate the accused, as the accused raised him and provided him with food, shelter, clothing, and education. Therefore, the testimony of a child cannot be discarded as untrue. In another case of Dhanraj and Others, Smt. Venubai v. State Of Maharashtra on 16 September, 2002 Supreme Court held that the statement of a child who is not very small is a good testimony for the same reason. Therefore, a child can testify provided that he is not a toddler. Witness unable to communicate verbally in case of Chander Singh v. State on 3 June, 2016 it was held by High Court of Delhi observed that the vocabulary of a deaf and dumb witness may be very limited and due care must be taken when such witness is under cross-examination. Supreme Court held that if a dumb person can read and write, the statements of such persons must be taken in writing in case of State of Rajasthan v. Darshan Singh Darshan Lal on 21 May, 2012. Judge can be competent witness in the case of Empress v Donnelly, the High Court of Calcutta stated that a Judge before whom a case is being tried must conceal any fact that he knows regarding the case unless he is the sole judge and cannot depose as a witness. It was held that such a judge cannot be impartial on deciding the admissibility of his own testimony. He will not be capable of comparing his own testimony against that of others. If he has to testify, then he must leave the bench and give away his privileges in order to act as a witness in the case. According to section 133 of the Act an accomplice to a crime is competent to be a witness against the accused. The conviction made on the basis of such testimony is not illegal. An accomplice is a person who is guilty of helping the accused to commit a crime. He can be appropriately described as a partner in the crime of the accused.  According to section 134 of the Act, there is no requirement of a particular number of witnesses to prove any fact. It is a general rule that goes unsaid that the Court must act on the testimony of a witness even if he is the only one and his statements are uncorroborated. Binay Kumar Singh v. The State Of Bihar on 31 October, 1996 Supreme Court held that there is no rule of evidence that conviction cannot happen unless there is a particular number of witnesses to identify the accused. Any conviction is not influenced by the quantity of the witnesses but by the quality and credibility of witness testimonies.

 

 

 

 

 

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