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Non-Examination Of Independent Witnesses Not Fatal To Prosecution Case, Reiterates Supreme Court

first_imgNews UpdatesNon-Examination Of Independent Witnesses Not Fatal To Prosecution Case, Reiterates Supreme Court LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK7 May 2021 2:14 AMShare This – xThe Supreme Court reiterated that non-examination of independent witnesses is not fatal to the case of the prosecution when other prosecution witnesses are found to be trustworthy and reliable.The Court observed thus while dismissing an appeal against Allahabad High Court judgment which had reversed the judgment and order of acquittal passed by the trial Court acquitting the accused in a murder case. One of the accused approached the Apex Court by filing an appeal.Before the Apex Court, he contended that all the prosecution witnesses, so called eyewitnesses, are all related and interested witnesses. It was further contended that no independent witness has been examined and that the prosecution witnesses are chance witnesses.Referring to the High Court judgment, the bench observed that when there are clinching evidence of eyewitnesses, mere non-examination of some of the witnesses/independent witnesses and/or in absence of examination of any independent witnesses would not be fatal to the case of the prosecution.”10.2 In the recent decision in the case of Surinder Kumar v. State of Punjab (2020) 2 SCC 563, it is observed and held by this Court that merely because prosecution did not examine any independent witness, would not necessarily lead to conclusion that accused was falsely implicated.10.2 In the recent decision in the case of Surinder Kumar v. State of Punjab (2020) 2 SCC 563, it is observed and held by this Court that merely because prosecution did not examine any independent witness, would not necessarily lead to conclusion that accused was falsely implicated. 10.3 In the case of Rizwan Khan v. State of Chhattisgarh (2020) 9 SCC 627, after referring to the decision of this Court in the case of State of H.P. v. Pardeep Kumar (2018) 13 SCC 808, it is observed and held by this Court that the examination of independent witnesses is not an indispensable requirement and such non-examination is not necessarily fatal to the prosecution case.”, the bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah noted.Therefore, rejecting the contention raised by the accused, the bench observed thus:”The prosecution witnesses have fully supported the case of the prosecution, more particularly PW2 & PW4 and they are found to be trustworthy and reliable, non-examination of the independent witnesses is not fatal to the case of the prosecution. Nothing is on record that those two persons, namely, Shiv Shankar and Bhagwati Prasad as mentioned in the FIR reached the spot were mentioned as witnesses in the chargesheet. In any case, PW2 & PW4 have fully supported the case of the prosecution and therefore non-examination of the aforesaid two persons shall not be fatal to the case of the prosecution.”Rejecting other contentions raised by the accused, the Court upheld the conviction.Case: Guru Dutt Pathak vs. State of Uttar Pradesh [CrA . 502 OF 2015]Citation: LL 2021 SC 245Coram: Justices DY Chandrachud and MR ShahClick here to Read/Download JudgmentTagsIndependent Witnesses Supreme Court Justice DY Chandrachud Justice MR Shah Criminal Trial Next Storylast_img read more