Can’t defer witness deposition at accused’s request: SC

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has ruled against deferring witness deposition in a prison case on the mere request of an accused and stated courts of regulation had an obligation to give protection to both the precise of an accused for fair trial and the prosecution’s endeavour to turn out its case. It additionally laid down a nine-point guideline for courts for conduct of prison trials.

Reversing a Kerala prime court docket decision quashing a sessions court docket verdict against homicide accused and Youth Congress leader Rasheed, an SC bench of Justices A M Sapre and Indu Malhotra stated “a balance must be struck between the rights of the accused and the prerogative of the prosecution to lead evidence”.

During trial of the case on the subject of homicide of one Satheesan in Thrissur, Rasheed had sought adjournment of cross-examination (interrogation by way of opposite party) of a witness, Narayanan, till the examination-in-chief (exam by way of the party which has cited him/her as a witness to elicit evidence in his favour) of different witnesses. The sessions pass judgement on refused and stated the accused had been “extremely influential political leaders” and there was once an opportunity of threats to witnesses after their examination-in-chief. The HC had reversed this order and deferred Narayanan’s cross-examination.

Setting apart the HC order and disallowing deferment of deposition by way of Narayanan, the bench stated although discretion has been conferred on trial judges to grant deferment of deposition or exam of a witness, the similar has to be exercised in exceptional instances and when the accused put forth a “very robust ground”.

Writing the judgment for the bench, Justice Malhotra laid down a nine-point guideline and stated it “must be followed by way of trial courts in the conduct of prison trials as far as imaginable.
Can’t defer witness deposition at accused’s request: SC Can’t defer witness deposition at accused’s request: SC Reviewed by Kailash on November 07, 2018 Rating: 5
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