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Homechevron_rightIndiachevron_rightTestimonies cannot be...

Testimonies cannot be rejected citing delay, rules SC

Testimonies cannot be rejected citing delay, rules SC

A bench headed by Justice UIU Lalit of the Supreme Court said that mere delay in recording the statements of eyewitnesses cannot result in rejection of their testimonies. The court further dismissed the appeal by four people challenging their conviction in a murder case by the Calcutta High Court. The four have been charged under Sections 302 (murder), 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code read with Section 27(3) of the Arms Act, 1959.

Justice Lalit noted that the material on record definitely establishes the fear created by the four accused. "It is true that there was some delay in recording the statements of the eyewitnesses concerned but mere factum of delay by itself cannot result in rejection of their testimonies," the bench said. The bench also included Justice S Ravindra Bhat and Justice Bela M Trivedi.

The delay in recording statements is adequately explained if the witnesses felt terrorised and frightened, making them not come forward for some time. There is no evidence on record to suggest that the witnesses were carrying on their ordinary pursuits, the bench noted.

The counsel of the appellants told the bench of the testimonies of the two eyewitnesses. They submitted that the delay in recording their statement would be fatal to the case of the prosecution and alleged that there is no explanation for the delay in recording their statements. He added that there is nothing on record beyond the testimonies to justify the conviction.

However, the counsel appearing for the State submitted that the concerned witnesses had fled due to the terror unleashed by the accused. The witnesses came forward only after the investigation machinery took appropriate steps, and the accused were arrested.

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TAGS:supreme court Verdict Testimonies 
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