Topics: Witness, Testimony, Evidence law Pages: 9 (2109 words) Published: May 8, 2014
Sessions Case No. 48/95

State by Kadugodi Police--- Complainant
Chinnaswamy & Others--- Accused

Index of Authorities

I. Presumption of Innocence and Standard of Proof

1. Padam Singh v. State of U.P., 2000 (1) SCC 621, at page 625 It is the duty of an appellate court to look into the evidence adduced in the case and arrive at an independent conclusion as to whether the said evidence can be relied upon or not and even if it can be relied upon, then whether the prosecution can be said to have been proved beyond reasonable doubt on the said evidence. 2. Harchand Singh & Anr v. State Of Haryana, 1974 SCR (1) 583, at page 588 If in a case, the prosecution leads two sets of evidence, each one of which contradicts and strikes at the other and shows it to be unreliable , the result would necessarily be that the court would be, left with no reliable and trustworthy evidence upon which the conviction of the accused might be based. Inevitably, the accused would have the benefit of such a situation 3. Aher Raja Khima v. State of Saurashtra, AIR 1955 SC 217 at ¶ 11

Now it may be possible to take views of this statement but there are two important factors in every criminal trial that weigh heavily in favour of an accused person : one is that the accused is entitled to the benefit of every reasonable doubt and the other, an off-shoot of the same principle, that when an accused person offers a reasonable explanation of his conduct, then, even though he cannot prove his assertions, they should ordinarily be accepted unless the circumstances indicate that they are false.

4. Bollavaram Pedda Narsi Reddy v. State of Andhra Pradesh, 1991 SCR (2) 723, at page 730

The overall view of the evidence taken by the learned sessions judge is reasonable and plausible, while it is true that some of the reasons given if taken individually do not appear to be substantial. Even when two evenly balanced views of the evidence are possible one must necessarily concede the existence of a reasonable doubt

5. Subash Shiv Shankar v. State Of U.P, AIR 1987 SC 1222

Evidence has to be proved beyond reasonable doubt
II. Mere Conjecture Not Enough
1. Ashish Batham v. State Of Madhya Pradesh, 2002 (7) SCC 317

Mere suspicion, however strong or probable it may be is no effective substitute for the legal proof required to substantiate the charge of commission of a crime and graver the charge is, greater should be the standard of proof required. Courts dealing with criminal cases at least should constantly remember that there is a long mental distance between 'may be true' and 'must be true' and this basic and golden rule only helps to maintain the vital distinction between 'conjectures' and 'sure conclusions' to be arrived at on the touchstone of a dispassionate judicial scrutiny based upon a complete and comprehensive appreciation of all features of the case as well as quality and credibility of the evidence brought on record.

III. Interested Witnesses, Enmity And Absence Of Material Corroboration A. Unreliability of Witness Testimony in Cases of Interested Witnesses

1. Harpal Singh v. Devinder Singh, AIR 1997 SC 2914 at ¶10

It is a sound rule in the appreciation of evidence that if the testimony of such a [partisan] witness is to be used as the sole basis of the conviction it should be of such a caliber as to be regarded as wholly reliable. The blemish attached to such eye witness as a partisan witness stands in the way of his evidence becoming wholly reliable and hence without adequate reassurance from other circumstances or materials it may not be safe to take the uncorroborated evidence of such a witness as the sole basis.

2. Khujji @ Surendra Tiwari v. The State Of Madhya Pradesh, AIR 1999 SC 1853

Even in the case of an interested witness, it is settled law that his evidence cannot be overlooked merely on that ground but at...
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