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No conviction based on unauthorized witness: Supreme Court

If the court observed that a witness is wholly untrustworthy or unreliable neither conviction nor a verdict that a person is guilty can be based on the testimony of such an unreliable person. The Madhya Pradesh High court has rejected the plea of the accused due to an unreliable witness in a criminal matter. The facts of the case are the appeal in the court had found that the witness which is presented in the court is not present at the time of the crime and he could not witness the incident. The witness as per the evidence found wholly unreliable in the court. So the testimony by such a person is not authentic in the eyes of the court. 

The court will find three types of a witness such as wholly reliable, wholly unreliable and neither wholly reliable nor wholly unreliable. In a wholly reliable witness, the court will not find such difficulty in the verdict based on the testimony of such a single witness. If the witness is unreliable so there is no such difficulty to think about the testimony of such person. But if the witness is neither wholly reliable nor wholly unreliable at that time the point arises on the testimony of such witness in the eyes of the court. So in the third category, the court has to look for valid supportive material to believe in the testimony of the witness to pass the verdict. 

Those who have been brought up on criminal charges do have at least one individual that acts as an eyewitness to the crime. But that eyewitness is not treated as a wholly authentic testimony of the eyewitness in the court. The testimony of the individual eyewitness doesn’t mean that the person charged for the crime is guilty. Sometimes the eyewitness is highly susceptible to error due to many reasons such as when they have occurred a few seconds on the crime scene, they are not able to see things accurately from distance. The eyewitness gets misled. And the testimony by eyewitnesses is time-sensitive sometimes their memories are not as strong to remember the whole incident accurately. 

Sometimes there is a huge difference between what people think they saw and what occurred. Often, what the witness claims to have seen does not occur or what they claim to hear was never actually said, frequently the video or audio recording is wrong or edited or proven wrong by arguments or evidence. Where there is a reason to question the validity of the testimony of the prosecution’s witness in a criminal trial then that will become an advantage for the accused as a defence. 

So, the testimony is a crucial part of the trial at the court which gets scrutinized by the court based on evidence to get rely on such witness. 

Vanshika Jaiswal
Vanshika Jaiswal


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