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If Adult Witnesses available, statement of Child Witness not needed: Telangana High Court

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Shivani Gadhavi

Published On: February 14, 2022 at 16:19 IST

The Telangana High Court on February 4, 2022 observed that in a Case where Adult Witnesses are available, there is no need for statement of Child Witnesses for the furtherance of a Case. The High Court held that the non-availability of Child Witnesses would not be fatal for the Case of the Prosecution.

The Telangana High Court Single Judge Bench of Justice Radha Rani was hearing a Criminal Appeal filed by the Telangana State Government in order to challenge an Order of a Trial Court that passed a Judgment of Acquittal of an Accused.

The Case is pertaining to a matter when the above-mentioned Accused had Criminally Trespassed into the house of the original Complainant, had outraged her modesty and threatened her. The Accused was later on Arrested by the Police after a complaint was lodged by the Victim.

The Accused was charged with Offences punishable under Sections 506 (Criminal intimidation), 448 (House-trespass) and 354 (Assault or Criminal force to a woman with the intent to outrage her modesty) of the Indian Penal Code.

There was a preliminary hearing by a Principal Assistant Sessions Judge, who issued an Order of Acquittal of the Accused, due to inconsistencies in the statements of Witnesses and who also pointed out that the absence of statement of child Witnesses who were sleeping in the house when the incident took place was ‘fatal’ for the case of the Prosecution.

Hence, the State Government filed a Criminal Appeal before the Telangana High Court challenging the Acquittal Order of the Principal Assistant Sessions Judge.

In this regard the High Court held that,“The Trial Court disbelieving their Evidence and Acquitting the Accused pointing inconsistencies on some irrelevant facts is highly improper.”

The High Court then stated that, “The observation of the Trial Court that non-examination of the children was fatal to the Prosecution Case also does not appeal to reason. Children cannot be called to the Court and cited as Witnesses unless it is very much essential and there were no other Witnesses to prove the said facts.”

Thus, while allowing the Criminal Appeal, the High Court ruled that, “The Respondent-Accused is found guilty of the said offences and is accordingly Convicted and Sentenced.”