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SC: Witness’s Statement Should be Recorded Same or Following Day

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Aastha Thakur

Published on: 09 October 2022 at 20:07 IST

The Supreme Court has ruled that a witness’s testimony, including his cross-examination, must be recorded either that day or the next, without adjournments.

The case was heard by Justices Ajay Rastogi and CT Ravikumar. Justice Rastogi stated that, “The mandate of law itself postulates that examination-in-chief followed with cross-examination is to be recorded either on the same day or on the day following.”

Two petitions asking for the quashing of bail granted to two people in a murder case by the Allahabad High Court were being heard by the Supreme Court. The decision was made after the Bench was informed that the recording of a witness for the prosecution’s case took approximately three months to complete.

Justice CT Ravikumar, who was part of the divisional bench said, “In other words, there should not be any ground for adjournment in recording the examination-in-chief/cross-examination of the prosecution witness, as the case may be.” After six weeks, a new hearing date was issued.

The Bench ruled that the trial judge should be aware of the Supreme Court’s ruling on the ability to postpone or adjourn proceedings under Section 309 CrPC. It also requested that the trial judge speed up the proceedings.

The high court granted bail to the two people in connection with a FIR filed in the Bhadohi district of Uttar Pradesh for murder in two separate rulings issued in February and March.

According to the list of witnesses, there were three eyewitnesses, one of the prosecution witnesses’ testimony had been recorded, and the entire process took close to three months.