Madam/Sir, I would like to have your kind opinion on this peculiar situation. That the cross-examination of the complainant/witness in a Domestic Violence matter pending adjudication before a Trial Court in Delhi finally started after a long span of 5 years. That after a brief spell of cross-examination the matter was adjourned by the Ld. M.M. with an oral direction to the defense counsel to complete the cross-examination on the next date and no further adjournment/time would be given by the Trial Court for further cross-examination. Kindly render your valuable advise on the following aspects: 1. Can the Court of the Ld. M.M restrict/curtail the right of the defense counsel and fix a time frame to cross-examine a witness, CW1? 2. Can the Court of the Ld. M.M. close the cross-examination of the defense counsel even though he has not completed the cross-examination of the witness in its entirety? 3. I will be grateful if your good self can also share the cause title of supporting judgements/citations of the Hon’ble Apex Court/High Courts in this regard. Thanking You, Regards.
Let me inform you that this generally in normal circumstances it does not take this long a time frame (5years) for the completion of the cross-examination of the complainant/witness in a Domestic Violence matter, there might be certain other conditions or ectra ordinary circumstances attached to the case. We can agree to the point that the after a brief spell of cross-examination, the matter was adjourned by the Ld. M.M. with an oral direction to the defense counsel to complete the cross-examination on the next date. If you are afraid about the fact that the court can do away with cross-examination in any court proceedings then don’t be.
It is a well established principle in law backed by the legal provision of Indian evidence Act, 1872 i.e. Section 138 which says that after examination of witness of prosecution, the Cross-examination shall follow immediately.
Below is the question wise response to your problems :
3. The desired supporting judgements/citations of the Hon’ble Apex Court/High Courts
- Gurnaib Singh V. State of Punjab - The cross-examination of the witnesses was deferred without recording any special reason and dates were given after a long gap.
- K. Raghurambabu V. DG of Railway Protection Force, New Delhi
Non-grant of an opportunity to cross-examine a witness may even attract the doctrine of fairness and may be held to be violative of principles of natural justice. Right of cross-examination, as is well known, is a valuable right. No evidence shall be admissible unless the witness is permitted to be cross-examined. Such a right can neither be taken away directly nor indirectly.
- Inderjeet Kaur Kalsi V. NCT Of Delhi (Delhi)
the accused shall have right to cross examine the witness.
 (2013) 7 SCC 108
 2001 (5) ALT 543
 2013(205) DLT 410
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