Vijay Gupta
Asked September 11, 2016

Cross examination

  • 1 Answer
  • 210 Views

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.

Answer 1

Dear sir/madam,

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 :

  • Court of the Ld. M.M can in certain circumstances restrict the defense counsel and fix a time frame to cross-examine a witness but under no conditions can curtail the right to cross-examine.
  • The court of the Ld. M.M. can however, close the cross-examination of the defense counsel even though he has not completed the cross-examination depending upon the intricacies of the matter in issue for eg. one such valid ground of closing  down the cross-examination can be that on the allotted date, the counsel was not utilising it to the fullest and kept on asking law releated questions or repetitive ones or had an intension of delaying the procedure by taking another date.
  • 3. The desired supporting judgements/citations of the Hon’ble Apex Court/High Courts

    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.[4]

    • Inderjeet Kaur Kalsi V. NCT Of Delhi (Delhi)[5] 

    the accused shall have right to cross examine the witness.[6]

     

    [1] (2013) 7 SCC 108

    [2] http://supremecourtofindia.nic.in/FileServer/2015-01-21_1421830581.pdf

    [3] 2001 (5) ALT 543

    [4] https://indiankanoon.org/doc/1926930/

    [5] 2013(205) DLT 410

    [6] https://indiankanoon.org/doc/103374589/

    Agree Comment 0 Agrees 12 months ago

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