Identification of accused by witness who noticed him for first time throughout crime weak proof: SC

Identification of an accused within the courtroom by a witness who has seen him for the primary time in the course of the crime is a weak piece of proof, particularly when there’s a massive time hole between the dates of the incident and recording of his proof, the Supreme Court has stated.

The remark got here on an attraction filed by 4 folks convicted underneath Section 55(a) of the Kerala Abkari Act for transporting spirits.

The allegation of the prosecution was that the 4 folks transported a complete amount of 6,090 litres of spirits in 174 plastic cans in a truck with pretend registration quantity plates and with out authorisation.

The apex courtroom discarded the testimony of a witness as he had stated that he was not in a position to determine any individuals whom he had seen 11 years again.

However, he had recognized the 2 accused although he had seen them for the primary time greater than 11 years again on the date of the incident.

“The identification by a witness of the accused in the Court who has for the first time seen the accused in the incident of offence is a weak piece of evidence especially when there is a large time gap between the date of the incident and the date of recording of his evidence,” a bench of Justices Ajay Rastogi and Abhay S Oka stated.

The apex courtroom stated in such a case, take a look at identification parade (course of to determine accused) might make the identification of the accused by the witness earlier than the Court reliable. The prime courtroom in its order dated October 22 stated it’s properly settled that the take a look at identification parade is part of investigation and it’s not substantive proof.

However, the absence of take a look at identification parade might not be ipso facto enough to discard the testimony of a witness who has recognized the accused within the Court, the bench stated. In a given case, there could also be in any other case enough corroboration to the testimony of the witness, it stated.

“In some cases, the Court may be impressed with testimony of the prosecution witnesses which is of sterling quality. In such cases, the testimony of such a witness can be believed. In the present case, PW13 (witness) accepted that he is not able to identify any persons whom he had seen 11 years back.

“However, he asserted that he can identify the accused Nos. 2 and 4 though he had seen them for the first time more than 11 years back on the date of the incident. Therefore, in the facts of the case, the evidence of PW13 as regards the identification of the accused Nos. 2 and 4 in the Court cannot be accepted,” the bench stated.

The prime courtroom stated that it is extremely tough to consider that the witness who was not understanding the accused Nos. 2 and four previous to the incident may determine them within the Court after a lapse of 11 years and the identical is the case with all of the official witnesses.

“The prosecution has chosen not to produce evidence regarding the correct registration number of the truck and the name of the registered owner thereof. Therefore, the entire prosecution case becomes doubtful,” the bench stated whereas acquitting the accused.


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