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Official witnesses have to be treated at par with independent witnesses: Punjab and Haryana High Court

Observing that non-examination of an independent witness does not have any effect on the trial, the court on contradictions in the witness statements, regarding the recovery, said forgetfulness is one of the basic human traits.

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh |
Updated: January 14, 2020 2:51:44 am
Punjab and Haryana high court, cops refuse to disclose mobile numbers, punjab news, haryana news, indian express news The observations have been made in the judgment over an appeal filed by convict Kesar Singh from Patiala against his conviction under section 15 of the NDPS Act and his one year sentence. (File)

Statements of official witnesses are to be treated at par with the independent witnesses, unless some motive for false implication or false deposition is found to be there, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has said.

Observing that non-examination of an independent witness does not have any effect on the trial, the court on contradictions in the witness statements, regarding the recovery, said forgetfulness is one of the basic human traits.

“With the passage of time, the memory fades and sometimes it is difficult to recapture the exact details of an event, which had happened earlier,” said Justice HS Madan while dismissing the appeal of a convict in a drugs case, which was pending since 2004.

The observations have been made in the judgment over an appeal filed by convict Kesar Singh from Patiala against his conviction under section 15 of the NDPS Act and his one year sentence.

In 2001, he was arrested for possessing nearly 30 kg of poppy husk and was convicted in 2004. Upholding the 2004 judgment of the trial court, the single bench in its order said there is nothing on record to show that investigating officer or any other witness had a previous enmity with the accused prompted by which they might have come forward to depose against him.

Observing that accused had been sentenced to rigourous imprisonment for only one year and the trial court had been very lenient with the accused, the single bench said no further reduction in the sentence is found to be desirable keeping in view the quantum of recovery from the accused. Ordering cancellation of his bail, the High Court has directed the CJM Patiala to issue arrest warrant against the convict to make him undergo the remaining sentence.

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