A Delhi court, while acquitting a man of charges of deposing falsely as a witness in judicial proceedings, has observed that a person cannot be convicted for perjury if statements are reconcilable.
“If there are two contradictory statements, the accused should be convicted for perjury only when they are found to be altogether irreconcilable,” Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sudhanshu Kaushik said.
According to the prosecution, the accused, Rajesh Tiwari, a taxi driver, was one of the key witnesses in a 2007 road accident case in Delhi involving a truck and a milk tanker. It said that in his first statement in 2009, he had said that the truck driver was driving rashly and had hit the milk tanker and then his taxi.
However during cross-examination in 2011, Tiwari changed his stand, saying the driver of the milk tanker was at fault. On a written complaint by CMM Vinod Yadav, a case was registered against Tiwari and charge of giving false evidence under oath was framed against him.
Holding that both statements of Tiwari were reconcilable, the court said what he probably meant was that though the truck driver was driving rashly, the accident took place due to negligence of the driver of milk van.