Examination-In-Chief And Cross-Examination Must Be Recorded Either On Same Or Following Day- Supreme Court
The Supreme Court has held that the statement of a witness, including cross-examination, has to be recorded either on the same or the following day and there should be any ground for adjournment on this.
A Bench of Justice Ajay Rastogi & Justice CT Ravikumar observed –
"The mandate of law itself postulate that examination-in-chief followed with cross-examination is to be recorded either on the same day or on the day following. In other words, there should not be any ground for adjournment in recording the examination-in-chief/cross-examination of the prosecution witness, as the case may be."
The Court was hearing two pleas seeking the quashing of bail granted by the Allahabad High Court to two persons in a murder case, and was informed that it took almost three months to conclude the recording of the statement of one of the prosecution witnesses.
The Court in its order dated September 30th, also held, "In other words, there should not be any ground for adjournment in recording the examination-in-chief/cross-examination of the prosecution witness, as the case may be."
AOR Bhuwan Raj appeared for the Petitioner before the Apex Court.
The High Court in its two separate orders passed in February and March had granted bail to the two persons in connection with the case lodged at Bhadohi district in Uttar Pradesh for the alleged offences including that of murder.
During the hearing before the Apex Court, the Bench was informed that there are three eyewitnesses according to the list of witnesses and the charge sheet has been filed in the case.
The Bench was also told that statement of one of the prosecution witnesses has been recorded and it took almost three months to conclude.
The Court also held that the trial judge may not only expedite the trial but the examination-in-chief or cross-examination of a witness is to be recorded either on the same day or on the day following but no long adjournment should be granted while recording the statement of prosecution witnesses.
The Bench has posted the matter for hearing after six weeks.
Cause Title – Mukesh Singh v. The State of Uttar Pradesh & Anr.