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Quality of evidence relevant in criminal trial, not quantity: SC

The top court said that a part statement of a witness can be believed even though some part of the statement may not be relied upon by the court.

February 25, 2021 / 07:49 PM IST

It is the quality of evidence which is relevant in a criminal trial, not the quantity, the Supreme Court said Thursday while dismissing an appeal filed by a man accused of murder about 30 years ago. A three-judge bench headed by Justice R F Nariman said merely because a prosecution witness was not believed in respect of another accused, his testimony cannot be disregarded.

The top court said that a part statement of a witness can be believed even though some part of the statement may not be relied upon by the court.

The maxim, 'Falsus in Uno, Falsus in Omnibus', (false in one thing, false in everything) is not the rule applied by the courts in India, it said.

It is not necessary for the prosecution to examine all the witnesses who might have witnessed the occurrence. It is the quality of evidence which is relevant in criminal trial and not the quantity, said the bench, also comprising Justices Hemant Gupta and B R Gavai.

The observations came on an appeal filed by UP resident Ram Vijay Singh against the order passed by the Allahabad High Court convicting him for an offence under Section 302 (murder) read with Section 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code in the 1982 case.

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The apex court also rejected his claim of juvenility in the absence of any reliable trustworthy medical evidence to find out age of the appellant.

It said the ossification test conducted in 2020 when the appellant was 55 years old cannot be conclusive to declare him as a juvenile on the date of the incident.

The court also rejected his submission that Girendra Singh, the brother of the deceased, was not examined by prosecution though as per Ram Naresh Singh (Prosecution Witness-1), he was walking few steps behind the deceased.
PTI
first published: Feb 25, 2021 07:45 pm

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