SC takes serious note of false witnesses, directs strict action

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New Delhi, Oct 18 (UNI) The Supreme Court has ruled that the courts must come down heavily on those who make false statements before the court.

A bench comprising Justices Arijit Pasayat and J M Panchal also ruled that Section 311 CrPC is meant to examine any witness which the court thinks can help in ascertaining the truth.

The apex court in its judgement noted, ''It is not only the prerogative but also the plain duty of a court to examine such of those witnesses as it consider absolutely neccesary for doing justice between the state and the subject.

There is a duty cast upon the court to arrive at a decision by all lawful means and one of that means is the examination of witnesses of its own accord when for certain obvious reasons either of the parties is not prepared to call witnesses who are known to be in a position to divulge important relevant facts.'' The apex court set aside the judgement of Rajasthan High Court permitting the two accused in a murder case to recall the two witnesses who have already been examined before the juvenile court and have also been cross examined.

The Ajmer trial court had dismissed the application of the two accused when the police opposed it saying that the two witnesses, namely Bhopalaram and Nandaram, who have been won over by the accused and a witness who has once been examined and cross examined earlier, cannot be recalled or resummoned for fresh examination and cross examination.

The High Court, however, set aside the order of a fast track court and directed the trial court to summon the two witnesses.

Complainant Hanumanram appealed against the High Court order in the Supreme Court.

The apex court quoted with approval from the earlier judgement where the Supreme Court has said, ''The courts have to follow the procedure strictly and cannot allow a witness to escape the legal action for giving false evidence before the court on mere explanation that he had given it under the pressure of the police or some other reason.

Whenever the witness speaks falsehood in the court, and it is proved satisfactorily, the court should take a serious action against such witnesses.'' The apex court finally held, ''The High Court's view for accepting the prayer in terms of Section 311 of the CrPC does not have any legal foundation.

In the facts of the case, the High Court ought not to have accepted the prayer made by the accused person in terms of Section 311 of the Code.'' UNI SC PD RP NS1650

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