Can documents be presented in Defence evidence without getting cross-examined

Tilak Marg Forum for Legal Questions Forums Criminal Law Can documents be presented in Defence evidence without getting cross-examined

This topic contains 1 reply, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Dr. Ashok Dhamija Dr. Ashok Dhamija 2 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #4833

    Dear Sir,

    I am fighting a FALSE 498a/406/34 case against me and my family. All the witnesses listed by the State in the chargesheet have been examined except one, who had expired some time back and thus no one is appearing on behalf of that witness.
    From past few dates my lawyer is neither appearing for me nor replying to my calls/messages and thus I have lost trust in him and for few reasons I don’t want to engage another lawyer. I want to fight my case party-in-person and want to cross-examine if anyone appears on behalf of the last witness who expired some time back.

    In my defence, I have few pictures (family pictures of complainant birthday celebration and family outdoor visits) and documents (like hospital and medicine bills of complainant) and other documents to contradict complainant’s allegations which I want to present in support of my case in my defence evidence.

    My query is, as per law, can these documents be presented in one’s defence evidence while standing as Party-in-person without getting cross-examined by public prosecutor/APP or by just submitting these documents to Court in my defence will make me available for cross-examination to PP/APP/private lawyer of complainant?

    Thank you.

    Regards,
    Angad

  • #4837

    Firstly, note that a witness is required to remain present in the court himself for examination. Nobody else can appear for him if he has expired. Of course, if such witness was a formal witness (such as for just producing some documents), then sometimes another person may do the same thing in court, i.e., for example for producing such documents if he is familiar with them and can authenticate them.

    Secondly, for production of your defence documents, you could have tried to produce such documents at the time of cross-examination of the prosecution witnesses, wherever relevant.

    Thirdly, you can try to produce these documents under Section 294 of the Criminal Procedure Code, asking the opposite party, i.e., the prosecution, to admit or deny the same. If the prosecution admits those documents, then there is no need for producing them through any defence witness and such admitted documents are taken on record straightaway.

    Fourthly, your defence documents can be produced through any other defence witness also (other than the accused persons) provided they are familiar with them and can authenticate them. For example, for hospital bills, etc., someone from the accounts section of the hospital can produce them as a defence witness.

    Lastly, if you or any other accused person produces such defence documents in the court as a defence witness, then the prosecution will get a chance to cross-examine. No examination of a witness is considered to be complete without cross-examination.

         


    Dr. Ashok Dhamija is a New Delhi based Supreme Court Advocate and author of law books. Read more about him by clicking here. List of his Forum Replies. List of his other articles. List of his Quora Answers.

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