Question: When can the leading question be asked? Refer to relevant provisions. [W.B.J.S. 1988. HR.J.S. 1998] Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [When can the leading question be asked? Refer to relevant provisions.] Answer Section 143 lays down that leading questions may be put in cross-examination. The expression “leading question” is defined in… Read More »

Question: When can the leading question be asked? Refer to relevant provisions. [W.B.J.S. 1988. HR.J.S. 1998] Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [When can the leading question be asked? Refer to relevant provisions.] Answer Section 143 lays down that leading questions may be put in cross-examination. The expression “leading question” is defined in section 141. It says that any question suggesting the answer which the person putting it wishes or expects...

Question: When can the leading question be asked? Refer to relevant provisions. [W.B.J.S. 1988. HR.J.S. 1998]

Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [When can the leading question be asked? Refer to relevant provisions.]

Answer

Section 143 lays down that leading questions may be put in cross-examination. The expression “leading question” is defined in section 141. It says that any question suggesting the answer which the person putting it wishes or expects to receive is called a leading question.

Leading questions can only be asked in examination-in-chief when they refer to matters which are (1) introductory; (2) undisputed or (3) sufficiently proved. For, if it were not allowed to approach the points at issue by such questions, the examination would be most inconveniently protracted.

To abridge the proceedings, and bring the witness as soon as possible to the material points on which he is to speak, counsel may lead him on to that length and may recapitulate to him the acknowledged facts of the case which have been already established.

Section 142 lays down that leading questions should not be put in examination-in-chief or re-examination if they are objected to. Exceptions to this rule are that leading questions may be put in examination-in-chief or reexamination by the order of the Court:

  1. as to matters which are introductory;
  2. which are undisputed; or
  3. which in the opinion of the Court have already been proved.

Besides these exceptions under Section 154, a Court can allow a party examining his own witness to put leading questions by way of cross-examination.

It should be borne in mind that if the opposite side makes any objection, leading questions may not be put in examination-in-chief or re-examination but such questions may be put in examination-in-chief or reexamination if the Court overrules the objection.

The other reason why leading questions are allowed to be put to an adverse witness in cross-examination is that the purpose of a cross-examination being to test the accuracy, credibility and general value of the evidence given, and to sift the facts already stated by the witness, it sometimes becomes necessary for a party to put leading questions in order to elicit facts in support of his case, even though the facts so elicited may be entirely unconnected with facts testified to in an examination-in-chief.

Where a general order is made that no leading questions shall be allowed in cross-examination, the order is illegal and vitiates the trial [Sri LP v. Inspector General of Police, (1954) All LJ 316]

Leading questions can be freely asked in cross-examination:

  1. First, and principally, on the supposition that the witness has a bias in favour of the party bringing him forward, and hostile to his opponent.
  2. Secondly, that the party calling a witness has an advantage over his adversary, in knowing beforehand what the witness will prove, or at least is expected to prove; and that, consequently, if he were allowed to lead, he might interrogate in such a manner as to extract only so much of the knowledge of the witness as would be favourable to his side, or even put a false gloss upon the whole.”

Thus, to summarize the total effect of the provisions is that leading questions may be asked in the following cases:

  1. where they are not objected to by the opposite party;
  2. where the opposite party objects but the court overrules the objection;
  3. where they deal with the matter of undisputed or introductory nature or the matter in question has already been satisfactorily proved; and

leading questions may always be asked in cross-examination.


Important Mains Questions Series for Judiciary, APO & University Exams

  1. Law of Evidence Mains Questions Series Part-I
  2. Law of Evidence Mains Questions Series Part-II
  3. Law of Evidence Mains Questions Series Part-III
  4. Law of Evidence Mains Questions Series Part-IV
  5. Law of Evidence Mains Questions Series Part-V
  6. Law of Evidence Mains Questions Series Part-VI
  7. Law of Evidence Mains Questions Series Part-VII
  8. Law of Evidence Mains Questions Series Part-VIII
  9. Law of Evidence Mains Questions Series Part-IX
  10. Law of Evidence Mains Questions Series Part-X
Updated On 2021-11-05T05:51:32+05:30
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