Question: What is the object of re-examination? [U.P.C.J. 1987, HR.J.S. 1998, W.B.J.S. 1997] Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [What is the object of re-examination?] Answer The third paragraph of section 137 of the Indian Evidence Act provides the definition of re-examination. It states: “where a witness has been cross-examined and is then… Read More »

Question: What is the object of re-examination? [U.P.C.J. 1987, HR.J.S. 1998, W.B.J.S. 1997] Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [What is the object of re-examination?] Answer The third paragraph of section 137 of the Indian Evidence Act provides the definition of re-examination. It states: “where a witness has been cross-examined and is then examined by the party who called him, such subsequent examination shall be called his re-examination.” The object...

Question: What is the object of re-examination? [U.P.C.J. 1987, HR.J.S. 1998, W.B.J.S. 1997]

Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [What is the object of re-examination?]

Answer

The third paragraph of section 137 of the Indian Evidence Act provides the definition of re-examination.

It states: “where a witness has been cross-examined and is then examined by the party who called him, such subsequent examination shall be called his re-examination.”

The object of re-examination is to afford the party calling a witness an opportunity of filling in the lacuna or explaining the inconsistencies which the cross-examination has discovered in the examination-in-chief of the witness. It is accordingly limited to the explanation of matters referred to in cross-examination (section 138). It partakes of the nature of examination-in-chief inasmuch as no leading questions can be asked (section 142).

The party who calls a witness has the right to re-examine him on all matters arising out of the cross-examination for the purpose of reconciling any discrepancies that may exist between the evidence on the examination-in-chief and that which has been given in cross-examination, or for the purpose of removing or diminishing any suspicion that the cross-examination may have cast on the evidence-in-chief or to enable the witness to state the whole truth as to matters which have only been partially dealt with in cross-examination.

In re-examination, the party has a right to ask all questions which may be proper to draw forth an explanation of the meaning of the expressions used by the witness on cross-examination, if they be in themselves doubtful, and also of the motive, or provocation, which induced the witness to those expressions, but he has no right to go further, and to introduce matter new in itself and not suited to explain either the expressions or the motives of the witness.

Scope of re-examination

The court in the case of Pannayar v. State of Tamil Nadu by Inspector of Police, 2009 Cr LJ 4454 (SC) proceeded to explain the position as follows:

“There is an erroneous impression that re-examination should be confined to clarification of ambiguities which have been brought down in cross-examination. No doubt, ambiguities can be resolved through re-examination. But that is not the only function of the re-examiner.

If the party who called the witness feels the explanation is required for any matter referred to in cross-examination he has the liberty to put any question in re-examination to get the explanation. The Public Prosecutor should formulate his questions for that purpose.

An explanation may be required either when ambiguity remains regarding any answer elicited during cross-examination or even otherwise. If the Public Prosecutor feels that certain answers require more elucidation from the witness he has the freedom and the right to put such questions as he deems necessary for that purpose, subject of course to the control of the court in accordance with the other provisions.

But the court cannot direct him to confine his questions to ambiguities alone which arose in cross-examination. Even if the Public Prosecutor feels that new matters should be elicited from the witness he can do so, in which case the only requirement is that he must secure the permission of the court. If the court thinks that such new matters are necessary for proving any material fact, Courts must be liberal in granting permission to put the necessary questions.

A Public prosecutor who is attentive during cross-examination cannot but be sensitive to discern which answer in cross-examination requires explanation. An efficient Public Prosecutor would gather up such answers falling from the mouth of a witness during cross-examination and formulate necessary questions to be put in re-examination.

There is no warrant that re-examination should be limited to one or two questions. If the exigency requires any number of questions, it can be asked in re-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 2021-11-05T05:59:23+05:30
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