Question: “Where a party fails to question his opponent’s witness, the presumption is that his evidence is accepted.” Elaborate on this statement and indicate the exception if any. Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [“Where a party fails to question his opponent’s witness, the presumption is that his evidence is accepted.” Elaborate on… Read More »

Question: “Where a party fails to question his opponent’s witness, the presumption is that his evidence is accepted.” Elaborate on this statement and indicate the exception if any. Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [“Where a party fails to question his opponent’s witness, the presumption is that his evidence is accepted.” Elaborate on this statement and indicate the exception if any.] Answer It is a rule of justice that a party must put the crucial...

Question: “Where a party fails to question his opponent’s witness, the presumption is that his evidence is accepted.” Elaborate on this statement and indicate the exception if any.

Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [“Where a party fails to question his opponent’s witness, the presumption is that his evidence is accepted.” Elaborate on this statement and indicate the exception if any.]

Answer

It is a rule of justice that a party must put the crucial and important part of the case to the witness of the other side in their cross-examination. As defined under section 137 of the Indian Evidence Act: The examination of a witness by the adverse party shall be called his cross-examination.

It is a well-settled rule of evidence that a party should put to each of his opponent’s witnesses so much of his case as concerns that particular witness. If no such questions are put, the Courts presume that the witness’s account has been accepted.

Effect of not cross-examining: When a fact is stated in examination-in-chief and there is no cross-examination on that point naturally it leads to the inference that the other party accepts the truth of the statement. [Babu Lal v. Caltex, 1967 Cal. 205]

When the evidence given by a witness is intrinsically unreliable and on the face of it unacceptable his non-cross-examination cannot gather credibility.

As observed in the case of Sukharaji v. State Transport Corporation, AIR 1966 Cal 620, failure to cross-examine will not always amount to an acceptance of the witness’s testimony, for example, when the story the witness tells is itself incredible or of romantic character. Courts are not precluded from assessing the veracity of witnesses in the absence of any cross-examination.

However, the situation is different where no opportunity is given to cross-examine a witness. If no opportunity is given to cross-examine a witness his evidence must be excluded from consideration For example, the evidence of witnesses, examined before the charge is framed, but not produced for cross-examination, is not admissible.

In Union of India v. T.R. Verma, [AIR 1957 SC 882] it was held that if in the deposition of the witnesses, there was no record made that there was no cross-examination, it can be said that, in fact, the party entitled to cross-examine did not cross-examine and not that the opportunity to cross-examine was denied.

But there are five exceptions to this rule:

  1. where the witness had notice beforehand,
  2. where the story itself is of incredible or romantic characters,
  3. where the non-cross-examination is from the motive of delicacy,
  4. where the counsel indicates that the witness is not cross-examined to save time,
  5. when several witnesses are examined on the same point, all need not be cross-examined.

Thus, to conclude when a fact is stated in examination-in-chief and there is no cross-examination on that point, naturally, it leads to the inference that the other party accepts the truth of the statement. But aforesaid are five exceptions to this rule.

Also, if the oral testimony of a witness is on the face of it unacceptable, courts are not bound to accept it merely because there was no cross-examination as held in Juwar Singh v. State of M.P. [AIR 1981 SC 373].


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 2021-11-05T06:01:48+05:30
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