Lawwatch

Testimony of a Related Witness is Reliable in Evidence

The testimony of a related witness, if it is found to be truthful, can be relied on for conviction of the accused.

This is what a three judge bench of the Supreme Court (SC) held in Karulal v State of MP (Criminal appeal No 316 of 2011) while dismissing an appeal against the high court judgement in a murder case and upholding the conviction of the five accused persons.

The SC held that being related is not a reason to conclude that the accused is falsely implicated and stated, “In any case, being related to the deceased does not necessarily mean that they will falsely implicate innocent persons.

Similarly the court held that if the witness is trustworthy even the enmity of the witness does not discredit the testimony of the witness. The court while relying on the judgement in Sushil & Ors v State of UP [(1995) Suppl SCC 363)] said, “If the witnesses are otherwise trustworthy, past enmity by itself will not discredit any testimony. In fact the history of bad blood gives a clear motive for the crime. Therefore this aspect does not in our assessment, aid the defence in the present matter”.

The judgement was issued by the SC on 9th October 2020. The copy of the judgement is available for download on the SC website at

https://main.sci.gov.in/supremecourt/2009/30869/30869_2009_39_1501_24326_Judgement_09-Oct-2020.pdf .