Contradictions between two statements of a witness play a crucial role
in deciding the fate of a criminal case or trial. Contradictions can be
categorised into two: direct contradictions and contradictions by
omissions. Making some sort of alterations or improvements in the prior
and later statements by a witness can also be termed as contradiction
and omission. Quite naturally, an interested witness may make some
improvements in his testimony of the incident under trial. In order to
avoid this, the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 lays down some procedures for
proving contradictions and omissions in a trial.
The contradictions or omissions can be proved in two stages. In the
first stage, the contradiction is brought on record as provided for in
the Indian Evidence Act. In the second stage the contradiction is then
proved by cross examining the Police Officer who has recorded the
statements under Section 162 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973
(CrPC). If the latter is not done, the contradictions or omissions
brought on record cannot be treated as proved before the court.