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Types of Witness Examination and pertaining issues

 Types of Witness Examination and pertaining issues

It is indisputable that witnesses play an important role in providing aid to the court in order to

ensure that justice is administered. Evidence is important in any type of case, but it is the witness

who throws light on the complexities that have been highlighted in that particular case. It has been

established a structure and procedure in this regard through several statutory provisions, with

Sections 135 to 166 of the Evidence Act covering the examination of witnesses.

First and first, it is necessary to comprehend what is meant by the term "Witness." When it is

mentioned in Section 31 that there are two components of 'Evidence,' it is the 'witness' who is the

first component and recorded evidence as the second component. It also includes the definition of

oral evidence, which in simplest terms means all statements that are permitted by the court or

compelled to be made before it by the witnesses with reference to the facts that are under

investigation. It also includes the definition of documentary evidence. This type of evidence must be


In terms of production, place an order.

In accordance with Section 35 of the Indian Evidence Act, the handling of production orders and

witness examination is contemplated. The procedure for witness examination is addressed in the

CPC's Order 18 and the CrPC's Chapters 18, 19, 21 and 24. The most important question is who will

be the first to question its witness and in what order this will take place. In criminal proceedings, it is

the prosecution's side that is in charge of gathering evidence.

S. 311 of the Criminal Procedure Code offers broad authority to courts for summoning and

interrogating witnesses, as well as any other person present, who they judge relevant. It also grants

authority to recall and re-examine witnesses who have already been interrogated. Any deviation

from the order relative to the collecting of evidence has the potential to cause severe prejudice to

one or more parties or to result in a miscarriage of justice.

In terms of witness examination, the following is the order:

Based on English Common Law method, this procedure is divided into three stages. The first step is

the examination in chief, followed by cross-examination, and finally the re-examination. 4. Section

137 of the Evidence Act deals with the definition of all three examinations, and this order is defined

in accordance with Section 138 of the Evidence Act. The examination in main must address the

pertinent facts; on the other hand, the cross-examination does not have to be confined to the facts

that have been attested to by the witness in order to be effective. The feature of re-examination

occurs after the cross-examination and helps to clarify the picture of the witnesses' testimony by

bringing it into focus. The court has ruled that the use of obscene or scandalous questions in the

cross-examination shall be prohibited. These are the ones that are either irrelevant to the facts in

question or have the potential to insult or anger the witness who is being cross-examined by the

defence attorney

Types of Witness Examination, together with their respective advantages and disadvantages:

Chief Examiner's Inquiry

Examining a witness who has been summoned by one of the parties is referred to as examination in

chief8. Once the oath is taken and affirmed, this is the first step in the entire examination procedure.

The whole emphasis in this case is on the testimony and evidence of the witnesses. Parties tend to

establish what their case is by narrowing the focus of their discussion to the material facts.

A sophisticated chief examination is capable of identifying a large number of things. In this type of

examination, questions that are considered to be leading ones are not asked. The competency of the

witness is an important consideration that must be kept in mind, and his or her evidence must be


When preparing for this examination, it is necessary to adhere to a rule known as the golden rule9,

which states that there must be clarity, outline questions must be prepared, appropriate phrases

must be used, relevant portions must be given precedence, and flexible questions must be given


Examining the Evidence in a Cross-Examination

As part of the examination of witnesses, this examination plays an important function, and it is

considered to be one of the most important methods used in determining and acquiring truth10. It is

preceded at the request of the adverse party, and an attempt is made to verify the validity as well as

the credibility of a witness's statements and testimony, with the major goal of this examination

being to verify the veracity and credibility of a witness's statements and testimony. During the

course of this test, questions other than those pertaining to the facts may be asked, but questions

that are deceptive are not permitted to be asked.

Unlike other rights, the right of a party to cross-examine a particular witness is recognised by natural

justice principles as well as other rights common to the legal profession. Because perjury is a

criminal offence in a court of law, the requirement of cross-examination plays an important role in

the process of truth discovery. This procedure of cross-examining the witness results in the inference

being formed that the adverse party has accepted the truthfulness of the statements made, and

there is no room for any subsequent grievance to be raised if this process is not conducted by the

adverse party . For example, if an adverse party is eager to cross-examine but is denied permission

by the court for reasons best known to the court, the evidence in question is deemed not to be

taken into consideration at all 16.


When a question arises during the course of cross-examination, this type of examination provides an

opportunity for the witness to explain the question. This type of examination is normally limited to

only such questions. Efforts are taken to clarify any expressions used by the witness over the course

of the trial. Additionally, new subjects might be raised, but only after obtaining the necessary

permission from the court, and the opposing party would then be given the opportunity to cross-

examine those points So, to put it another way, the purpose of main examination is witness

examination under oath, the objective of cross examination is to expose truth, and the objective of

re-examination is to remove vagueness. Lead-in questions are not permitted to be asked in chief or

re-examination unless the court grants permission18 to do so, but they are permitted to be asked

during cross-examination.


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