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WHO MERELY COLLECTED DOCUMENTS CAN’T BE CROSS-EXAMINED WITH REGARD TO ITS CONTENTS AS ACCORDING SECTION139 OF THE INDIAN EVIDENCE ACT: PUNJAB AND HARYANA HIGH COURT

This particular decision is upheld by the Punjab and Haryana High Court through the division bench of Justice Arving Singh Sanghwan in the case of Rakesh Jain v Central Bureau of Investigation (CRR-1403-2022 (O&M)

FACTS

FIR No.RCCHG2013A0011 dated 29.05.2013 under Section 109 IPC and Section 13(1)(e) read with Section 13(2) of Prevention of Corruption Act, was registered at Police Station CBI, ACH, Chandigarh against the petitioner on a complaint given by Inspector Ravinder Kush, CBI, ACB, Chandigarh and the petitioner-accused was caught red handed by CBI, while demanding and accepting bribe of Rs.50,000/-. While recording statement of PW40 K.S. Rana, Investigating Officer, who conducted the investigation in part, an application was moved for granting permission to cross-examine him in question-answer format.

JUDGEMENT

Accordingly, the High Court held that as per Section 139 of the Indian Evidence Act, the witness (IO) cannot be allowed to be cross-examined regarding contents of exhibited documents during trial as the same will be seen by the trial Court at the time of final adjudication. The judgment of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in To issue Certain Guidelines regarding inadequacies and deficiencies in criminal trials’ case (supra) regarding guidelines in criminal trials is directive in nature, as it is clearly stated that Presiding Officer shall wherever necessary record the deposition in question and answer format. The Hon’ble Supreme Court left this discretion open to wisdom of the Presiding Officers, who shall whenever necessary, by passing an order, allow the deposition in question and answer format. Even otherwise, the petitioner has neither attached the application filed before the trial Court along with present petition nor in the ground of revision petition, questions to be put to PW40 are suggested, as to how the same are relevant. Even otherwise, as per Section 139 of The Indian Evidence Act, the witness cannot be permitted to be cross-examined with regard to contents of documents exhibited during the course of trial and the same is to be seen by the trial Court at the time of final adjudication. The trial Court has passed a well-reasoned order, declining the application and this Court finds no ground to interfere in the findings recorded by the trial Court in the impugned order. In view of the reasons recorded above, present petition is dismissed.

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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY NAISARGIKA MISHRA

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