Ocular witness to be assigned precedence over the medical account: Punjab High Court.

The Punjab High Court in Subhash @ Makkar and others v/s State of Haryana and Dharampal v/s state of Haryana and others (CRA-D-474-DB-2013 and CRA-D-1529-DB-2013), delivered on 18th January,2023, the court held that statement of the eye witness holds precedence over the statement of medical account, in case of any contradiction in the same. The judgement was delivered by a division bench of Honourable Mr. Justice Sureshwar Thakur and Honourable Mr. Justice Kuldeep Tiwari.


The Punjab High Court ruled that statement by the eye witness holds precedence over the medical account. In this particular case, the appellants were sentenced to life imprisonment by the trial court for the commission of murder in the year 2013. The crime was committed in lieu of a land dispute. The convicts challenged the statements made by the victim’s father on the grounds of contradiction. The victim’s father’s statement in writing and during cross-examination differed regarding the facts of the crime. There were contradictions statements made regarding the details of the crime. Thereby, the statements were challenged by the convicts on ground of contradiction.


The court here held that the victims’ fathers made a minimal improvement in his statements. This does not amount to a doubt on the victim’s credibility as it was neither a gross nor a glaring  improvement or embellishment made in the statements. In both the statement as well as the cross-examination, the victim’s father makes a pointed incrimination against all the accused.

The victim’s father submitted a statement of the deceased lying face downward on the road, and a car subsequently crossed his body. However, the doctor responsible for the autopsy stated the reason of death as haemorrhage and shocking owing to multiple injuries. The doctor further stated that the possibility of death due to a vehicle was very remote.

However, the division bench held that a proven incrimination was made by the victim’s father and it comprised of all the accused being present at the crime scene. The court held that the prosecution has unflinchingly proven the charge drawn against the convicts, irrespective of the statement by the doctor.

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