Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Investigating officer’s evidence reliable during trial - Conviction valid even if all witnesses turn hostile, SC

New Delhi: Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that evidence given by investigating officer, even when most witnesses turn hostile, could be relied upon by the trial court to fasten guilt on accused.
This ruling came in a case where owing to the involvement of a sitting Gujarat MLA, all witnesses had turned hostile in a bank manager’s murder case except the investigating officer. Holding that prosecution had proved the case beyond reasonable doubt with the help of forensic evidence and IO’s testimony, a Bench comprising Justices P Sathasivam and A R Dave negated the convict’s argument that the trial court could not have relied on the evidence given by the IO.

“Prima facie, public servants must be presumed to act honestly and conscientiously and that their evidence has to be assessed on intrinsic worth and can’t be discarded merely on the ground that being public servants, they are interested in success of their case,” said Justice Sathasivam, quoting an earlier judgment of apex court.

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