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  • Writer's pictureChambers of Daksha Kumar

Conviction cannot be based solely on the testimony of a wholly unreliable witness: Supreme Court.

The Indian judicial system classified witnesses into three categories: (a) wholly reliable; (b) wholly unreliable; and (c) neither wholly reliable nor wholly unreliable.

When a witness is wholly reliable, the court can easily condemn or acquit a defendant based solely on their testimony.

Though the evidence of a wholly unreliable witness makes it difficult for the court to make a decision regarding the conviction or acquittal of the accused.

The third category of witness, who is neither wholly reliable nor wholly unreliable, is where the difficulty lies. The court in this case must determine whether the testimony of such a witness is direct or circumstantial before taking the testimony into consideration.

In accordance with Sections 148, 302 read in conjunction with Section 149 of the Indian Penal Code, the trial court found 3 accused namely Mahindra Singh, Pritam Singh, Santosh, Shambhu Singh, and Lakhan Singh guilty.

Amol Singh, who was supposed to be a witness, in this case, was later discovered to be a wholly unreliable witness, rendering the conviction based on his testimony invalid.

The state disagreed and argued that the slight discrepancy in the witness's testimony did not call into question its veracity or serve as a basis for declaring him an entirely unreliable witness.

After reviewing the paperwork, the court ruled that Amol Singh was ineligible to testify as a witness in the case and that his testimony alone was insufficient to support the conviction of the accused.

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