The honorable Supreme Court while setting aside the Kerala High Court order has yesterday, listed out the practical guidelines for the Examination of the Witnesses in Criminal Trial. In the case of State of Kerela v. Rasheed, the court has held that ‘While deciding an Application under Section 231(2) of the Cr.P.C. a balance must be struck between the rights of the accused and the prerogative of the prosecution to lead evidence'. The Court was considering an application against the Kerala High court order that had set aside a trial court order which had refused to defer cross-examination of some witnesses.
In the instant case, the division bench of the Supreme Court compromising of Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre and Justice Indu Malhotra observed that Kerala High Court gave no reasons for reversal of the Trial court Order refusing to defer cross-examination and held the order of the High Court as too cryptic. Further, the Supreme Court has ruled that there cannot be a straitjacket formula providing for the grounds on which judicial discretion under Section 231(2) of the Criminal procedure code can be exercised. However, the court held that “The exercise of discretion has to take place on a case-to-case basis. The guiding principle for a Judge under Section 231(2) of the Criminal procedure code, 1973 is to ascertain whether prejudice would be caused to the party seeking a deferral if the application is dismissed.”
The honorable court has listed out the important factors to be considered while deciding an Application under Section 231(2) of the Criminal procedure code along with the practical guidelines to be followed as far as possible by the trial courts in the conduct of a criminal trial.
Tags : sc