Appreciation of evidence when there is variation in versions of two witnesses or between two statements of the same witness explained

Shyamsundar Vithal Pawle Vs The State of Maharashtra

Bombay HC, Aurangabad Bench

11/09/2020

CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 268 OF 2014

About/from the judgment:

In the cross-examination, this witness has stated that he stated before the police that Ananda was in a sitting position and accused Nos. 2 and 3 had caught him but it is not there in the statement. Learned counsel Shri Ghanekar argued that it shows that this evidence is in the nature of improvement and, therefore, cannot be considered. The analysis of the statement under Section 161 of Cr.P.C. of this witness reveals that this witness has stated that in the auto rickshaw accused Nos. 2 and 3 and two more persons were sitting and the deceased Ananda was sleeping in the auto rickshaw in injured condition. This clearly shows that this witness has stated about the presence of accused Nos. 2 and 3 and two more persons and about presence of the deceased in the injured condition in the auto rickshaw.

 

It is true that whatever PW 3 has stated in the evidence does not appear in verbatim in the statement before the police. Mere variation between the statement under Section 161 of Cr.P.C. and deposition before the Court in narration of the incident would not amount to contradiction.

 

It has been held in the case of Rammi alias Rameshwar vs. State of Madhya Pradesh reported in 1999 Cri.L.J. 4561 thus :-

 

24. When eye-witness is examined at length it is quite possible for him to make some discrepancies. No true witness can possibly escape from making some discrepant details. Perhaps an untrue witness who is well tutored can successfully make his testimony totally non-discrepant. But Courts should bear in mind that it is only when discrepancies in the evidence of a witness are so incompatible with the credibility of his version that the Court is justified in jettisoning his evidence. But too serious a view to be adopted on mere variations falling in the narration of an incident (either as between the evidence of two witnesses or as between two statements of the same witness) is an unrealistic approach for judicial scrutiny. {Para 41}

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