Sunday, August 11, 2019

Witness, Types Of Witness & Important To Know When Someone Can Become A Witness In Criminal Justice System

In a criminal case, a witness is the someone who testifies in a court hearing because he has a direct knowledge of a crime or significant incident.

The witness is the most important factor in the criminal case. There are many types of witness – witness present on behalf of the prosecution, defence witness or court witness.

Important to know when someone can become a witness

  • The statements of his witnesses are the most important to prove the case of the prosecution. If there is an incident somewhere, whoever has seen the incident or has any information about the incident or it can be helpful to add a link to the case, then he is made an prosecution/government witness.
  • When the police are investigating the case, whenever they feel that such a person has information about the incident, the police makes him a witness to the prosecution/government. The police registers the statements of such witnesses under Section 161 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
  • When the police record the statement of the prosecution witness, that statement is not signed by the said witness. If the police feels that the witness can be pressurised or retracted from his statement, then he can also record the statement of the said witness before the magistrate as a precautionary measure.The statement of the witness before the magistrate is recorded under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) and the statement is signed by the witness. Usually, in sexual harassment or rape cases, the police also record the Victim's statement in front of the Magistrate.
  • After the statements of the prosecution witnesses, the police has submitted a list of witnesses to the court along with the charge-sheet, and after the charges are framed, the court issues summon to the witnesses one by one and then the witnesses appear before the court and record the statement.
  • If the witness of the government side makes a statement in a court different from the statement made in front of the police, he is treated as a retracted witness and then the prosecution lawyer cross-examines with that witness.If he does not retract his statement, then the defense lawyer will cross examines him. After the witness's statement and cross exam, his statement is considered complete & recorded.
  • After the statement of the prosecution witness and the statement of the accused, the accused can request the court to call the witness in his defense. According to the list presented before the court, the court issues summons to the defense witnesses and they appear in the court for statements. However, the court decides who is required to be called in the list of witnesses.
  • At times, the court feels that the statement of such a person may be important for the case, so he can take cognizance of himself and summon the witness under Section 311 of the CrPc. Such a witness is called court witness.
  • In cases where police evidence is weak or lack of witnesses, the prosecution sometimes files an application to the court for make a accused witness, and then the court calls him and asks him for his will, and if he is ready, he is made an approver witness.