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CASE COMMENT ON ;- RAM CHANDER VS STATE OF HARYANA 1981

AIR 1036, 1981 SCR (3) 12


( toward the fulfillment of Second Continuous Assessment in the subject of Law of Evidence)

Submitted By: Submitted To:


KanchanVerma (1443) Ajay Kumar Sharma
B.A., LL.B (Hons.) Faculty of Law of Evidence
Section-B
IV–Semester

NATIONAL LAW UNIVERSITY, JODHPUR


WINTER SESSION
(JANUARY- MAY 2018)

(Word Limit – 503 Words)


ISSUE BEFORE THE COURT-
Role of judge trying a criminal case that whether a Judge in a criminal case may put any question

to the witness and if so, then what are its limitations.

RELEVANT PROVISIONS-
1) Section 165, of the Indian Evidence Act,1872 read with section 172(2) of the Code of
Criminal Procedure.
2) Section 11,Evidence Act.

FACTS OF THE CASE-


The appellant Ram Chander and Mange were tried by the learned Additional Sessions Judge for

the murder of Dunni. Both were convicted under section 302 read with section 34 Indian Penal

Code and sentenced to imprisonment for life. On appeal the High Court acquitted Mange but

confirmed the conviction and sentence of Ram Chander. Later on ,in appeal by special leave it

was contended that the conviction and sentence were vitiated as the principle of fair trial was

abandoned by the Sessions Judge who rebuked the witnesses and threatened them with

prosecution for perjury and based his conviction on such extorted evidence.

MY ANALYSIS OF THE JUDGMENT;-


The Judgment is being read as the precedent to be followed by the courts across the country and

constricting the judges’ power and its limitation significantly. The Judgment has expanded the

scope of section 165 of the Indian evidence act in a broader way, gave it the direction, in which it

is to be applied. The section is lavishly framed with an intent to confer the unbridled power to

the judge of a trial courts, without imposing any restriction over such power. The section

contains the words like “any question, at any time, of any of the parties whether, relevant or
irrelevant” empowers the judges to exercise the arbitrariness during the trials. Neither of the

Parties nor the counsels have any right to raise the objection to any such question.

This Judgment curtails such vast and unrestricted power and lays down the guidelines in which

the given power of the trial court judges can be exercised. The apex court has held that the role

of the judge is of great importance, not merely being a spectator and a recording machine. He has

the wide power to put any question to any witness, or of the parties, at any time whenever he

finds necessary, but this power is restricted to some limitations. While exercising its power, the

judge must not interfere with functions of the counsel of both sides, and must not in any ways

coerce, confuse or frighten the witnesses. The judge, the prosecutor and the defense, all three

must work with harmony, in a team to achieve the goal of criminal justice.

The apex court while upholding the principles of fair trial, also stated that arbitrarily exercise of

power under section 165 of Indian Evidence Act, 1872 would also amount to redundancy of

provisions of the witnesses, if they are tested, accepted or rejected with the external force

pressurizing them.

I, highly support the guidelines given by the court in present cases which would help in better

and effective application of Section 165.