Sunday 20 January 2019

Whether it is necessary for a party to produce negative of photograph along with photo for confronting witness in cross examination?

Order 7 Rule 14(3), Order 8 Rule 1A(4) and Order 13 Rule 1(3) all provide that the rule for filing a document alongwith pleadings and/or before the settlement of issues does not apply to documents with which a witness may be confronted in his cross examination. The question which arises is as to with what documents a witness can be confronted; whether with those mentioned in Sections 144 and 145 of the Evidence Act only or with others also. In the opinion of this court, no limitation can be placed on the documents which can be confronted to the witness. The present case itself gives a classic illustration in this regard. The witness is an architect who claims to have inspected the property and reported that the tenants have carried out unauthorized changes in the property and which changes have lowered the value, utility or security of the building. The endeavour of the cross examining party would be to falsify the said report. The same can be done by showing to the said witness the photographs or other material which would run contrary to the testimony or report of the said witness. Such material would not necessarily be one to which the witness would be a signatory or a scribe. The said material can be in the form of photographs and from the replies of the witness to the said material it can be established whether the witness has visited the property or not and has inspected the same or not and whether his reporting is correct or not. For instance if the witness has deposed as to the weakening of the structure by removal of a wall and if from the photograph it is apparent that the wall was merely the partition wall and the structure is otherwise supported by pillars and beams then I see no reason why such photographs cannot be shown to the witness and/or why he cannot be confronted with the same.

7. The contention qua negatives is also not correct. The negatives are required when photographs are sought to be proved in examination in chief and not when used for confronting the witness.


C.M.(M) Nos. 692, 702, 9953 and 10057/2009

Decided On: 30.11.2009

 Surinder Kumar Bajaj  Vs.  Sheela Rani Pasricha

Hon'ble Judges/Coram:
Rajiv Sahai Endlaw, J.

Citation: 2009 SCC Online Del 3855.
Read full caselaw here: Click here
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