Wednesday 19 May 2021

Whether the accused has the right to know before filing of the charge sheet that the witness identifies him or not in the Test identification Parade?

  It was submitted that if this procedure is adopted, the accused will not know whether the witness really identified him or not. We pose ourselves this question:“Does an accused have a right to know as to whether he has been identified by the witness in the Test Identification Parade, before the final report is filed?”{Para 87}

88. To answer the above question, it may be necessary to state the procedure that is being presently followed by the Magistrates in the State. After lining up the accused with the dummies, the Magistrate would ask the witness to identify the accused in one of the following three manners:

a to point the accused; or

b to touch the accused; or

c to softly tell the Magistrate the order or serial number in which the accused is standing.

89. Only if the witness chooses one of the first two methods mentioned above, would the accused know that he has been identified. Under the third method, the accused would not know that he has been identified by the witness till the final report is filed, because, as per the judgment of the Full Bench of this Court in Selvanathan @ Raghavan (supra), the accused is entitled to a copy of the Test Identification Parade report only after the final report is filed and not at any time before that. There is no statutory provision or binding judicial precedent mandating that the Magistrate should not adopt the third method and that he should resort to a method by which the accused should know that he has been identified in the Test Identification Parade by the witness even before the final report is filed. Such a statutory provision, in our opinion, will be an anachronism and will be perilous to the very safety and life of the witness. Therefore, we have no hesitation in holding that an accused has no right to know that he has been identified in the Test Identification Parade by a witness, till the final report is filed.

91. Before winding up our discussion on the Test Identification Parade subject, we may profitably extract the following passage from a Division Bench judgment of this Court in Public Prosecutor v. Sankarapandia Naidu, [1932 MWN (Cri) 59]:

“Identification parades are held not for the purpose of giving defence advocates material to work on, but in order to satisfy investigating officers of the bona fides of the prosecution witnesses.”

In the High Court of Madras

(Before Indira Banerjee, C.J. and P.N. Prakash, J.)

Murugasamy  Vs  State 

CRl. O.P. No. 12148 of 2017

Decided on September 15, 2017, [Reserved on: 01.08.2017]

Citation: 2017 SCC OnLine Mad 37658 : (2017) 2 LW (Cri) 345 : (2017) 5 CTC 561 : (2017) 180 AIC (Sum 22) 10

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