Sunday 19 September 2021

Bombay HC: Precaution which court should take in conduct of test identification Parade

  It is well settled that the evidence of Test Identification Parade is not substantive evidence. The object of conducting Test Identification Parade is to enable the witness to identify the suspect who was previously not known to him. The Criminal Manual of this High Court lays down the guidelines and prescribes the procedure in holding the Identification Parade. These guidelines include : (i) identification parade should be held and every precaution must be taken to exclude any suspicion of unfairness or risk of erroneous identification through the witnesses ; (ii) the witnesses should be prevented from seeing the

suspect before he is paraded with the other persons, and witnesses who have previously seen a photograph or description of the suspect should not be led in identifying the suspect ; (iii) the suspect should be placed among the persons who are as far as possible of the same age, height, general appearance and position in life. {Para 16}

17. The procedure for holding Identification Parade provides, inter alia, that : (i) the Executive Magistrate should first acquaint himself very briefly, with the facts of the case and find out who is to be put in parade for identification and who are the witnesses to be called for identification, (ii) the Executive Magistrate should satisfy himself that the two independent respectable persons arranged for by the police are infact independent and fairly intelligent persons and should acquaint

them briefly with the facts of the case, (iii) the memorandum should include (a) the names, ages, occupations and the full addresses of the two respectable persons, (b) the names and the approximate ages of the persons standing in the parade, mentioning clearly, one below the other, in numerical order, their positions in the parade, (iv) the fact that no person, other than those in the parade and the two respectable persons were allowed to remain in the room and that all police officers and constables were asked to withdraw, (v) After the memorandum is completed, the Executive Magistrate should make an endorsement at the end certifying that identification was conducted by him personally with the help of the two respectable witnesses whose names should be specified in the endorsement and further certify that their signatures have been obtained in what transpired in their presence ; (vi) the memorandum should also have an endorsement of the two respectable persons certifying that they have read the memorandum or that it was

explained to them or that it depicts the correct state of affair as stated in the memorandum and the Executive Magistrate is required to obtain signatures of the two respectable persons with whose help he held the Identification Parade.

19. In the instant case, the evidence of PW4 reveals that the police had called the two independent respectable persons. The evidence of PW4 does not indicate that she had briefed them about the facts of the case. There is also nothing on record to indicate that she had ascertain that the two persons brought by the police were in fact independent persons. As stated earlier, the Test Identification Parade was conducted about a month after the arrest of the Appellant in this crime. PW10 has deposed that Investigating Officer had called them to the Police Station

to identify the suspects arrested in this crime. It was therefore

incumbent upon PW10 to rule out the possibility of the identifying witnesses having an opportunity to see the Appellant prior to the Test Identification Parade. PW4 has admitted in her cross examination that she had not asked the witnesses whether the police had shown them the photographs of the accused. She claims that she had asked the said question when the witnesses were instructed to sit in the closed room. This is implausible in view of the admission of PW4 that prior to commencement of the parade, she had not gone to the room where the witnesses were made to sit. It is thus evident that PW4 had not taken necessary precautions to ensure that the identifying witnesses had no

opportunity to see the Appellant or his photograph before conducting  the TI parade.

20. The evidence of PW4 also does not indicate that the dummies

were of similar age with similar physical appearance, as the person to be identified. The memorandum also does not disclose the names and other details of the persons who were placed in the parade along with the Appellant. PW4 and the two respectable persons have also not made endorsements at the foot of the memorandum of the Test Identification Parade. It is thus evident that the Test Identification Parade is in breach of the guidelines and procedure prescribed in the Criminal Manual. Hence, the identification of this Appellant in the Test Identification Parade has no evidentiary value.




Harqbahaddur Logbahaddur Bhandari @ Raju Vs The State of Maharashtra


DATED : 06th SEPTEMBER, 2021.

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