Hi, First I will give you just an intro about the Hostility word.
Hostile witness or Hostile word is no described anywhere in the Indian Evidence Act. But you see in many cases that witness becomes hostile, so if someone becomes Hostile then how can we overcome Hostile Witness? I am going to talk about it today.
Hostility meaning?-Witnesses who support the prosecution story during a criminal investigation do not like to turn up before a criminal court to depose the true story. Even if they appear before the Court they do not intend to put before the Court the true picture of the prosecution due to fear, relations, and closeness. Witnesses who support the prosecution story during a criminal investigation do not like to turn up before a criminal court to depose the true story. Even if they appear before the Court they do not intend to put before the Court the true picture of the prosecution due to fear, relations, and closeness.
How to overcome a hostile witness? -In civil cases and other cases of different nature, the menace of a hostile witness is not much and its repercussions are not as disastrous as in criminal cases especially cases of grave nature. In order to surmount this obstacle, the police chiefs have hit upon the idea of bumping the criminals in encounters for which though inquiries are held later, it is difficult to pinpoint with accuracy the blame on whom lies the first strike.
Fundamentalists, militants, extremists escape gallows because they exterminate the witnesses if they have the audacity to speak in a Court of law and hence they are afraid to witness much less to speak about the incidents that happen day – to – day especially in Kashmir and Hence long incarceration of the offenders is not possible in a democratic country like India unlike in a totalitarian regime or in the military dictatorship.
We have a constitution in which criminals have the right to freedom to live and detention forever is neither possible nor feasible. That is why, the police in Bombay, Punjab, Kashmir, and in the northeast, extremists are eliminated by encounters whether fake or true. In Naxalite-infested areas like A.P. also, the same policy is adopted:
1. After an offense is committed, the suspects who are alleged to be accused may be asked to give confessions either judicial or extrajudicial if they are willing provided care is taken to follow the safeguards as per law and case-law pronounced by the Supreme Court.
2. Likewise, Section 164 statements as of Cr PC may be recorded of the eye or circumstantial witnesses.
3. In some cases of the intricate nature of conspiracies, approvers may be taken to speak about the offenses.
4. When a witness is not speaking the truth or in other words turned hostile in the Court, he or she may be confronted with their statements under Section 162 before the police and follow it up by proving what they said before the Court with the aid of other witnesses so that the Court may know the truth about the witness
5. Very very rarely, witnesses turning hostile are proceeded with in law for perjury and this must be resorted to often so that the witness may know the consequences and deter them from doing so in the future
6. As per case – laws, one eye witness or circumstantial witness is enough to convict the accused (Namdeo VS State of Maharashtra) and hence the police need not bother to produce more witnesses than necessary to prove the chain of events.
7. Neither the police nor the Prosecutor takes time to refresh the memory of the witnesses or coach them as per law as the defense counsel does for his witness.
8. Independent witnesses must be picked up instead of lining up the relatives or friends of the accused and how can one expect them to speak the truth before the Court.
9. Turning hostile is due to various reasons and not due to money alone. Likewise, giving security of safety to witness is neither possible nor feasible in all cases especially when long periods lapse, and hence cases must be tried quickly most probably within six months or so unless the accused are at large and detailed investigation is necessary for India and abroad likewise in inter-State and international crimes. Now, we have fast-track Courts to dispense justice quickly as the motto is justice delayed is justice denied. Witness Protection System in the West may be examined.
10. As per the decision of the SC, medical reports need not vouchsafe what the witness deposes in the witness – box.
11. In cases of Psychotropic offenses, POTA, and other Detention Acts, the onus is on the accused, thus altering the normal and regular criminal jurisprudence
12. Finally, in a criminal case, the accused can tamper with the Judge, Prosecutor, Police, Doctors, and witnesses and this could be averted by selecting and appointing men of integrity and honesty which are totally lacking these days because of political and other extraneous considerations which are common in a democracy.
13. Courts must be strict and not show leniency to the witnesses by upholding the law.
Punitive and deterrent actions are called for to root out the menace of hostility of the witnesses which has become common now – a – days because there is no fear of punishment and they can depose whatever they like from Court to Court and escape the long arm of the law which fails most of the times to reach the offenders of justice.