Section 9 dealing with a large number of facts which are either introductory or explanatory in nature are relevant. These are as follows:
- Facts which are necessary to explain a fact in issue or relevant fact.
- Facts which are necessary to introduce a fact in issue or relevant fact.
- Facts which support an inference or relent a fact in issue or relevant fact.
- Facts which establish the identity of anything or person whose identity is relevant.
- Facts which fix the time or place of the fact in issue.
- Facts which show the relation of parties by which any fact was transacted.
There are many pieces of evidence which have no meaning at all if considered separately, but become relevant when consider in connection with some other facts. Such facts explain the fact in issue or relevant fact. Illustrations (e) & (f).
Example: source – http://www.shareyouressays.com
A was tried for abducting a girl. Once during police investigation, the accused at that time was loitering near police station. The girl suddenly found the accused and started to cry out to her brother who told the police. The police arrested the accused. The statement of the girl is explanatory.
Facts which are introductory of a relevant fact, are of great importance in understanding real nature of transaction and being relevant. Thus, evidence is allowed of facts which are necessary to introduce fact in issue or relevant fact. In a suit of libel evidence of person’s relation at the time of alleged libel may be necessary to introduce the circumstances that led to libel. Illustrations (a), (b), (d), (e) and (f) explain the introductory facts.
Facts supporting inference:
There are facts which are neither relevant as facts in issue nor as relevant facts but they support the inference suggested by the facts in issue or relevant fact or contradict the facts in issue or relevant fact.
Example: source – http://www.shareyouressays.com
A, after murder was seen running away from the village. Running away supports the inference that the murder might have been caused by him. It is relevant.
Similarly, a group of men was charged of committing a dacoity. Prior to decoity the accused were associated with the approver being relevant as supporting the statement of approver. Facts contradictory to fact in issue or relevant facts are relevant under the section.
Facts rebut inference:
There are facts, which can rebut or contradict the inferences suggested by the facts in issue or relevant fact [Illustration (e)], being relevant.
Facts establishing an identity thing or person:
When the identity of thing is in question, every fact which will be helpful to identify the thing is relevant.
Example: source – http://www.shareyouressays.com
In a robbery with murder case the house lady was called to identify the article of the deceased and other belongings. Identification of the deceased can be made with the help of this clothes and shoes. Identification of jewellery of victim by neighbour who attended a birth day is admissible.
Identification of person:
Identification of person has been dealt with under section 9 of the Evidence Act. When the identity of a person is in question, identification by parents, wife or other relatives is relevant. In any special case identification of a person can be made by bodily mark, sign or cut mark. There are other means of identification by medical examinations, namely, examination of skeleton, bones, age, voice, blood group etc. By experts the identification of any person may also be possible, such as handwriting, finger print, foot print, photograph etc.
Thus, identification of person may be possible by various means and ways. Where the identity of an accused was made in fluorescent light and the appellate court had assessed the evidence in the proper perspective attaching much importance to the evidence in regard to the identification of the appellant in finding him guilty, the Supreme Court would not reassess that the evidence of an exception ground was necessitating such re-assessment. The wife of the deceased was natural witness. When her evidence was corroborated by other evidence, it cannot be discarded. Where there was clear evidence to show that the accused persons were shown to the witnesses, the identification of such accused by the witnesses in the court was held to be meaningless. When the question was put to the witness which he has replied stating that upon two accused being identified, their names were proclaimed and witness thus came to know the names of these two accused persons.
Thus, if the court could gather from the demeanor of the witness about the identity of the accused is reliable on the basis of permanent engravement of the image of the accused, there is no hurdle whatsoever, in relying upon such testimony whereby the witness proves the identity of the accused as the person involved in the offence. Such a reliance is possible more particularly when there are no grounds demonstrated, suggested or proved on record to attribute any motive to the witness for falsely involving the accused in the offence thereby it becomes a case of unimpeached revealing the identity of the accused.
The test for identification is only to help the investigation agency. Where no family member of the deceased identified the gold chain and ring belonging to deceased except the only person who identified the same, who was the owner of the shop. It was held that no reliance could be placed upon his evidence. It is a matter of common knowledge that bodies have uncanny sense of identifying their own belongings particularly cannot be rejected for want of proper test identifications. The possibility of wrong identification due to loss of memory cannot be discounted. In an unnatural offence under sections 363 and 376. i. p.c. the victim girl of 6 years identified the accused on the next day of offence which was proved by medical examination also. Evidence of identification in court is substantive evidence.
Test Identification parade:
One of the methods of establishing the identity of the accused is “test identification parade.” The Supreme Court in Ramanathan v State of Tamil Nadu has explained:
“It (Parade) enables the investigating officer to ascertain whether the witness had really seen the perpetrator of the crime and test their capacity to identify him and thereby to fill the gap in the investigation regarding the identity of the culprit. The line-up of the accused in the test identification parade is, therefore, a workable way of testing the memory and veracity of the witness and has worked well in actual practice.” Thus the object of identification test parade is to enable the eye-witness of the incident to identify the accused before a Magistrate. The test identification was absolutely necessary. The purpose of TI parade is “to check the memory of eye-witness and also for the prosecution to decide as to who can be cited as an eye-witness.”
The test identification parade conducted three and half months after the dacoity took place, it would be wrong to convict the accused on single testimony. It was held that the test identification parade regarding accused was not conducted properly and suffered from unexplained delay. He is entitled to benefit of doubt. But, when an accused was arrested on spot no question of identification arises. Failure to hold identification parade cannot be ground to eschew testimony of witnesses whose evidence was concurrently accepted by trial and appellate court. The deceased was brutally hacked in front of his wife in broad day light. It would be difficult for her to forget faces of assailants. It was held that non-holding of TI Parade cannot be said to have caused any prejudice to accused When the question is whether the evidence of injured eye-witness is sufficient to connect the appellant with the crime beyond reasonable doubt, it is to be born in mind that the purpose of the identification is to have corroboration of the evidence of the eye-witness in the form of earlier identification and that substantive evidence of a witness is the evidence in the court. The Supreme Court held: “the purpose of a identification parade is two fold. First, it is to enable the witnesses to satisfy themselves that the prisoner whom they suspect is already one who was seen by them in connection with the commission of the crime. Secondly, it is to satisfy the investigating authorities that the suspect is the real person whom the witnesses had seen tin connection with occurrence.”
Not holding TI Parade is not fatal to the prosecution case when the accused person were previously known to the eye-witnesses and had been named in the FIR. When the PW had seen the accused in the police lock-up and had also acquaintance with the accused prior to the TI Parade, but since the conviction was not based on the identification parade but on the statements of the PWs made during the trial as eye-witnesses, which were reliable, the conviction cannot be set aside on ground of infirmity in the identification parade. Failure to hold a test identification parade would not make inadmissible the evidence of identification in court. Injured eye-witnesses identified the accused in court. No TI parade could be held as the accused refused to participate. Rejection of evidence by the eye-witnesses without assigning reasons was held not proper.
The weight to be attached to such identification should be a matter for the courts of fact. In appropriate cases it may accept the evidence of identification even without insisting on corroboration. The testimony of the identification of witness cannot be discarded on the alleged ground that he had not disclosed the features of the accused at the time of the TI Parade.
The identification of accused by a child witness without corroboration in the court or identification of an accused by witness for the first time without corroboration could not be accepted.
Value of identification:
The Supreme Court in number of cases has explained the value of evidence of identification. It is helpful both for the investigation agency and for the accused. Even, when the witness is a stranger to the accused he may be able to identify the alleged culprit in case TI Parade is held at earliest possible time. “It is in adopting this course alone that justice and fair play can be assured both to the accused as well as to the prosecution.” Where one of the witnesses failed to identify the accused at the TI Parade, identification by him of the accused in the court was useless.
Where the accused is not known to the prosecution witnesses and is identified in the test identification parade as well as in court by a solitary witness, the evidence of identification by him has to be scrutinized with great care and caution than in the case of known accused and should not be accepted unless free from all reasonable doubts. When TI Parade was conducted after long period after the arrest of the accused no reliance could be placed on identification made on test identification parade.
“The identification tests do not constitute substantive evidence. They can be used as corroborative of the statement in court.” Test identification parade is not a substantial’s evidence and has only corroborative value. There is no bar for conducting TI Parade in respect of accused who are on bail. The evidence should be capable of creating belief in the mind of the judge as to the involvement of the person brought before the court. Appreciation of such evidence would depend upon the strength and trustworthiness of witness. The identification should be held in such circumstances which should not be influenced by presence of police. All necessary precautions should be taken to avoid any kind of influences.
But, holding TI Parade is not compulsory. Failure to hold TI Parade is not fatal to prosecution case where accused persons were previously known to witness and their names also appeared in the FIR. It all depends upon the facts and circumstances each case.
Identification in court:
It is established rule that the identification of the accused is relevant under section 9. The identification of the accused in the court is the substantive evidence of the person identifying and the person identifying in TI Parade must corroborate the same. “TI Parade is not a cast iron strait jacket. Legal proposition is admitting no exceptions.” Requirements of test identification parade enumerates from the rule of prudence to generally look for as the identity of the accused who is stranger to the witness. Identification of the accused by a child who told the police under section 161, Cr. P.C. could not be accepted. Identification of an accused by the witness for the first time in court is weak evidence Identification for the first time in court after about nine months would not be safe to relay. Identification of the accused by the victim who was only six years and was subjected to rectum-intercourse in the court is substantive evidence.
As a matter of rule, there is no statutory provision for identification of the accused by showing photographs to the witnesses. In practice, the police are entitled to show photographs to witness in order to confirm proper identification of accused. If, in course of investigation by the police the witnesses identify the accused it may be allowed provided the photograph of the suspect is not shown first by the investigation officer.
If the suspect is available for identification or for video identification, the photograph shall never be shown to the witness in advance. The photographs cannot be accepted as evidence without negative. Identification through photograph after nearly seven years is not safe to be relied upon.
Related case law – Iqbal and Another v State of Uttar Pradesh
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