Witness Appearing For Complainant And Cross-Examined By Accused Cannot Be Called To Appear As Defence Witness: J&K&L High Court

Witness Appearing For Complainant And Cross-Examined By Accused Cannot Be Called To Appear As Defence Witness

Case: Azra & ors Vs Mohammad Afzal Baghat

Coram: Justice M A Chowdhary

Case No.: CRMC No. 319/2018

Court Observation: “The question to be decided by the learned trial Magistrate was as to whether the witnesses examined by the complainants can be asked to appear as witnesses for the defence. Even if the learned Magistrate was of the view that certain clarifications were required to be made by these witnesses while being cross examined and re-examined during trial, it could not be legally tenable to call these witnesses on behalf of the opposite party. At the most these witnesses could have been summoned as complainants’ witnesses for their further cross examination, if same was required.”

“Provision of Section 540 Cr.PC is to be invoked by the courts only in order to meet the ends of justice, for strong and valid reasons, and this power has to be exercised with great caution and circumspection. The determinative factor should therefore, be whether the summoning/re-calling of the witnesses is in-fact essential to the just decision of the case”.

“As a sequel to the afore-stated reasons and to secure the ends of justice, the impugned order is required to be set aside, partially, the impugned order is resultantly quashed to the extent of calling Nazir Ahmad Joo, Manager J&K Bank Branch Chadoora and Patwari Halqa Wathora, as witnesses on behalf of the accused-respondent”

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Witness Appearing For Complainant, Defence Witness