The Supreme Court has ordered a trial court to arrange for the recording of the testimony of a murder case witness over video conferencing.
Facts Of The Case
Recently, the Apex Court Bench comprising Justices A.K. Sikri and Ashok Bhushan found that the witness, Anwar Khan, who saw the murder of his employer, faces threat to his life. Matters had come to a stage when arrest warrants were issued against Mr. Khan in a bid to record his statement in the case.
The Madhya Pradesh government said Mr. Khan was an eyewitness and his deposition in the case was necessary.
Mr. Khan said he was ready to testify if the court appoints a commission. However, the plea was rejected by both the trial court and the High Court.
Observation Of The Court
The apex court agreed with the lower courts, saying it would be difficult to have a commission record the evidence of Mr. Khan.
The apex court said the witnesses have to testify in front of the accused and afford the latter to cross-examine him. However, the apex court found that video conferencing facilities are available at Indore, where the trial is taking place.
Also, in 2003, Speaking for the bench, Supreme Court Justice Variava said, “In cases where the attendance of a witness cannot be procured without an amount of delay, expense or inconvenience, the court could consider issuing a commission to record evidence by way of video conferencing.”
“Normally a commission would involve the recording of evidence at the place where the witness is. However, advancement in science and technology has now made it possible to record such evidence by way of video conferencing in the town/city where the court is,” he said.