December 12, 2007

Medical evidence more credible than eye witness account: Supreme Court

In an important judgement on medical jurisprudence, the Supreme Court had held that medical evidence will prevail over the eye-witness account if they were contradictory.

"The medical evidence will assume importance while appreciating the evidence led by the prosecution and will have priority over the ocular version and can be used to repel the testimony of the eye-witnesses," a bench comprising Justices P P Naolekar and Justice D K Jain said.

The Bench passed the order while setting aside a lower court's judgement which had sentenced four people to life imprisonment for killing a man in 28 years ago.

In the lower court it was alleged the accused had entered into the house of deceased around midnight and had beaten up his family members which according to prosecution led to death of one member.

All the eye-witnesses, while deposing before the trial court, had categorically stated the deceased was injured by the use of firearms.

But post mortem of the body showed that there were no indication of any firearm injury on the person and no pellets, bullets or any cartridge were found on the body.

Rejecting the eye-witness account, the apex court said, when medical evidence specifically rules out the injury claimed to have been inflicted as per the eye-witness version, then the court can draw adverse inference that the prosecution version is not trustworthy.

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