Testimonies of child witnesses cannot be automatically rejected, instead to be carefully scrutinized so as to remove doubts of tutoring

Delhi High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of Vinod Goel, J, upheld the conviction of the appellant under Section 10 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012.

The appellant had raised a question as to admissibility of the minor victims/witnesses’ testimonies. The Court relied on Panchhi v. State of UP, (1998) 7 SCC 177 where it was held that it cannot be said that a child witness’ evidence would always stand irretrievably stigmatized. A child witness’ evidence does not get automatically rejected, it must however, be evaluated more carefully, since a child is more susceptible to tutoring.

The cross-examination revealed no material inconsistencies between the testimonies of the child witnesses and other witnesses. Hence, appeal dismissed. [Hans Raj @ Bhola v. State, 2017 SCC OnLine Del 10589, decided on 21.09.2017]

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