Accused and His Witnesses Can Lead Evidence On Affidavit: Gujarat HC

Team SoOLEGAL 31 Jan 2019 5:40pm

Accused and His Witnesses Can Lead Evidence On Affidavit: Gujarat HC

The Gujarat HC held that just like the witnesses, the accused in a case filed under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act can also lead evidence by way of an affidavit in terms of Section 145.

 Justice JB Pardiwala held that the evidence on behalf of the accused would include that of the accused, subject to Section 315 Cr.P.C. If the evidence of the witnesses could be by way of affidavit in terms of Section 145 Negotiable Instrument Act, the evidence of the accused could also be way of affidavit.

The court was hearing a plea filed by one Rakeshbhai Maganbhai Barot, challenging the validity of an order passed in March last year, rejecting his application to give his as well as his witnesses' evidence on affidavit by way of examination-in-chief.

The HC did not agree with the trial court and rejected the argument that Section 145 of the Act excludes the accused and only entitles the complainant and his witnesses to give their evidence on affidavit.

It further pointed out that Section 145(2) provides for filing of evidence through affidavit by witnesses for the complainant as well as the accused. It then asserted that the accused can very well examine himself as a witness and would therefore be allowed to file evidence affidavit.

By taking the reference from Afzal Pasha v. Mohamed Ameerjan, the court noted that A closer analysis of Section 145 of the Act would point that the same is meant to guarantee that the trial is decided as quickly as possible. The said provision does not in any way affect the right of the accused to cross -examine the complainant and his witnesses.

Agreeing with the case, the plea was permitted, repealing the questioned order. The trial court was ordered to permit Mr. Barot present his evidence, including the evidence of his witnesses, if any, through affidavit.


Tagged: Gujarat HC   Justice JB Pardiwala   Negotiable Instrument Act   Afzal Pasha v. Mohamed Ameerjan  
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