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IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA Criminal Revision No.3278 of 2011; 13thFebruary, 2013

Sunil Kumar V/s State Of Punjab

IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA

Criminal Revision No.3278 of 2011; 13thFebruary, 2013

 

Coram: NARESH KUMAR SANGHI, J.

“case was wrongly remanded to the Court of the learned Judicial Magistrate 1stClass, Jalandhar, to examine the handwriting expert and to decide the matter afresh.”

“That main contention of learned counsel for the appellant/accused is that the report of Forensic Science Laboratory, Chandigarh, is not admissible in evidence as no opportunity of cross-examination has been given to the accused and in support of his contention, learned counsel for the appellant/accused has relied upon the case law cited as Ayyub Ali vs. State of Madhya Pradesh, 2008 Criminal Law Journal, 2216, wherein it has been held in para No.7 that it is well settled legal proposition that the mere exhibition of handwriting expert report is not sufficient to consider it in evidence unless the expert is examined in Court and an opportunity of cross- examination is given to the defence. Provision of Section 293 of the Cr.P.C is not applicable for handwriting expert report. The handwriting expert is falling under this provision; therefore, the examination of handwriting expert was must.

Even our own Hon’ble High Court in Nirmal vs. State of Punjab, 2001(4) RCR(Criminal)622, has held that the report of handwriting expert, even if it has been given by the expert working in the Forensic Science Laboratory, would not be per se admissible under Section 293, Cr.P.C, unless the maker of said report is summoned and Criminal Revision No.3278 of 2011 examined as a witness and the other side is given an opportunity to cross-examine the witness. In my view, the facts of these authorities qua the point in controversy are fully applicable to the facts of the present case, because in the instant case also the prosecution before the lower court has proved the handwriting expert report as Ex.PZ, but they have not examined the author of this report. The learned Lower Court has not summoned the handwriting expert by taking the view that the report of the handwriting expert is admissible under Section 293, Cr.P.C but as per law cited supra, the provision of Section 293 of the Cr.P.C is not applicable for handwriting expert. Moreover, in the report Ex.PZ the expert has been given note that detailed reasons in support of the opinion expressed above, will be submitted at the time of evidence, if needed.

In view of the above said discussion, I am of the considered view that the examination of the handwriting expert is necessary.”

The report, which was not per se admissible, would not become admissible by way of leading evidence.”

“The second submission of the learned counsel for the petitioner is that the report which is not per se admissible would not become admissible by examination of the handwriting expert is devoid of force. The person, who had prepared and issued the report, can very well prove the said report and once it is proved then it would become admissible.

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 1560 OF 2010 (@ SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (CRL.) No.2742 of 2010)

KeshavDutt V/s. State of Haryana [2010] INSC 651 (19 August 2010)

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 1560 OF 2010 (@ SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (CRL.) No.2742 of 2010)

Coram: ALTAMAS KABIR, J.

Court had occasion to consider whether reliance could be placed on the opinion of the Assistant State Examiner of Documents without examining him as a witness in Court. This Court held that from the opinion itself it could not be gathered whether his office would fall within the purview of Section 293 CrPC. Accordingly, the Court observed that without examining him as an expert witness, no reliance could be placed on his opinion. Learned counsel urged that the conviction of the Appellant on the basis of the above could not be sustained.”

“whether the opinion of the handwriting expert could have been relied upon without examining him becomes relevant.”

“The High Court also skirted the issue by observing that the science of handwriting being imperfect and inaccurate, it is very difficult, if not impossible to give the opinion that the writings were in the hand of one and the same persons.”

The High Court recorded that the report having gone unrebutted could be relied upon without any demur.”

“beyond doubt on the basis of Ex.PR and Ex.PY, he must be given the benefit of doubt.”

“The Appeal, accordingly, succeeds and is allowed and the judgment of conviction and sentence of the Appellant under Section 13(1)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, is set aside.”

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