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STREET LEGAL

Prosecutrix as victim

In a case relating to rape it was contended on the behalf of the accused that the version of the prosecutrix was not corroborated. Rejecting the contention, the Supreme Court held inter alia that a prosecutrix of a sex offence is a victim of crime and cannot be treated as an accomplice. Her evidence has the same weight as that of an injured witness. If the prosecutrix is an adult and of full understanding the court is entitled to base a conviction on her evidence unless the same is proved infirm and untrustworthy (Sri Narayan Saha & Anr. vs State of Tripura).

Heirs have rights

The petitioners succeeded in an eviction petition for bona fide requirement of a shop. Not succeeding in appeal the tenants approached the high court. In the meantime, the petitioners died. The tenants contended that as the petitioners had three married daughters at present the requirement pleaded does not survive. Refusing to set aside the order, the high court observed that a party could not be penalised for delay in court. The Supreme Court held that the high court ought to have considered the subsequent event of death as the relevant law provides that when the landlord dies his legal representatives can prosecute such application on basis of their own need (Kedar Nath Agarwal vs Dhanraj Devi).

Photo opportunity

When some striking employees attacked the supervisor, certain injured witnesses identified the accused by photographs. The Supreme Court held that if the suspect is available for identification photographs should not be shown in advance. Description of the accused may be confirmed by photographs. In the instant case the witnesses had first seen the accused in a moving vehicle and later identified them by photographs with names written underneath. The court felt that such procedure may lead to incorrect identification and upheld the high court's finding that as the witnesses had no previous acquaintance with the accused the mode of identification was doubtful (D. Gopalakrishnan vs Sadanand Naik & Ors).

SOLON

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