Criminal law,Family courts,Hostile witness
Child Witnesses: Overview
06 Apr 2016  |  Views: 18  | 


With their father serving a lifestyles imprisonment sentence for murdering their mom, the future of seven children is now at chance with nobody left to maintain them. The Delhi trial court recently convicted 40-12 months-historic Amruddin for the murder of his spouse Rihana and sentenced him to life imprisonment after counting on the testimony of his youngsters. Rihana’s mom recently approached the courtroom to seek aid as she is financially incapable to care for the children. A couple of organizations have stepped forward to support the family but the instances remain so much the same.

The case dealt with the touchy predicament of little one witnesses. The court docket affirmed the view that even “a youngster of soft age can be allowed to testify if he has mental capability to realize questions and provides rational answers thereto.”

Legislation as to Competency of Child Witnesses

Witnesses type an crucial part of criminal justice system. They make clear quite a lot of hobbies and occasions which support the courtroom to reach a conclusive finding beyond reasonable doubt. The Indian proof Act, 1872 does not prescribe any distinctive age as a determinative element to treat a witness to be a ready one.The penal rule that exempts a minor from culpability in any crime because of lack of adequate intelligence just isn't relevant in law of proof with regards to competency of witnesses.

The part 118 of the Act states that every one folks (together with minors and lunatics) are in a position to testify, if the court docket considers them fit to do the equal. Consequently, even a child is capable witness but the courtroom have to satisfy itself that the witness is familiar with the questions and is able to provide rational account of what he has noticeable, heard or finished on a special occasion.

Reason behind enabling minors as witnesses

unluckily, kids turn out to be high witnesses in a plethora of cases involving touchy issues like youngster abuse, domestic violence, murders, sexual offences amongst others. If a statutory age limit is imposed through the legislature it will undoubtedly act as deterrent in the supply and administration of justice. Enabling child witnesses to testify is a positive step taken both with the aid of the judiciary and the legislature.

Considering a minor will also be effectively tutored or influenced the courts must scrutinize his/her testimony carefully. Mainly the query whether the youngster witness possesses sufficient intelligence is to be adjudged by using the trial decide who notices his manners, his obvious possession or lack of intelligence. But a superior court after inspecting the documents could rule or else; if it has sufficient intent to feel that the prior discovering was faulty.

Precautions to be taken through Courts

1. The Courts have to cautiously scrutinize the testimony. Corroboration of testimony by using some extra evidence is most commonly preferred by using courts.

2. Questions have to be requested through the judge to assess the mental capability of the youngster. In English Courts judges typically as ask a popular query “Is the colour of my hair inexperienced”.

Three. The courts need to don't forget the proof of a baby witness and credibility thereof within the mild of the tips and instances of each case.

For that reason, the court docket whilst assessing the evidence of a child witness ought to make certain that the witness is safe and his/her demeanor is like some other capable witness and there is not any probability of being tutored.


although law with regards to youngster witnesses is simply and affordable however the courts must take extra precaution in such cases. Distinctive witness safety schemes need to be initiated via the government to guard these children. In cases involving sexual offences in-digital camera trial need to be made obligatory. The identity and comfortable role of the youngsters should now not be disclosed in public.

Instead of recording statements in hostile environment of the court docket, ample preparations should be made to make certain that such memories are made in comfy surroundings. The protection will have to not be approved to ask aggressive or flawed questions during the move examination. Such trials should be conducted privately. Involvement of media should be restrained. The courts have got to allow the presence of an suggest or a family member while the little one is giving evidence.

Peculiarly the privacy and security of the youngster in any respect stages of trial should be one of the essential issues of the courtroom. It takes braveness to speak the reality; for a little one to testify towards his possess father it takes more than simply courage. What happens to the kids who testify towards their sole surviving moms and dads? Do now we have ample youngster welfare schemes to preserve these kids? Is a collaborative strategy between the legislature and the judiciary required to care for such circumstances?

Evidently, leaving these kids as victims of fate is just not a solution. We need to body insurance policies and ideas that safeguard these youngsters from the successive psychological and fiscal set-again. These children in most cases face social stratification and lack of loved ones support. The plight of those kids wants to be addressed both by means of the government and the society. They will have to be treated as victims and now not just witnesses. We need to work for their higher future, a future which is free from the world of crime, hatred and poverty.

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