SUPREME COURT FOR JUDICIAL RESTRAINT IN PASSING OBSERVATIONS

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Taking a serious note of the trial court’s scathing remarks against witness in a dowry death case, the Supreme Court in a ruling has said that judicial restraints and discipline is necessary for an orderly dispensation of criminal justice system.
A bench comprising Justice CK Thakker and Justice P Sathasivam said, “it cannot be overlooked that judicial restraints and discipline are equally necessary to orderly administration of justice”.

Directing for the deletion of a trial court’s observations against a witness in a dowry death case, the apex court said “a court of law may not accept a particular part of the evidence considering the other facts and circumstances on record. But that does not necessarily mean that what was stated by the witness was false”.

A trial court of Gurdaspur in Punjab had said the falsehood in the statement of witness Gopal Singh regarding the demand of scooter and golden kara made by accused Manmohan Singh just 10-12 days prior to the death of deceased was glaring.

How the accused could have demanded such articles because he was on duty and reached his village on or after June 16, 1999 from Goa and his wife Reeta Kumari died on June 20, 1999, the trial court had said. According to witness Gopal Singh, the cousin of deceased, the accused had demanded scooter and golden kara 10-12 days before her death.

The apex court said it may be that the witness had committed some mistake in giving the period during which dowry demand was made. If that part of the evidence is not consistent with the facts on record, the court may not accept it. But the court should not make disparaging remarks.

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