- Definition : Section 137 designates the witness examination by the party who calls them as “Examination-In-Chief,” with Section 138 emphasizing its priority.
- Objective : The primary goal of Examination-In-Chief is to extract all material facts within the witness’s knowledge that support the calling party’s case.
- Importance : Failure to conduct Examination-In-Chief on a specific fact or issue, without subsequent cross-examination, renders that testimony unreliable and inadmissible.
- Definition : As per Section 137, when the adverse party questions a witness, it’s termed “Cross-Examination.”
- Order : Section 138 establishes Cross-Examination as the second phase and allows flexibility in whether the adverse party chooses to cross-examine after examination in chief.
- Scope : Cross-Examination must pertain to relevant facts, but it need not be limited to the same facts covered during examination in chief.
- Leading Questions : Leading questions can be posed during Cross-Examination without court approval or objections from the opposing party. In cases of witness hostility, leading questions are permitted even by the party calling the witness.
- Definition : Section 137 dictates that after cross-examination, the party who initially called the witness conducts “Re-Examination.”
- Focus : Section 138, paragraph 3, limits re-examination to matters arising during cross-examination, aiming to clarify and explain any ambiguities in the witness’s prior statements.
- Permission for New Matter : The court’s permission is required to introduce new matters during Re-Examination, with the adverse party retaining the right to cross-examine the witness on these points.
In summary, Examination Of Witnesses under Indian Evidence Act provides a structured framework for witness examination in legal proceedings, ensuring a comprehensive exploration of evidence while maintaining fairness and relevance.