Recall of witness – Cross-examination is a defendant’s right; refusal by the court is grave prejudice to his defense.
Civil Procedure Code,1908, Order 18, Rule 17
In the case of M/s. Foodworld Super Markets Ltd. and Anr vs. H. Sujan Singh and Ors( AIR 2009 SC (Supp) 2249), The supreme Court Rightly observed that, Cross-examination is the defendant’s right; The court cannot decline to the defendant for cross-examining the plaintiff witness. Held, Order refusing to recall plaintiff is improper.
The fact of the case, the suit comes at the stage of evidence of the plaintiff, and he files his evidence via an affidavit of evidence. After that, the matter was adjourned by the defendant’s side for the cross-examination of the plaintiff. On the next date of the case, the defendant’s counsel did not present before the court. Therefore the trial court shut evidence of the plaintiff sides, and the matter was posted for the stage of evidence of the defendant.
The supreme court rightly observed that the opinion of the trial court and the high court is not sustainable. Cross-examination is a right of the defendant. If that is not given to him, it is caused to bias against his right. Here the prayer of the defendant is reasonable and bona fide.
After that discussion, the court granted the appellant’s application. It passed the direction to the trial court to recall the plaintiff’s witness and allow the defendant for cross-examining.Read to the full judgment click here.M/s. Foodworld Super Markets Ltd. and Anr vs. H. Sujan Singh and Ors.