Decided on July 08,2003

Bapi Bhuiya @ Raju Appellant
STATE OF W.B. Respondents

Referred Judgements :-



Debiprasad Sengupta, J. - (1.)In the present application the petitioner be challenged an order dated 13.5.2003 passed by the learned Judge, 2nd Bend Fast Track Court at Calcutta in Sessions Case No. 27 of 2002 thereby rejecting the prayer of the petitioner under section 231 (2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
(2.)In course of trial of the aforesaid Sessions Case after examination-it chief of P. W. 1, P. W.2 and P. W. 3 a petition was filed on behalf of the defence praying that the cross-examination of the said witnesses may be deferred till the examination-in-chief of all other witnesses is over. It is the contention o." the learned Advocate of the petitioner that the said three witnesses are mother wife and elder brother of the victim and they are the alleged eye-witnesses. The defence will be highly prejudiced if they are not allowed to cross-examine the said witnesses after completion of examination-in chief of other witnesses It is the further contention of the learned Advocate of the petitioner that if til prayer of the petitioner is not allowed there will be much opportunity for til prosecution to fill up the lacuna in its case as may be disclosed in course " cross-examination of the witnesses.
(3.)In support of his contention the learned Advocate of the petitioner relies upon a judgment of Karnataka High Court reported in 1997 (1) Crimes 237 Jayakar Vs. State of Karnataka In the said judgement it was held by the learned Single Judge of the said court that the accused is not entitled as a matter of right to postponement of cross-examination witnesses unless he had on reasonable grounds a case for exercise of discretion in his favour. In the said judgment it was held by' the learned Judge as follows:
"The cross-examination of every witness should follow his examination-in-chief according to section 138 of the Evidence Act of 1872. It is both irregular and inconvenient to allow all the witnesses to be examined one day and to reserve the cross-examination to subsequent date. The accused is, therefore, not entitled as of right to postponement of the cross-examination. The court may, however, grant such a postponement on reasonable grounds as, for instance, where the counsel is unprepared or where the accused was undefended the first day and put only a few questions and applied the next day for cross-examination by his pleader explaining why he was not engaged before or, where the counsel appointed to defend the accused, who had no instructions till then, requested the Court to postpone the cross-examination of the prosecution witnesses till the next day after the examination-in-chief were over."


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