Selvamani vs State 2024 INSC 393 – Criminal Trial – Hostile Witness – Gangrape case

Criminal Trial –The evidence of a prosecution witness cannot be rejected in toto merely because the prosecution chose to treat him as hostile and cross-examined him- The evidence of such witnesses cannot be treated as effaced or washed off the record altogether but the same can be accepted to the extent their version is found to be dependable on a careful scrutiny thereof – Referred to Khujji @ Surendra Tiwari v. State of Madhya Pradesh (1991) 3 SCC 627 : 1991 INSC 153 and C. Muniappan and Others v. State of Tamil Nadu (2010) 9 SCC 567 : 2010 INSC 553 [In this case, SC upheld a gang rape conviction observing thus: It appears that, on account of a long gap between the examination-in-chief and cross examination, the witnesses were won over by the accused and they resiled from the version as deposed in the examination-in-chief which fully incriminates the accused. However, when the evidence of the victim as well as her mother (PW-2) and aunt (PW-3) is tested with the FIR, the statement recorded under Section 164 CrPC and the evidence of the Medical Expert (PW-8), we find that there is sufficient corroboration to the version given by the prosecutrix in her.]

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