The Supreme Court observed that the testimony of an eyewitness wouldn’t be rejected just because it was delayed. The delay in recording the statement of the witness is justified and adequately explained if they are feeling frightened or terrorized and don’t come forward for some time, the bench comprising of Justices Uday Umesh Lalit, S. Ravindra Bhat and Bela M. Trivedi observed.
The Supreme Court was hearing an appeal filed by a murder accused challenging the eyewitness’s statement in this case under Section 161 and 164 of the CrPc, on the grounds that there was a delay in recording the same and hence it would be fatal to the case of the prosecution. It was further contended that apart from the testimonies of the two witnesses, nothing was on record to justify the conviction of the accused. The State justified the delay by saying that the terror unleashed by the accused was of such extent that the concerned witnesses had fled away in fear and it was only after the appropriate steps were taken by the investigating machinery and the accused was arrested, that the witness then came forward.
The plea was therefore rejected by the court.