Adverse inference can be drawn against a party to a suit abstaining from entering the witness box

Himachal Pradesh High Court: In an appeal concerning ownership of land by a sale deed, T.S. Chauhan, J, relying on previous judgments of the Supreme Court, High Courts and Privy Councils, reiterated the fact that if a party to a case, who could enunciate the real facts, abstains from entering the witness box, an adverse inference could be drawn against such party according to Section 114 of the Evidence Act, 1872. In the present case one of the defendants had made two sales of the same property, one in 1987 and the other in 2000, and filed a written oath supporting the second sale but he did not appear in the witness box. The Court considered the second sale deed as a fraud and said that the non-appearance of the witness demolishes the case of the appellants and thus dismissed the appeal.Neeraj v. Raj Kumari, RSA No. 163 of 2014, decided on 22 April, 2014

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