Litigant cannot be non-suited due to inadvertent lapse of the witness

Punjab and Haryana High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of Ramendra Jain, J., allowed recalling and re-examination of prosecution witness no. 6 (PW 6)- handwriting expert.

In the matter at hand, a question arose as to the veracity of signatures of the attesting witness to the Will in question. To prove the veracity of signatures, handwriting expert (PW 6) was called. However, he gave his report regarding only one out of two signatures of the attesting witness to the Will. The petitioner prayed for recalling the said witness for re-examination, which was disallowed by the trial court. That decision was challenged in the instant revision.

The High Court found merit in the revision for the simple reason that there was an inadvertence on the part of PW 6 in giving report only in respect of one out of two signatures of the attesting witness. The Court held, ‘no litigant should be non-suited on account of inadvertent lapse of the witness’. Further, recalling and re-examination of PW 6 would neither change nature of the suit nor cause any prejudice to the opposite side. In view of the above, the revision was allowed and re-examination of PW 6 was directed. [Ram Lal v. Lakhbir Singh,2018 SCC OnLine P&H 622, dated 01-03-2018]

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