Case Reviews

Cross-Examination of witnesses cannot be denied to the accused: Delhi High Court

Citation: Avinash Mishra v Union of India (Delhi High Court, 2014 (215) DLT 714)

Highlights:

  • The procedure adopted in arriving at a finding has to be fair and materials have to be considered in a fair, reasonable and dispassionate manner.
  • Cross-examination ought not to be denied.

Facts:

The petitioner was accused of sexual harassment by a lady officer. The petitioner has challenged the proceedings on the grounds that he was not allowed to cross examine the witnesses nor was the statements of the witnesses furnished to him during the ICC proceedings.

Issue:

Whether the proceedings held by the Internal Complaints Committee adhered to the principles of natural justice.

Judgement:

The inquiry report made by the complaints was set aside on the grounds that the proceedings conducted by the ICC did not adhere to the principles of natural justice.

Rationale:

It was held by the court that the procedure adopted for coming at a finding, has to be fair, and the materials also should be considered in a fair, reasonable and dispassionate manner. Barring rare instances where the security or the victim would be in peril, cross-examination of witnesses ought not be denied. The procedure adopted of not allowing the opportunity to cross-examine the witnesses in this case, vitiated the entire inquiry itself. Right to cross examine the witnesses is a principle of natural justice, therefore, the Petitioner claimed that the procedure followed by the Committee in not affording the basic principle of natural justice to him. Thus,  violating Article 14 of the Constitution.

1 comment

  1. Kuljit Kaur. 17 August, 2018 at 14:08 Reply

    After the Act regarding sexual Harassment at work place 2013, The D O P issued instructions as to how to deal with the cases of sxual Harassment at work place.There are quite a few contradictions which have diluted the original law and it becomes difficult to maintain secracy and the justice is denied to the victim.Please see to it

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