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Prosecutrix’s Testimony by Two-Way Video Conferencing Not Adverse, Not Unfair to Accused: Delhi High Court

Prosecutrix Testimony

“Prosecutrix Testimony” through Two-Way Video Conferencing. In a recent ruling, the Delhi High Court emphasized that using two-way video conferencing for recording the testimony of a prosecutrix in sexual assault cases doesn’t prejudice the accused’s right to a fair trial or impede effective cross-examination.

The Delhi High Court,  in a recent ruling, underscored that employing “two-way video conferencing” for recording the testimony of a prosecutrix in sexual assault cases doesn’t prejudice the accused’s right to a fair trial or impede effective cross-examination. Hon`ble Ms. Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma emphasized that while the victim’s testimony through this medium should adhere to traditional reliability standards, its credibility would be evaluated based on cross-examination scrutiny.

Regarding the utilization of video-conferencing, Justice Sharma highlighted that it’s a comprehensive platform involving the participation of the accused, victim, prosecutor, defense counsel, and the Trial Court Judge, ensuring adherence to criminal justice principles. This stance was established while adjudicating a petition by two accused individuals involved in an alleged gang rape case of a 23-year-old American national in 2019, who requested the physical presence of the prosecutrix for examination and cross-examination.

 

        Prosecutrix Testimony  Although the trial court rejected the accused’s plea, the Hon`ble High court upheld this decision while directing the trial court to strictly adhere to the Supreme Court’s guidelines for recording the prosecutrix’s statement. Recognizing the trauma associated with testifying in such cases, especially for a foreign victim, the court justified the use of video conferencing, emphasizing that the emotional toll of recounting the experience in a foreign courtroom can be distressing. The court acknowledged the universal devastation of sexual assault and emphasized the need for courts to consider the unique challenges faced by foreign victims seeking justice in another country.

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Prosecutrix Testimony

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