Top Stories[NDPS] Lack Of Independent Witness Not Fatal ; Police Officer’s Testimony Shall Be Scrutinized With Greater Care: Supreme Court [Read Judgment] LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK27 Oct 2020 3:43 AMShare This – xThe Supreme Court has reiterated that, in NDPS cases, lack of independent witnesses are not fatal to the prosecution cases.The bench comprising Justices NV Ramana, Surya Kant and Hrishikesh Roy observed that, in such cases, the Courts have to adopt a greater degree of care while scrutinising the testimonies of the police officers. If they are found reliable, they can form the basis of…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe Supreme Court has reiterated that, in NDPS cases, lack of independent witnesses are not fatal to the prosecution cases.The bench comprising Justices NV Ramana, Surya Kant and Hrishikesh Roy observed that, in such cases, the Courts have to adopt a greater degree of care while scrutinising the testimonies of the police officers. If they are found reliable, they can form the basis of a successful conviction, the bench observed.In this case, the Trial Court while acquitting the accused, held that no independent witness supported the prosecution case and that the testimonies of the star police witnesses were contradictory. In this case, one independent witness had turned hostile. The High Court, while reversing the acquittal, had noted that the contradictions are trivial and that the hostile witness’ testimony supported the prosecution case. Agreeing with the findings of the High Court, the bench observed.”It would be gainsaid that lack of independent witnesses are not fatal to the prosecution case. However, such omissions cast an added duty on Courts to adopt a greater degree of care while scrutinising the testimonies of the police officers, which if found reliable can form the basis of a successful conviction.” The accused also contended that the contents of the reply filed by prosecution to his bail plea proved that the case was not of chance recovery. In this regard, the bench observed that there is a distinction between ‘replies’ submitted to the Court in some pending proceedings, as compared to the statements recorded by the police under Section 161 of CrPC. It said:Nevertheless, a Court should be overcautious to place reliance on a piece of evidence with which the concerned witness has not been confronted despite an opportunity to do so. Although there is no need to separately prove the court records emanating during trial but no legal presumption can be extended to the veracity of the contents of such documents. The reply filed in court proceedings, at best, can be treated as an admission; which as held by this Court in Sita Ram Bhau Patil v. Ramchandra Nago Patil5 , must not only be proved, but also the opposite party must be confronted with it at the stage of cross examination. Though it did not interfere in the sentence imposed, the bench noted a recent judgment in Hira Singh v. Union of India which held that the total quantity of the mixture, which includes the neutral substance, ought to be relevant for purposes of sentencing. “This total quantity in the instant case is 1 kg 230 gms, which exceeds the definition of ‘commercial quantity’ as specified at Sl. No. 23 in Notification S.O. 1055 (E), dated 19.10.2001. Thus, the sentence accorded by the High Court is clearly already far too charitable.”, the court added.Case: Raveen Kumar vs. State of Himachal Pradesh [ CRIMINAL APPEAL NOS. 218788 of 2011]Coram: Justices NV Ramana, Surya Kant and Hrishikesh Roy Click here to Read/Download JudgmentRead JudgmentNext Story
Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed he made his mind up to retire in December. He added: “Cathy’s sister died. She had lost her best friend and she has been isolated. For 47 years she has been the leader of the family. She has made a lot of sacrifices for me.” It was a touching reference to his wife, who has been responsible for bringing up their three children as Ferguson powered along as the most successful British manager of all time. And he admitted the news nearly slipped out on a couple of occasions before the public announcement, which came a day after the intense rumours about his future first surfaced. “It was difficult to keep it a secret,” he said. “Sometimes we nearly blurted it out to the family and we told our sons in March but my brother didn’t know until Tuesday. I wanted to tell the players first and also my staff. Unfortunately there were rumours going around on Tuesday so we started to speed it up a bit.” Now the challenge of standing in Ferguson’s mighty footsteps falls to David Moyes, whom the Scot urged supporters to stand by during his on-pitch post-game address prior to the trophy being handed over. “I would like to remind you this club stood by me in bad times, the players and the staff,” he said. “Your job now is to stand by the new manager.” Ferguson also paid personal tribute to Paul Scholes, who started Sunday’s game and will also retire in the summer, and Darren Fletcher, who continues his recovery from a chronic bowel condition. And he insisted he would still be a regular presence at Old Trafford. “I will be able to go along and watch them rather than suffer with them,” he said. “Those last-minute goals, the comebacks and even the defeats are part of this great football club. It has been an unbelievable experience. I have been fortunate to manage some of the greatest players in this country, let alone Manchester United. They have represented our club in the proper way.” Ferguson announced on Wednesday morning that he had decided to quit at the end of this season after nearly 27 years as Manchester United manager. His final game at Old Trafford was the 2-1 win over Swansea, which was followed by his 13th Premier League trophy presentation. There have been plenty of questions asked about when Ferguson made up his mind to go, with some wondering whether he had been eased out given last week’s programme notes, in which he insisted he was staying, or whether it had something to do with his health. However, speaking to Sky Sports, Ferguson insisted neither theory was true, saying: “I decided at Christmas.” Press Association
When USC nearly faltered to Arizona on Oct. 1 at home, a number of defensive issues overshadowed whatever strides its offense had made. It marked the first time in school history it had given up more than 40 points in consecutive games. The 37 first downs allowed also marked a program first.But more than a month later, it appears whatever remaining qualms there were regarding the Trojans’ defense have disappeared.Facing Washington before a Homecoming crowd of 64,756 at the Coliseum on Saturday, No. 18 USC (8-2, 5-2) surrendered just 244 total yards in a 40-17 rout of the visiting Huskies (6-4, 4-3).“We’ve come a long ways on defense,” USC coach Lane Kiffin said. “It was great to see the pass rush come alive. If you play like that on defense, we’re going to be hard to beat.”Brandon Hui | Daily TrojanUSC sacked Washington quarterbacks Keith Price and Nick Montana seven times — the most they have had in a game since registering eight against Washington State on Sept. 26, 2009.“Everybody is being more competitive,” junior defensive end Nick Perry said. “We all compete in practice, and all those things showed up here today. We are better than last year and we’re showing that.”At halftime, the Huskies had more penalties — nine for 66 yards — than first downs, five, struggling to move the ball as the Trojans forced them into a wide number of third-and-longs.In the early goings, USC struggled at times to get its own offense going. Though the Huskies did not record a first down until the waning moments of the first quarter, the Trojans were forced to punt on two of their first three drives.Things eventually did click for USC.Facing a fourth-and-nine and leading just 7-3 a few minutes into the second quarter, USC lined up to punt, but instead of kicking the ball into Washington territory, junior punter Kyle Negrete fielded the snap and raced down the north sidelines for 35 yards before being taken down at the Huskies’ 20-yard line.“At that moment, it was time for us to call it,” Negrete said. “It was a player-called play. We got the ‘OK’ from [special teams] coach John Baxter, and we executed it perfectly.”The Trojans would cap the drive on a 1-yard touchdown run from senior tailback Marc Tyler, giving them a 14-3 lead. On their next drive, fielding the ball near midfield, they marched 51 yards in five minutes for a score — coming by way of an 8-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Matt Barkley to freshman wide receiver Marqise Lee.Lee, who was hospitalized with the flu Thursday night, finished with nine receptions for 74 yards and one touchdown.“I didn’t want to sit out, so I called the coaches and told them,” Lee said. “I had a couple IVs Thursday night and Friday. It wasn’t a big deal. I feel good now.”Kiffin, however, did make a point to emphasize the first-year wideout’s efforts in the moments following the team’s 27-point win.“Twenty-four hours ago, this guy was in the health center and getting IVs and could barely get out of bed,” Kiffin said. “He’s competitive and that’s why he’s successful. He’s going to be one of the great to play here for sure.”Lee opened the second half with a bang as well, fielding the kickoff and returning it 88 yards for a score to give USC a 30-3 lead.Though it did relinquish two touchdowns in the final two quarters, its defense proved all too much again, limiting the Huskies to just 153 total yards – with 69 coming on their final drive of the game against many of USC’s second-and-third teamers.“We’re really happy with the progress we’ve made in that aspect from where we were last year,” Kiffin said. “The sacks, pressure on the quarterback and pass defense as well as special teams play really sparked us today.”The win came despite an offensive attack that seemed to rely on its ground game for arguably the first time all season, as sophomore wide receiver Robert Woods had just two catches for five yards. It marked his lowest totals of the year.“It proves that [Woods] is not just our offense,” said Barkley, who threw for a season-low 174 yards. “We knew that coming into the game; we’d be able to run the ball on them. But we do have a lot of personnel who can make plays, so that’s good to see.”Junior tailback Curtis McNeal keyed the Trojans’ running attack, rushing for a career-high 148 yards on 18 carries, including a 79-yard touchdown run midway through the third quarter. Tyler also added 50 yards on seven carries.“I’m just trying to make the plays,” McNeal said. “The o-line, tight ends and quarterbacks are giving me great blocks to make the plays. [Barkley is giving me the guidance, and the line makes it easy for us.”With two games remaining on its 2011 slate, which ends Nov. 26 against UCLA, USC travels to Eugene, Ore., to face No. 7 Oregon on Saturday.The Ducks, ranked No. 1 at the time, beat the Trojans last season at the Coliseum 53-32.