Report No. 185
This Section deals with 'Questions tending to corroborate evidence of relevant fact, admissible'. It reads as follows:
"156. When a witness whom it is intended to corroborate gives evidence of any relevant fact, he may be questioned as to any other circumstances which he observed at or near to the time or place at which such relevant fact occurred, if the Court is of the opinion that such circumstances, if proved, would corroborate the testimony of the witness as to the relevant fact which he testifies."
There is an illustration below Section 156 which reads as follows:
"A, an accomplice, gives an account of a robbery in which he took part. He describes various incidents unconnected with the robbery which occurred on his way to and from the place where it was committed.
Independent evidence of these facts may be given in order to corroborate his evidence as to the robbery itself."
This Section is the reverse of 'contradiction' of a witness. Contradiction impeaches credit while corroboration confirms it. As stated in para 88.6 of the 69th Report, one of the best methods to check the truthfulness of a witness is to ascertain the of his evidence as to surrounding circumstances though they are not immediately connected with the relevant fact. However, corroboration is not the only method of confirming truthfulness of a witness.
Section 156 deals with the nature of questions that may be put to a witness for purpose of corroboration while Section 157 refers to what may be proved to corroborate a witness's evidence.
Section 156, it was stated in para 88.89 of the 69th Report, does not require any serious change except to add the words "fact in issue or" before the words 'relevant facts' in Section 156. We agree.