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Report No. 25

Appendix IV

Summary of Case-Law Relating to Defect in Section 510, Cr. P.C. before its Amendment in 1955.

(Illustrative only)

(a) In Emperor v. Happu, AIR 1933 All 837 (840): ILR 56 All 228, Young J. (as he then was) observed that no person had to be put in peril of capital or any punishment on a written report not given on oath and untested by cross-examination. He observed, "to accept such a report-whatever it may contain-as proof of death by arsenic poisoning or of anything-appears to me to be an impossible proposition in law". Section 510 as it stood before its amendment in 1955 was also criticised in a Lahore case.1 That the section is an exception to the hearsay rule has been pointed out by Bhagwati J. in a Gujarat case2 in these words:-

"There are two methods of testing evidence and ensuring that truth comes out in evidence. The first is by administration of oath and the other is by cross-examination These are the two most important safeguards against false testimony and unless evidence is given on oath and is tested by cross-examination, it is not legally admissible against the party affected.

This is the reason why hearsay evidence is excluded; it is not on oath and cannot be tested by cross-examination Section 510 of ,the Code of Criminal Procedure as it originally stood prior to its amendment by Act 26 of 1955, however, made a departure inasmuch as it provided that (the section is then quoted) The Court could receive the report in evidence without insisting on proof of the report by examining the Chemical Examiner This was an extraordinary provision which was contrary to the fundamental basic principle of judicial procedure that the evidence of one party should not, to use the words of Lopes L.J. in Allen v. Allen, 1894 Probate 248 (253), 'be received in evidence against another party without the latter having an opportunity of testing its truthfulness by cross-examination'.".

(b) The view taken by the Gujarat High Court has been dissented from in a recent case of the Bombay High Court.3 That case related to section 129B of the Bombay Prohibition Act, 1949 (25 of 1949) which., is based on section 510 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898. In that case it was held that if a report of the Chemical Analyses does not contain data of the tests or experiments performed by him and the reasons for his opinion, the objection can only be to the weight attached to the report and not to its admissibility. If neither party summons the officer concerned it is open to the Court to act upon the report.

(c) A later Gujarat case4 makes it clear that if the reasons are not given in the report, the objection is to the value only.

(d) In the Allahabad case,5 the criticism by Young J. was in these words:-

"Whatever may be said of the wisdom of this enactment-contrary as it is to the accumulated legal experience of centuries of what is necessary for the protection of accused person-nothing is more certain than that section 510, fortunately for accused person, says nothing as to the weight to be attached to the report.".

1. Ujaggar Singh v. Emperor, AIR 1939 Lah 149.

2. Suleman v. State of Gujarat, AIR 1961 Guj 120 (123).

3. State v. Ram Singh, AIR 1963 Born 68 (70).

4. State of Gujarat v. Lasanmal, (1963) 1 Cr LJ 563. (Shelat and Divan JJ.).

5. Emperor v. Happu, AIR 1933 All 837 (840): ILA 56 All 228.



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