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Record evidence of hearing, speech impaired in open court: HC

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Press Trust of India Madurai
The Madras High Court on Friday ruled that evidence from a deaf and mute person should be obtained only in an open court and rejected a testimony in a murder case for not having followed that norm.
Acquitting a second accused person in a murder case and setting aside a lower court's sentence of life imprisonment, the court said he was falsely implicated in the case and the prosecution had failed to bring the real culprit to book.
A Division Bench of Justices S Vaidyanathan and N Anand Venkatesh, acquitting Metha Diwan said in this case one piece of evidence was that of Murugan, a deaf and dumb person and his evidence had been obtained using sign language.
Such evidence should be obtained only before an open court and not in a place chosen by the police and hence the evidence should be rejected, the bench held.
The interpretation of the sign language by a headmistress of a school for deaf and dumb was just a repetition of the contents of the First Information Report and it was not helpful to establish the guilt of the accused.
According to the prosecution, a man who was in love with a woman had forcilbly taken her away from her house.
Subsequently, the appellant who is the second accused and another man who was the first accused, allegedly killed the woman's lover on March 16, 2014.

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First Published: Nov 29 2019 | 8:20 PM IST

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