How does it work?

(Referred case: Ramkishan Mithanlal Sharma v State Of Bombay[1])

Process of identification by the identifying witnesses involves the statement by the identifying witnesses that the particular properties identified were the subject-matter of the offence or the persons identified -were concerned in the offence. This statement may be express or implied. The identifier may point out by his finger or -touch the property or the person. identified, may either nod his head or give his assent in answer to a question addressed to him in that behalf or may make signs or gestures which are tantamount to saying that the particular property identified was the subject-matter of the offence or the person identified was concerned in the offence. All these statements express or implied including the signs and gestures would amount to a communication of the fact of identification by the identifier to another person. The distinction therefore which has been made by the Calcutta and the Allahabad High Courts between the mental act of identification and the communication thereof by the identifier to another person is quite logical and such communications are tantamount to statements made by the identifiers to a police officer in the course of investigation and come within the ban of section 162, Cr.P.C., 1973. The physical fact of identification has thus no separate existence apart from the statement involved in the very process of identification and in so far as a police officer seeks to prove the fact of such identification such evidence of his would attract the operation of section 162 and would be inadmissible in evidence, the only exception being the evidence sought to be given by the identifier him- self in regard to his mental act of identification which he would be entitled to give by way of corroboration of his identification of the accused at the trial.

Kanan & Ors. v. State of Kerala[2]

It is well settled that where a witness identifies an accused who is not known to him in the Court for the first time, his evidence is absolutely valueless unless there has been a previous T.I. parade to test his powers of observations. The idea of holding T.I. parade under Section 9 of the Evidence Act is to test the veracity of the witness on the question of his capability to identify an unknown person whom the witness may have seen only once. If no T.I. parade is held then it will be wholly unsafe to rely on his testimony regarding the identification of an accused for the first time in Court.

Purpose of Test Identification Parade

In the case of Harnath Singh v. State of M.P.[3], the Apex Court held the following:

T.I parade during investigation is held for the purpose of enabling the witnesses to identify the properties which are the subject-matter of the offence or the persons who are concerned therein.

Its objectives are:

  1. To satisfy the investigating authorities that a certain person not previously known to the witnesses was involved in the commission of the crime or a particular property was the subject-matter of the crime.
  2. To furnish evidence to corroborate the testimony which the witnesses concerned tendered before the court.
  3. To test the veracity of a witness on the question of capability of a witness to identify an unknown person whom the witness might have seen only once.
  4. To test the substantive evidence of identification in the box with reference to corroborative evidence of T.I parade.

Guidelines to be followed:

Hasib v. state of Bihar[4]

The value of the T.I parade depends on the effectiveness of precautions taken to prevent the opportunity of seeing the suspects and to prevent the investigating authority to adopt unfair means.

  1. I parade should be preferably held by a Magistrate.
  2. It should be held in the jail compound.
  3. Suspects should be mixed up with as many under trial prisoners/outsiders as possible.
  4. T prisoners/Outsiders and suspects should be similarly dressed and should be similar social status, age and religion.
  5. They should resemble in features.
  6. After each of identification by the identifying witness the order of suspects and U.T prisoners/outsiders in the row should be changed.
  7. Other identifying witnesses should be kept in a place beyond the sight and hearing of the witness identifying.
  8. After identification the witness should be and kept in a place beyond the sight and hearing of the witness identifying.
  9. No police personnel should remain present in the identification ground.
  10. The statement of witnesses relating to the suspect made in course of identification should be recorded by the magistrate.

[1] Ramkishan Mithanlal Sharma v State Of Bombay, 1955 AIR 104.

[2] Kanan & Ors. V. State of Kerala, (1971) SCC 621.

[3] Harnath Singh v. State of M.P., AIR 1970 SC 1619.

[4] Hasib v. State of Bihar, AIR 1972 SC 283

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