A witness can’t have photographic memory, says court

Jaswinder Singh Baidwan

Akhran da mureed
Staff member
While sentencing the drug peddler to 10 years in jail, the court of ADJ Roopam Singh appreciated the evidence put before it and stated that a witness cannot be expected to possess a photographic memory. “NCB officers and officials are involved in investigations day in and day out and the mental faculties cannot therefore be expected to be tuned to observe all details,” said the court.
The court made these observations as the defence counsel in the case had pointed out that another trap was laid by the NCB on that very day at another place and the sleuths who were made witness in this case were actually never present at the spot but were present in their office and tried to corroborate it by asking the witnesses the intrinsic details of the NCB trap such as the exact time and location.
However, the court dismissed the theories of alleged discrepancies in the NCB version put forth by the defence counsel.
“The discrepancies pointed out by the defence counsel do not have any merit because such type of discrepancies are bound to creep in the statements of truthful witnesses. It is only if the details of all occurrences are noted down in their diary and thereafter they keep going into the diary every day, only then a mathematical reply with regard to such small insignificant things can be given in a similar manner by all witnesses. The gazetted officer had accompanied two shadow witnesses and all formalities have been completed,” the court said.
“The court cannot lose sight of the fact that the statements of the witnesses were recorded after some time of the incident. It is well settled that the error, if any, committed by the witnesses during the course of recording of testimonies can be attributed to failure of human memory, which is inconsequential,” said the court.
The court added that it was not humanly possible to remember in a mathematical manner the details of investigation by the raiding party as it indulged in frequent raids.