Examination of witness means asking the witness questions regarding relevant facts in the case and recording those statements as evidence.
General rule is that the order in which witnesses are produced and examined shall be regulated by the law and practice for the time being relating to the civil and criminal procedure respectively, and, in the absence of any such law, by the discretion of the court.
In both the civil as well as the examination of witness will be in the following manner :
- EXAMINATION-IN-CHIEF : the examination of witness by the person who calls him shall be called his examination-in-chief.
- CROSS-EXAMINATION : the examination of a witness by the adverse party shall be called his cross-examination.
- RE-EXAMINATION : the examination of a witness, subsequent to the cross-examination by the party who called him, shall be called his re-examination.
Ganesh Yadav vs. State of Assam,1995 Cr. L. J
The testimony of a witness is not legal evidence unless it is subject to the cross-examination and where no opportunity has been given to the appellant’s counsel to test the veracity of the principle prosecution witness, the evidence of such a witness is not legal testimony and cannot be the basis of a judicial pronouncement.
Jwar Singh vs. State of M.P, A.I.R 1981 (SC)
The objects of the cross-examination are to impeach the accuracy, credibility and general value of the evidence given in-chief, to shift the facts already stated by the witness, to detect and expose discrepancies, or to elicit suppressed facts which will support the case of the cross-examining party.