Legal Advice

Can a person who is convicted for 7 years in jail be a witness to any crime?


I want to produce a convicted person as a witness in the criminal trial. He has been in prison for three years. That person is the prosecution witness in a robbery case. Can a convicted person undergoing sentence for seven years be a witness in another criminal case? I want the court to call him as a witness.


Section 118 of the Indian Evidence Act states that any person can be a witness. Witnesses must be capable of understanding the question and give a rational answer to that question. Mental condition of the witness is the most important thing. He may be a handicapped such as deaf or dumb. If he can assist the court and testify himself then he is a competent witness. 

Convicted person can be a competent witness

The court first tests the veracity of witnesses. If the court, after putting some questions to the witness, finds that he is reliable and will state the truth then the court will allow him to depose himself as a witness. Conviction does not harm the truthfulness or veracity of a witness. 

The court takes utmost care while taking the evidence of a convicted person. If the evidence of a convicted person is corroborating with other evidence or his evidence seems trustworthy the court will not deny his statement. In Veerappan vs State [2005] the Supreme Court has held that “It is the duty of the court to carefully examine and scrutinise the evidence.”

Inherent defects in statement of convicted person

Criminals are very shrewd people. He can depose the false statement very cleverly and mislead the court. Some convicted people have no fear of imprisonment or sentence hence, they depose false evidence. These are the inherent defects in admitting evidence of a convicted person. 

Reliability of convicted witness

If a witness is reliable and states the truth, the court does not reject his evidence. The witness states what he saw, heard or perceived by senses any information related to the offence. If that information is relevant and admissible under law then witnesses can depose that evidence. It does not matter that the witness is a reputed person of the society or a convicted criminal. 

Status of witness is immaterial. His reliability and ability to state the truth is more significant. Hence, a convicted person can be a witness in a criminal trial. The court will admit his evidence if it seems true and relevant. The Indian Evidence Act does not bar a convicted person to appear as a witness of fact.

Shivendra Pratap Singh


High Court Lucknow

Latest Advice

Builder not providing parking spot as per the approved plan

Of the total parking slots allotted, two flats, 1503 and (705-6) are allotted spots on ‘humanitarian grounds.’ These two homes pay INR 2500+ per month for parking. Nominal parking rates in the building are Rs 200 per month. These houses with nominal parking rates have bought/included a parking spot as part of their main agreement itself. Currently no parking in the building is under stilt or in the garage. All cars are parked in the open and have no assigned/designated spots. In 2017, a SGM resolution was passed to take parking charges from flat 1503 (mine) as part of monthly maintenance. However, since Jan 2023, I have been asked to pay these charges in advance. Parking charges have been paid up to September 2023 in two instalments. Both the above instalments have been paid under ‘delayed circumstance’ due to the ongoing discussions to add, A total of 45 parking spots have been approved by BMC K-Ward and 1 each has been made available to tenants/members in houses with carpet area above 70 M.sq. One of the two houses is mine, aka 1503. (can share the exhibit if needed) My question therefore is:
1. Can the builder and later the society make allocations against the BMC’s approved list? 2. If yes, can I as owner and member of flat 1503 – question the MC/society and get my parking spot back? 3. Can the MC charge different rates for parking spots, those given via agreement and to those on ‘humanitarian grounds’? How do I fight this and what precedences and legal recourse do I have? Details: I am the house owner. The house is in Andheri, Mumbai, Maharashtra The building has two banks – which have been allocated 10 instead of 7 spots as per BMC approved list (can share if needed).

Labours are frequently entering our premises without permission

My neighbor’s plot is under construction, and the contractor and labours are frequently entering our premises without permission. They have also failed to clean up the construction materials and waste from our property. When I asked them to address this issue, the owner of the property used abusive language towards me and my family. Do you have any advice on how to handle this situation?

Can I seek quashing of FIR on expiry of limitation period?

FIR was charged against me on 02/05/2019. I was called to the police station on 02/12/2019 and was released on station bail. They have charged IPC 354 D (stalking through email). But after which no response was there. Recently I got a govt job and when applied for a police clearance certificate I came to know the FIR is pending. The police have not filed charge sheet till date to my knowledge. Can I quash the FIR based on expiry of limitation period.

My boyfriend raped me in the influence of narcotics drugs

Boyfriend had raped me after I said no to sex. I live in xxxxx, I was visiting my boyfriend and stayed at his flat at that time in xxx. We have been in a relationship of 1 year.  We’ve had a physical relationship where we had consensual sex whenever we met. He had been under the influence of Marijuana (and I don’t know what else) when he didn’t respect my no and raped me last week. This has happened once before with him (also when he was on the same drugs, some months ago) but he promised that it won’t happen again. He is a drug addict and takes it 2-3 times a week, at least for the last 5 years. What charges can I press on him?

What actions should you take against an attempt to murder?

My neighbour has attempted to murder in a land dispute. He along with others came to my house with firearms and started shouting, abusing and hitting my gate. When I came out to stop them from doing such a violence, they broke out and beat me with a club and sharp edge gandasa. I suffered some minor injuries on my arm, back and thigh. One injury on my head is severe. That is life threatening so I want to take proper legal action against them. Please suggest what actions I should take against them for an attempt to murder?

India: The Emerging Hub of Cyberstalking

Introduction: The digital age, while bringing numerous benefits, has also opened the doors to new forms of crime. With its massive internet user base, India is grappling with the dark side of the digital revolution: cyberstalking. While the country prides itself on...