Expound the Term “Test Identification Parade’’

    INTRODUCTION

    In all criminal trials, two things should be identified, i.e. whether the alleged offence was committed and who committed the crime. To identify the accused, the practice of test identification parade (hereinafter, TIP) is undertaken. This test is done by the magistrate in the absence of interference by police. Section 9 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 talks about the Test identification parade.

    The purpose of the TIP is to check the trustworthiness of the evidence given by the witness in the court.  TIP evidence is used as corroborative evidence. [1] Further, identification of the accused in the courtroom directly is known as Dock identification. It is also a piece of substantive evidence and admissible in court. 

    The Supreme Court states the identification of the accused in the court for the first time has no value [2]. In a case where the eye witness says that he can not find the accused in the F.I.R but he recognizes in a test identification parade, the Supreme Court held that it was a shred of false evidence.[3]

    It is not necessary to hold the TIP. Its absence is not fatal to the prosecution’s case where the accused persons were known to each other (witness) and their names appeared in F.I.R [4]. Evidence generated through this test gives support to the testimony of a witness in the court and if there was no support or if the corroborations are done after a prolonged time it will lead to the weakening of the evidence of the witness in the court. The absence of a TIP will not weaken the case. In Ramesh Kumar v. State of Punjab, [5] the court held that there is no need to undertake an identification test where the witness already knows who the accused is. TIP is not necessary where the situations already establish the guilt.

    WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THERE WILL BE DELAY IN HOLDING TEST IDENTIFICATION PARADE?

    Absence of the magistrate leads to a delay in holding an identification test. The Supreme Court has held that the non-availability of the magistrate in Bombay for 5 weeks to monitor the parade is not a satisfactory reason.[6]. But in Murarilal Jivaram Sharma v. the State of Maharashtra, there was a delay of two months in organizing TIP because the magistrate does not have spare time[7]. Hence, delay in holding of TIP leads to loss of credibility of the evidence which was obtained through the TIP and is deemed irrelevant. 

    Marital rape- An Oxymoron?

    In Munna Kumar v. State of A.P[8], the photo of the accused was published in the newspaper. There was a huge time difference between publication and holding of TIP. There might be the possibility of fading the memory of the public. The publication will not be the evidentiary value of the TI Parade.

    WHEN IS IT NECESSARY TO HOLD TEST IDENTIFICATION PARADE?

    Test identification is necessary when the victim has never seen the accused before the incident. Many a time, when the crime is committed, victims may see the criminal and may be able to identify him/her at a later stage through his body structure, height, etc.  If the victim has seen the criminal then it will be necessary to hold the identification test. And such a parade should be done as soon as possible in the presence of the magistrate [9]. Conducting TIP is based on facts and circumstances of the case. In a case where rape was committed at night and there was no light, it was held that even if the victim had a glimpse of the accused when lighted with the torch, it would not be sufficient for image formation. The prosecution needed to hold the TIP and failure to undertake this test would be fatal to the prosecution case. [10].

    WHEN IS IT NOT NECESSARY TO HOLD TEST IDENTIFICATION PARADE?

    The Supreme Court has held that when the witness knows, with certainty, who the accused is, then it will be a waste of public time to hold the test identification [11]. If the court identifies any other evidence which they can rely on, then no parties can ask for test identification.  Section 162, Criminal Procedure Code governs test identification. Holding the test is not necessary and will not affect the admissibility of evidence of identification in the court. [12]

    TEST IDENTIFICATION PARADE IN SPECIFIC CASES

    • Identification of more than once accused in the same Parade

    Both accused husband and wife in the same identification are against the criminal manual issued by the High Court and such identification has no value.[13] In Sheikh vs. State by Inspector of police [14], it was held that joint TIP will not affect the evidentiary value of the TIP. If the accused is already known to witness then this test does not have any value. Identification of the accused in court is important.

    • Identification by Photograph

    Section 22, Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, 1987 (TADA) states that if any person is declared an offender in cases of terrorism, the evidence through photographs should have the same value as the evidence taken through identification parade.

    In Kartar Singh v. The State of Punjab [15], the constitutional validity of Section 22 of the TADA Act was challenged. The Supreme Court, in the said case, held that it was against the fair and reasonable procedure which is enshrined in Article 21 of the Constitution. 

    • Identification by Voice

    In Mohan Singh vs. State of Bihar [16], the witness had heard the voice of the accused when he was demanding money from victims. The court held that identification through voice would be reliable.

    SAFEGUARDS

    While conducting TIP, certain safeguards, as provided below, must be observed:

    • TIP should be conducted as soon as possible so that witness memory doesn’t fade. The magistrate must be aware of the facts of the case.
    • Before conducting this test, two independent individuals who are not connected with police officers are called to participate in the TIP. The magistrate will brief the facts of the case to those two independent individuals and tell them about the suspect and all the witnesses.
    • No police officers should be present in the room where the test is being conducted. And the test should not be conducted in the police station, it must be done in a separate building which is for the test identification only. But in Bhaskar Virappa Kanchan v.  State of Maharashtra [17], it was held that TIP can be conducted in the police station but the police officials should withdraw from that place and shouldn’t have access to it. If the parade was done in prison, then the prison officer must be there throughout the test.
    • The independent individuals would be asked to call the accused and the magistrate should write in the identification memo about all these in the language of the court.  
    • The magistrate will allow the accused to stand in any place whichever he likes to stand in the parade and it should be mentioned in the memo.  
    • Accused will not cover his face when the test is going on. The magistrate should mention in the memo whether the witness has recognized the suspect in an easy manner or any hesitation. If the TIP creates a doubt in the mind of police then it has no value.
    • The memo should contain the following matters-:
      • Time, place, date of the parade; 
      • Details of the two independent individuals;
      • A statement made by witnesses;
    • When the test is complete, the magistrate should read the things which were written in a memo to the witnesses and they must sign the memo, declaring that they have agreed with all things mentioned in the memo.
    • If the First-class magistrate or Second-class magistrate holds identification parade then Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 finds application and the memo which was prepared by the magistrate would be admissible under Section 80 of Evidence Act,1872.

    CONCLUSION

    The test of identification helps in taking the investigation in the right direction. TIP is a piece of corroborative evidence, which is submitted along with the other evidence in the court. This test helps to identify the accused. The test should be done fairly because wrong identification leads to change in the direction of the case. For the last 100 years, this test helps in investigating the crime as soon as possible and solve the case faster.

    ENDNOTES

    [1] Ram Babu v. State of U.P, AIR 2010 S.C .2143.

    [2.] State (Delhi Administration) v. V.C Shukla, AIR 1980 S.C. 1382.

    [3.] Surendra Singh Rautela v. the State of Bihar, A.I.R 2002 SC 260.

    [4] Pammi v. Govt. of MP, A.I.R 1998. 

    [5]   Ramesh Kumar v. the State of Punjab, 1993 Cri L.J 1880 (SC) .

    [6]Rajesh Govind Jogesh v. State of Maharashtra, A.I.R 2000 S.C.160.  

    [7]  Murari Lal Jivaram Sharma v. the State of Maharashtra, A.I.R 1997 S.C 1593.

    [8]  Munna Kumar v. State of A.P, A.I.R 2012.

    [9] Biray Singh v. State, 1953 Crl.L.J., 1817 (Allahabad). 

    [10] Devinder Singh V. State of H.P, A.I. R 2003. 

    [11]Dana Yadav v. State of Bihar, A.I.R 2002 S.C. 3325.

    [12]Heera v. State of Rajasthan, A.I.R 2007 S.C. 2425.

    [13]State of Goa v. Sanjay Thakran, (2007) 3 S.C.C. 755.

    [14]Sheikh v. State by Inspector of police, A.I.R 2016 S.C.1844.

    [15]  Kartar Singh v. the State of Punjab, (1994) 3 SCC 569. 

    [16]Mohan Singh V. State of Bihar, (2011) 9 SCC 272.

    [17] Bhaskar Virappa Kanchan v. the State of Maharashtra, 2003 Bom CR (Cri) 1648.     

    BY- SHAMBHAVI SINHA | BANASTHALI VIDYAPITH

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    ADVERTISE WITH LEGAL READINGS :)
    WEEKLY NEWSLETTEREnter your email address below to subscribe to LEGALREADINGS newsletter.