Trial courts must allow video footage, says Karnataka High Court

This completely demolished the prosecution case, but it was not allowed, he argued.
Karnataka High Court
Karnataka High Court (Photo | EPS)

BENGALURU: Observing that trial courts should permit playing of video footage if it leads to the discovery of truth proving the innocence of the accused during cross-examination in criminal cases, the Karnataka High Court quashed a trial court order, rejecting permission to the accused’s counsel to play a video footage.

Justice M Nagaprasanna passed the order while allowing a petition filed by Aravinda from Chikkaballapur district, questioning the trial court order of December 2, 2022. Petitioner’s counsel KBK Swamy contended that it is a trial for murder or attempts to murder and since the offence is punishable with 10 years and beyond, the trial court ought to have permitted the video footage.

He said that during the cross-examination, he requested the trial court to permit him to confront the witness by playing the video footage by producing a certificate under Section 65B of the Evidence Act on the genuineness of the footage. The prosecution had drawn up the charge that the injured husband of the complainant was brought dead to the hospital from the crime scene on March 22, 2021. The video footage contained a statement of the injured husband since he was not brought dead. This completely demolished the prosecution case, but it was not allowed, he argued.  

Accused No. 3 Aravinda (26) is in judicial custody for a crime registered on charges of murder and other provisions of the IPC and SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act over alleged encroachment of a portion of graveyard adjacent to the land of the complainant.

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