Mob Attacks; Need of an immediate Test Identification Parade

Supreme Court in the decision reported as AIR 2010 SC 3000 Siddanki Ram Reddy Vs. State of Andhra Pradesh emphasizing the need of an immediate test identification parade wherein a mob attacks the injured and there is hardly any time for the injured to see the assailants.

In the facts of the case, a mob attacked the deceased in the crowded corridors of the court of the 2nd Additional District Judge and PW-1, PW-5 and PW-6 in their evidence in the court claim to have seen the accused No. 1 (appellant) chasing the deceased with an axe and assaulting the deceased with axe on his neck.

All these three eye witnesses have also stated that soon after the assault the appellant ran away from the court premises. The three eye witnesses thus saw the assailant for a very short time when he assaulted the deceased with the axe and thereafter when he made his escape from the court premises.

Mob Attacks

When an attack is made on assailant by a mob in a crowded place and the eye witnesses had little time to see the accused, the substantive evidence should be sufficiently corroborated by a test identification parade held soon after the occurrence and any delay in holding the test identification parade may be held to be fatal to the prosecution case.

In Daya Singh v. State of Haryana (AIR 2001 SC 1188; 2001 AIR SCW 936) the Apex Court has held that the purpose of test identification is to have corroboration to the evidence of the eye witnesses in the form of earlier identification and that the substantive evidence of a witness is the evidence in the Court and if that evidence is found to be reliable then absence of corroboration by test identification would not be in any way material.

In Lal Singh and Ors. v. State of U.P.( AIR 2004 SC 2009; 2003 AIR SCW 6133), this Court has held that where the witness had only a fleeting glimpse of the accused at the time of occurrence, delay in holding a test identification parade has to be viewed seriously.