There are three stages in examination of a witness are as follows  -

1) Examination-In-Chief :

2) Cross-Examination

3) Re-Examination

1) Examination-in-Chief : 
           According to Section 137 of the Indian Evidence Act,1872 the examination of a witness, by the party who calls him, shall be called his examination-in-chief. This is also called as examination.

     Every witness is first examined by the party who has called him, this process called his examination-in-chief. Section 138 provides Witnesses shall be first examined-in-chief then, if the adverse party so desires cross-examined and then if the party calling him so desires. re-examined.

Object / Purpose of Examination-in-chief :  

                The object / purpose behind conducting the examination-in-chief is to make the witness depose to what he has been called by the party calling him to prove. In other words, the object of his examination is to get him from the witness all material facts within his knowledge relating to the party's case. It must be confined to the relevant fact and no leading questions can be asked. except with the permission of the Court. 
The court shall permit leading questions to be asked as to matters which are introductory or undisputed,or which have in its opinion, been already sufficiently proved.

Limit : 

               In Examination-in chief no leading questions can be put except in certain special cases. Leading question is one , which suggests the answer. only relevant questions should be asked.  
               It should be noted that in examination-in-chief, the lawyer conducting the examination of the witness, the lawyer should understand the nature and temperament of the witness and ask such questions which do not irritate the witness. The witness should be asked to answer calmly ans comfortably, and in his own manner as he likes to express in his own words.

2) Cross-examination -

         According to Section 137, para 2 of the Indian Evidence Act,1872 :   The examination of a witness by the adverse party shall be called his cross-examination . Cross-examination considered most powerful weapon. According to Philip Wendell, "Cross-Examination is double-edged weapon, if you know how to wield, it helps to cut enemy's neck Otherwise, it cuts own hands"


           It should be remembered that the witnesses must speak to facts and not to opinions inference or beliefs. A witness may be cross-examined as to previous statements made by him in writing or reduced into writing. Leading questions may be asked.


                  The object of the cross examination is to test the truth of statement made by witness, to see how far is memory is reliable or what powers of observation possesses whether he is partial or impartial, etc ; in  short it is an attempt to break down a witness or to show that his statement can not be relied upon. The object and scope of cross-examination  is twofold to weaken qualify or destroy the case of the opponent; and to establish the party's own case by means of his opponents witnesses . With this  view the witness may be asked not only as facts in issue or directly relevant thereto , but all question

(1) tending to test  his means of knowledge,

(2) tending to expose the error, of omission, contradictions and  improbabilities in the testimony or

(3) tending to impeach his  credit.

                The object of cross examination are to a impeach the accuracy,  credibility and general value of the evidence given in chief ; to sift the facts  already stated by the witness, to detect and and expose discrepancies or to elicit suppressed facts which will support the case of cross examination of party.

    Sukhawant Singh v. State of U.P AIR 1995 SC 1601

              In this case the Supreme Court has held that a witness cannot be thrown open to cross-examination unless he is first examined-in-chief. Where the prosecution did not examine its witness and offered him to be cross examined, it was held that this amounted to abandoning one's own witness, there cannot be any cross-examination without the foundation of examine-in-chief.  

3) Re-Examination

           According to Section 137, para 3 of the India evidence Act 1827 :The examination of a witness, subsequent to the cross examination by the party who called him , shall be called his re-examination. 

Purpose / Object  of re-examination : 
             The purpose / object of re-examination is to afford to the party calling a witness an opportunity of filing in lacuna or explaining the consistencies which the cross-examination has observed. in the examination-in-chief of the witness. It is accordingly confined to the explanation of matter refereed to in cross-examination. It should not introduce any new matter unless the court permits; and if such permission is given, the adverse party may further cross examine upon that matter.  

Limit :  

             The re-examination shall be directed to the explanation of matters referred to in cross-examination, and if new matter by permission of the Court, introduced in re-examination, the adverse party may further cross-examine upon that matter

Leading Questions should not be asked in re-examination  : 

             According to Section 142 of the Indian Evidence Act , leading questions should not be asked in examination-in-chief or in re-examination, if they are objected by the opposite party. In case the opposite party objects, the court can decide the matter and may, in its direction either permits or disallow it.
            The Court that that it shall permit leading questions as to the matters which are introductory or undisputed, or which have, in the opinion of the Court, been already sufficiently proved to the satisfaction of the court.    


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