Every person is competent to give evidence if he satisfied the test of being able to understand the questions which are put to him, and he is in a position to give rational answer to those questions. Any person who satisfies these tests shall be competent to testify, child, deaf and dumb persons can give evidence. Earlier it was thought that deaf and dumb persons were regarded as idiots and were not competent to give evidence. But now modern science reveals that deaf and dumb persons are much more intelligent than any other normal Person.Deaf and Dumb are competent to give evidence. they may give evidence either by signs or through an interpreter or in writing.  Section 119 of the Indian Evidence Act deals with the deaf and dumb witness.



Deaf and Dumb : 

             According to Section 119 "A witness who is unable to speak may give his evidence in any other manner in which he can make it intelligible, as by writing or by signs; but such writing must be written and the signs made in open Court, evidence so given shall be deemed to be oral evidence:

           Provided that if the witness is unable to communicate verbally, the Court shall take the assistance of an interpreter or a special educator in recording the statement, and such statement shall be video-graphed."



The case of deaf and dumb differs from child witness in following two ways -

                   i) The deaf and dumb must understand the nature of an act. The child need not understand it.      
                   ii)  The deaf and Dumb can give his evidence by means of signs Under Section 119 of Indian Evidence Act.


See also 

1) Admissibility, Competency and Credit of a child witness

2) Meaning and Test of Competency of the witness.

3) The Concept of Opinion of Expert and its Evidentiary value.

4)  Meaning, Definition and Kinds of Accomplice

5) When opinions of third persons are relevant. (Expert opinion)


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