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Leading Questions in Evidence Act

Leading Questions in Evidence Act


In legal proceedings, the concept of leading questions holds significant importance. These questions, by design, prompt witnesses to provide specific responses, often aligning with the agenda of the questioner.

Their use, therefore, requires careful consideration to maintain the integrity and fairness of the legal process.

During examination, the distinction between leading and non-leading questions is crucial. A leading question guides the witness towards a desired answer, potentially influencing their testimony.

In contrast, non-leading questions allow witnesses to provide independent and unbiased accounts of events. This differentiation is essential for preserving the impartiality of witness testimonies and preventing undue influence.

Prohibition of Leading Questions in Examination

The prohibition of leading questions in examination-in-chief and re-examination serves to uphold the principles of fairness and impartiality. Allowing such questions could potentially bias the testimony in favour of the questioning party, undermining the search for truth in legal proceedings.

By restricting leading questions, courts aim to ensure that witness testimonies remain authentic and uninfluenced by external factors.

Exceptions in Examination-in-Chief

Exceptions to this rule exist, particularly in examination-in-chief, where leading questions may be permitted under specific circumstances.

These exceptions typically apply to introductory matters, undisputed facts, or sufficiently proven aspects of the case. Allowing leading questions in these instances can streamline the examination process without compromising fairness or accuracy.

In cross-examination, however, leading questions serve a different purpose. Here, the goal is to test the credibility and accuracy of the witness's testimony.

By asking leading questions, counsel can uncover additional facts or inconsistencies that may support their case. While leading questions are generally permissible in cross-examination, their use should not unduly influence or manipulate witness testimony.

Permitting Leading Questions under evidecne act

The responsibility for determining the permissibility of leading questions rests with the court. Judges must carefully weigh the potential impact on fairness and impartiality before allowing such questions.

Decisions regarding the use of leading questions should consider the overarching goal of uncovering truth while safeguarding the rights of all parties involved.

In criminal trials, the use of leading questions requires even greater scrutiny. The absence of defence counsel during examination can raise concerns about the fairness of the proceedings.

Allowing leading questions in such circumstances may infringe upon the accused's right to a fair trial, undermining the integrity of the legal process.

Upholding Integrity in Legal Proceedings

Ultimately, the use of leading questions must be guided by principles of fairness, impartiality, and respect for due process.

While they can serve a legitimate purpose in certain contexts, their use should always be tempered by ethical considerations and a commitment to upholding the integrity of the legal system.

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