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“Supreme Court reiteprices that the principle of ‘falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus’ (false in one point, false in everything) is not applicable in India”


It is a basic presumption that if certain facts out of a narrative is false, then the whole narrative is additionally false. However before, the Supreme Court bench comprising of Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and also Justice Hemant Gupta reiterated in the matter of Mahendran v. State of Tamil Nadu that the legal maxim of ‘falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus’ (false in one point, false in everything) is not applicable in India. The Appellant competed that the reliance on the testimony of a witness for conviction is incorrect if a part of the testimony is false and also unreputable. To assistance its debates, the counsel for the appellants relied on the judgments in Ram Laxman vs. State of Rajasthan (2016) 12 SCC 389, Noushad alias Noushad actually Pasha and Others vs. State of Karnataka (2015) 2 SCC 513 and Suraj Mal Vs. State (Delhi Administration) (1979) 4 SCC 725 and completed that if the testimony of the witness is discovered to be unreliable in respect of part of the statement, then the various other component of the statement cannot be made basis to convict the accoffered.

The Counsel for the Respondents referred to the judgment of Gangadhar Behera and Others Vs. State of Orissa (2002) 8 SCC 381 to justify that the whole testimony of a witness cannot be discarded or disrelated to merely bereason a component of the testimony is uncovered to be not true. As such, the Bench dismissed the appeals as they lacked merits whilst relying on the judgment in Gangadhar Behera which elaborated on the non-appliccapacity of the maxim as follows:

“ Falsity of a particular material witness or material certain would certainly not ruin it from the start to end. The maxim “falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus” has actually no application in India and also the witnesses cannot be branded as liars. The maxim “falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus” has not got general acceptance nor has actually this maxim involved occupy the standing of rule of regulation. It is just a rule of caution. All that it quantities to, is that in such situations testimony may be disrelated to, and also not that it need to be disrelated to. The doctrine merely entails the question of weight of proof which a court may use in a offered collection of circumstances, but it is not what might be called “a mandatory dominance of evidence……………………………

The doctrine is a dangerous one specially in India for if a whole body of the testimony were to be rejected, bereason a witness was evidently speaking an unreality in some facet, it is to be feared that administration of criminal justice would pertained to a dead sheight. Witnesses simply cannot assist in giving embroidery to a story, yet, true in the main.

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As such, it has to be appincreased in each case as to what level the evidence is worthy of acceptance, and just bereason in some respects the court considers the exact same to be inenough for placing reliance on the testimony of a witness, it does not necessarily follow as a matter of regulation that it have to be dispertained to in all respects too. The evidence has to be sifted with care.”