Test Identification Parade

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Simply said, A test identification parade (TIP) is a procedure in which the alleged offender is brought before witnesses and victims for identification.

The Supreme Court of India vide the Judgment reported in 1955 Criminal Law Journal 196 has held that identification of property or person by a witness in an “identification parade” held by the Police amounts to a statement to the Police and attracts the provisions of section 162 of the Code of Criminal procedure. In view of this ruling the notes and other records relating to such parade cannot be used in evidence except to the extent permitted under the proviso to sub-section (i) of section 162. Thus even though there is no bar to the holding of identification parade by the police the value of such parades for the prosecution is very much reduced as the statements recorded during such parade cannot be used for the purpose of corroborating the identifying witnesses at the trial. It is therefore, necessary that identification parades should as for as possible be conducted by a magistrate or if no magistrate is available, by panchas (independent respectable persons) and the Police should completely withdraw before the commencement of the identification.

It should however, by clearly understood that the observation made by the Supreme Court in the above mentioned case do not in any way prevent the police from holding an identification parade. Therefore in cases where in spite of all possible efforts, the services of a Magistrate or a Panch cannot be secured to hold an identification parade, the police officers should themselves hold the identification parade and make use of the statements incorporated in the identification memorandum in the same way as any other statement recorded by the police during the investigation that is, within the limitations of section 162, Criminal Procedure Code.

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Related Cases / Recent Cases / Case Law

  • Mohanlal Gangaram Gehani Vs State of Maharashtra - 1982 (1) SCC 700
  • Simon and Others Vs State of Karnataka - 2004 (2) SCC 694: “14…………mere identification of an accused person at the trial for the first time is from its very nature inherently of a weak character. The purpose of a prior test identification is to test and strengthen the trustworthiness of that evidence. Courts generally look for corroboration of the sole testimony of the witnesses in court so as to fix the identity of the accused who are strangers to them in the form of earlier identification proceedings. This rule of prudence, however, is subject to exceptions, when, for example, the court is impressed by a particular witness on whose testimony it can safely rely, without such or other corroboration. It has also to be borne in mind that the aspect of identification parade belongs to the stage of investigation, and there is no provision in the Code of Criminal Procedure which obliges the investigating agency to hold, or confers a right upon the accused to claim a test identification parade. Mere failure to hold a test identification parade would not make inadmissible the evidence of identification in court. What weight is to be attached to such identification is a matter for the courts of fact to examine. In appropriate cases, it may accept the evidence of identification even without insisting on corroboration……….”
  • Dana Yadav alias Dahu and Others Vs State of Bihar - 2002 (7) SCC 295: (f) In exceptional circumstances only, as discussed above, evidence of identification for the first time in court, without the same being corroborated by previous identification in the test identification parade or any other evidence, can form the basis of conviction.
  • Daya Singh v. State of Haryana - AIR 2001 SC 1188: “12………For this purpose, it is to be borne in mind that purpose of test identification is to have corroboration to the evidence of the eyewitnesses in the form of earlier identification and that substantive evidence of a witness is the evidence in the Court. If that evidence is found to be reliable then absence of corroboration by test identification would not be in any way material. Further, where reasons for gaining an enduring impress of the identity on the mind and memory of the witnesses are brought on record, it is no use to magnify the theoretical possibilities and arrive at conclusion - what in present day social environment infested by terrorism is really unimportant. In such cases, not holding of identification parade is not fatal to the prosecution……..”
  • Manzoor v. State of Uttar Pradesh - 1982 (2) SCC 72
  • Raju @ Rajendra v. State of Maharashtra - 1998 (1) SCC 169
  • Kanan & Ors. v. State Of Kerala - 1979 (3) SCC 319

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