134. Number of witness –
No particular number of witness shall in any case be required for the proof of any fact.
Merit of the statement is important
It is well known principle of law that reliance can be based on the solitary statement of a witness if the court comes to the conclusion that the said statement is the true and correct version of the case of the prosecution; Raja v. State, (1997) 2 Crimes 175 (Del).
The courts are concerned with the merit of the statement of a particular witness. They are not concerned with the number of witnesses examined by the prosecution; Raja v. State, (1997) 2 Crimes 175 (Del).
The time-honoured rule of appreciating evidence is that it has to be weighed and not counted; State of Maharashtra v. Suresh Nivsutti Bhaunare, (1997) 2 Crimes 257 (Bom).
The Law of Evidence does not require any particular number of witnesses to be examined in proof of a given fact. However, faced with the testimony of a single witness, the court may classify the oral testimony of a single witness, the court may classify the oral testimony into three categories, namely (i) wholly reliable, (ii) wholly unreliable, and (iii) neither wholly reliable nor wholly unreliable. In the first two categories there may be no difficulty in accepting or discarding the testimony of the single witness. The difficulty arises in the third category of cases. The court as to be circumspect and has to look for corroboration in material particulars by reliable testimony, direct or circumstantial, before acting upon testimony of a single witness; Lallu Manjhi v. State of Jharkhand, AIR 2003 SC 854.