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Section 138- The Indian Evidence Act, 1872

The Indian Evidence Act,1872

138. Order of examinations –

Witnesses shall be first examined-in-chief then (if the adverse party so desires) cross-examined, then (if the party calling him so desires) re-examined.

The examination and cross-examination must relate to relevant facts but the cross-examination need not to be confined to the facts which the witness testified on his examination-in-chief.

Direction of re-examination

The re-examination shall be directed to the explanation of matters referred to in cross-examination, and if new matter by permission of the Court, introduced in re-examination, the adverse party may further cross-examine upon that matter.



Section 138 lays down the manner of examining a particular witness and creates three distinct rights viz., examination-in-chief, cross-examination and re-examination so far as the examination of a witness is concerned. The right of cross-examination available to opposite party is a distinct and independent right. When accused declined to cross-examine witness and thereafter the said witness is not available for cross-examination, the evidence of such witness recorded is admissible in evidence but that will have to be true to that account; Nandram v. State of Madhya Pradesh, 1995 FAJ 1 (MP).

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The Indian Evidence Act, 1872

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