my query is when a petitioner in a case attended for a cross examination by a defendant lawyer whether he/she can use the RIGHT TO SILENCE without giving answers either in civil law or family law?
Adv Archana Deshmukh (Practicing Advocate) 12 February 2014
There is no such 'Right to silence' and the witness has to reply however, depending upon the fact, circumstances and relevancy of the questions, the court may draw 'adverse inference' from such 'silence'.
cyberlawyer (barrister) 12 February 2014
No, it is mandatory to answer Yes / No or dont know. at the same time he cannot say dont know for all the answers.
If only the right to remain silent in a cross examination is permitted, then the witnesses will start filing a memo saying that he doesnt want to answer and the proof affidavit / chief examination will have to be recorded by the JUDGE (NOT WILLING TO ANSWER) for all the questions.