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Whether advocates have right of unlimited argument or unlimi

Whether Advocates have right of unlimited argument or unlimited cross-examination?

However that may be, the principle is, I think, indisputable that the Court has, and should have, a discretion in controlling the cross-examination, and while the Court will allow reasonable latitude to an advocate or counsel to cross-examine a party or a witness, it should always be remembered that the Court has an undoubted control and  discretion in the matter of controlling the cross-examination of a party by counsel of the opposite party.
4. This principle is not new and its soundness has been recognised in several decisions, both of the Privy Council and of this Court. In the first place, there is a decision of the Privy Council reported in - 'Vassiliades v. Vassiliades', AIR 1945 PC 38, and the principle laid down in that case will be found set out at p. 41, This is what the Privy Council says :
(No doubt) cross-examination is one of the most important processes for the elucidation of the facts of a case and all reasonable latitude should be allowed, but the Judge has always a discretion as to how far it may go or how long it may continue. A fair and reasonable exercise of his discretion by the Judge will not generally be questioned by an appellate Court. As Lord Sankey L. C. said in - "Mechanical and General Inventions Co. and Leh-wess v. Austin Motor Co.', 1935 AC 348:
"....a protracted and irrelevant cross-examination not only adds to the cost of litigation, but is a waste of public time'."
This principle has been put in another form in a judgment of the Privy Council reported in -- "Raj Kumar Sen v. Ram Sundar Shaha', AIR 1932 PC 39.
"The Court should check abuses in the cross-examination of witnesses on commission, when such examination is unduly protracted and is wholly irrelevant to the issues raised in the suit."
This ruling again says that the Court has control over the cross-examination of witnesses and the Court has got power to control the cross-examination if such examination appears to the Court to unduly protracted and wholly irrelevant. Then there are two judgments of this Court reported in -- 'Emperor v. Rahimatalli', 22 Bom LR 166: AIR 1920 Bom 402 and 'Queen-Empress v. Sayad Surfuddin', Rat Un Cr C 344 (E). This is what shah J. observed in the former case (p. 178):
"...Making due allowance for all these circumstances the arguments before us have left on my mind the impression that the length of the proceedings could have been and should have been appreciably reduced by the exercise of a more judicious control on the part of the Court over the proceedings before it consistently with the statutory rights of the parties to be heard and to examine and cross-examine witnesses under the Code of Criminal Procedure and the Indian Evidence Act and by a more active desire on the part of counsel on both sides to save the time of the Court by avoiding questions and arguments which could have at best a re-mole bearing on the points arising in the case, and the omission whereof could involve no detriment to their respective cases."
Hayward J. expressed his view in similar terms by pointing out that (p. 184) :
". .Counsel must exercise their right of audience in a reasonable manner. They have their obligations no less than their privileges. They have no right of unlimited argument or examination of witnesses but only so much as would be reasonably necessary in the particular matter."
Criminal Revn. Appln. No. 1427 of 1954
Decided On: 17.12.1954
Yeshpal Jashbhai Parikh Vs. Rasiklal Umedchand Parikh
Hon'ble Judges/Coram:
Y.V. Dixit, J.
Citation : AIR 1955 Bom 318


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