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Evidence Act 1950 [Act 56]

139 Cross-examination of person called to produce a document

A person summoned to produce a document does not become a witness by the mere fact that he produces it, and may not be crossexamined unless and until he is called as a witness.

140 Witnesses to character

Witnesses to character may be cross-examined and re-examined.

141 Leading questions

Any question suggesting the answer which the person putting it wishes or expects to receive or suggesting disputed facts as to which the witness is to testify, is called a leading question.

142 When leading questions may not be asked

(1) Leading questions may not, if objected to by the adverse party, be asked in an examination-in-chief or in a re-examination, except with the permission of the court.

(2) The court shall permit leading questions as to matters which are introductory or undisputed, or which have in its opinion been already sufficiently proved.

143 When leading questions may be asked

(1) Leading questions may be asked in cross-examination, subject to the following qualifications:

(a) the question may not put into the mouth of the witness the very words which he is to echo back again; and

(b) the question may not assume that facts have been proved which have not been proved, or that particular answers have been given contrary to the fact.


(2) The court, in its discretion, may prohibit leading questions from being put to a witness who shows a strong interest or bias in favour of the cross-examining party.

144 Evidence as to matters in writing

Any witness may be asked whilst under examination whether any contract, grant or other disposition of property as to which he is giving evidence was not contained in a document, and if he says that it was, or if he is about to make any statement as to the contents of any document which in the opinion of the court ought to be produced, the adverse party may object to the evidence being given until the document is produced or until facts have been proved which entitle the party who called the witness to give secondary evidence of it.

Explanation-A witness may give oral evidence of statements made by other persons about the contents of documents if the statements are in themselves relevant facts.

ILLUSTRATION

The question is whether A assaulted B.

C deposes that he heard A say to D: "B wrote a letter accusing me of theft and I will be revenged on him." The statement is relevant as showing A's motive for the assault and evidence may be given of it though no other evidence is given about the letter.

145 Cross-examination as to previous statements in writing

(1) A witness may be cross-examined as to previous statements made by him in writing or reduced into writing, and relevant to matters in question in the suit or proceeding in which he is cross-examined, without the writing being shown to him or being proved; but if it is intended to contradict him by the writing, his attention must, before the writing can be proved, be called to those parts of it which are to be used for the purpose of contradicting him.

(2) If a witness, upon cross-examination as to a previous oral statement made by him relevant to matters in question in the suit or proceeding in which he is cross-examined and inconsistent with his present testimony, does not distinctly admit that he made such statement, proof may be given that he did in fact make it; but before proof can be given, the circumstances of the supposed statement, sufficient to designate the particular occasion, shall be mentioned to the witness, and he shall be asked whether or not he made such statement.

146 Questions lawful in cross-examination

When a witness may be cross-examined, he may, in addition to the questions hereinbefore referred to, be asked any questions which tend-

(a) to test his accuracy, veracity or credibility;

(b) to discover who he is and what is his position in life; or

(c) to shake his credit by injuring his character, although the answer to such questions might tend directly or indirectly to criminate him, or might expose or tend directly or indirectly to expose him to a penalty or forfeiture.

146A Restrictions on evidence at trials for rape

Notwithstanding anything in this Act, in proceedings in respect of the offence of rape, no evidence and no question in crossexamination shall be adduced or asked, by or on behalf of the accused, concerning the sexual activity of the complainant with any person other than the accused unless-

(a) it is evidence that rebuts, or a question which tends to rebut, evidence of the complainant's sexual activity or absence thereof that was previously adduced by the prosecution;

(b) it is evidence of, or a question on, specific instances of the complainant's sexual activity tending to establish the identity of the person who had sexual contact with the complainant on the occasion set out in the charge; or

(c) it is evidence of, or a question on, sexual activity that took place on the same occasion as the sexual activity that forms the subject matter of the charge, where that evidence or question relates to the consent that the accused alleges he believed was given by the complainant.

147 When witness to be compelled to answer

If any such question relates to a matter relevant to the suit or proceeding, section 132 shall apply thereto.


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