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Standard of cross examination deteriorating; cross examination was considered crown in advocacy skills: Madras High Court

Justice N Anand Venkatesh said he was forced to record his displeasure at the standard of cross examination after he realised that most questions put to witnesses were either irrelevant or illogical.

“At this juncture, this Court has to necessarily record its displeasure in the manner, in which, the witnesses are cross examined. On a daily basis, this Court is able to find that the standard of cross examination of witnesses has gone down drastically. It is quite unfortunate that the trial court advocates are not developing their skills of cross examination. Most of the questions, which are put to the witnesses, are irrelevant and illogical,” the High Court said.

He further said that while cross examination was considered the crown of a lawyer’s advocacy skills, it was unfortunate that trial court lawyers were not making an effort to develop such a skill these days.

“The art of cross examination was considered as a crown in advocacy skills. If this art is lost, the charm in conducting a trial before a court will also be lost,” the judge stated.

The Court, therefore, urged the senior members of the Bar to help juniors learn and practice the art of cross examination.

Justice Venkatesh made the observations while hearing an appeal filed by a man challenging his conviction and sentence under Sections 376 and 377 of the Indian Penal Code, and the State’s appeal seeking enhancement of his sentence.

Source: Barandbench

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