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The Supreme Court has held that the mere fact of a witness being related to a party does not make him/her an interested witness.

Justices Ashok Bhushan and K M Joseph in Shio Shankar Dubey and Ors. Vs State of Bihar addressed many contentions, and held that just because a witness is closely related to the victim, it will not make him/her an interested witness all the time.

Petitioner Shio Shankar Dubey and others pled that one witness was the deceased’s brother and is thus, an interested witness. They also said that they had no motive to kill the deceased and the prosecution cannot claim the same. The witnesses could not be shaken even after thorough cross-examination. The bench also observed that the deceased was contesting election against Dubey, who wanted him out of the way, and thus had a motive to kill him.

SC has consistently refused to declare family eye-witnesses as ‘interested witness’ in another recent judgement dated April 26, in Sadayappan @ Ganesh v State.

Shio Shankar’s appeal has been dismissed stating that the witnesses and the evidences were correct and valid.

—India Legal Bureau

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