Conviction based on Testimony of Sole Witness

Conviction possible based on sole testimony

A conviction of an accused can be recorded based on the testimony of the single witness. While doing so the court must be satisfied that the testimony of the sole witness is of sterling quality, free from any blemish or suspicion to connect solely on the testimony of single witness [Bhimappa Chandrappa Hosamani v State of Karnataka : 2006 AIR SC 5043].

No fixed number of witnesses needed to prove a case

The Section 134 of the Indian Evidence Act clearly states that no number of witnesses is required to established the conviction in a case. Conviction can be based on the testimony of a single witness, if his testimony is wholly reliable [Choco @ Aniyan Kunju v State of Kerala : AIR 2004 SC 2688].

No bar in convicting based on testimony of single witness

There is no legal impediment in convicting a person on the sole testimony of a single witness. The crucial test is whether evidence has a ring of truth, is cogent, credible, and trustworthy, or otherwise [Sunil Kumar v State Government of NCT: [AIR 2004 SC 552].

Quality, but not quantity, of evidence is more important

The law is well settled that the evidence of a single witness if believed, would be sufficient to prove a fact. The qualitative and not quantitative character of the evidence is what the Indian Evidence Act stresses [Rama alias Dhaktu Worak v State : Criminal Appeal No 25 of 1968].

Some more decisions

Some other decisions, in this regard, are as follows:

  1. Vijay @ Chinee v State of Madhya Pradesh (2010 (8) SCC 191)
  2. State of Maharashtra v Chandraprakash Kewalchand Jain (AIR 1990 SC 658)
  3. State of U P v Pappu @Yunus and Another (AIR 2005 SC 1248)
  4. State of Punjab v Gurmit Singh and Others (AIR 1996 SC 1393)

In conclusion

There is no legal compulsion to look for corroboration of the evidence of the sole witness before recording an order of conviction. Evidence has to be weighed and not counted.

In short, the accused can be convicted based on the sole testimony of the prosecutrix, if her evidence inspires confidence and there is absence of circumstances which militate against her veracity.