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- Always protect the witness from any unfair treatment during examination-in-chief/ Cross-examination.
- Do assist the 10 and plan the stages of Regular Hearing purposefully.
- Do collect all the statements of witnesses taken during the investigation, if not received already.
- Do study intently each element of the evidence in regard to any transaction, all the elements of the conduct expected of the Charged Officer and each element of misconduct attributed to him.
- Do anticipate the possible defence of the Charged Officer and be ready to cross-examine the defence witnesses, by duly acquainting yourself with their antecedents.
- Do ensure that the witness understands the question put to him before he answers and ensure that the answers given in vernacular are properly translated in English/Hindi and duly recorded.
- Use your powers judiciously to put such questions to a witness as bring out the truth so that the Inquiry Officer has a fair and clear understanding of the whole case.
- Do not question the admitted facts.
- Do not allow 'leading questions' to a witness in his Examination-in-chief * 43. Leading questions may be permitted in Cross-examination.
- Do not try to get adjournments. Attempts to get an adjournment on unconvincing ground amount to obstruction and hindrance of the quasi-judicial process, besides delaying the inquiry.
- Do not ask questions in a mechanical or routine manner, on self explanatory documents, or put questions to the witnesses making them repeat an accepted or adequately proved fact.
- During the course of the inquiry proceedings, don't miss to take down notes of all important points which emerge and which you must cover during Cross-examination / Re-examination. This also helps you in preparing the written brief at the end of the inquiry.
- At the Preliminary Hearing (PH), be ready to supply copies of statements of witness and other documents, if not so done earlierRemember that if a document is admitted, a person in possession of it can produce it. If the contents of any document are not admitted, the person who prepared it or maintained it, must be offered as a witness so that the Charged Officer can cross-examine him.
- Be in a position to collect necessary evidence and witnesses for presentation at the Regular Hearing (RH).
- Ensure that all witnesses are present for hearing on day to day basis for expeditious disposal of the departmental inquiry.
- Before departmental witnesses are examined at the inquiry, it would be desirable to meet them in advance and refresh their memory by referring to their statements recorded at the time of investigation. This helps to recollect the facts of the case clearly and helps in bringing out the case efficiently while tendering evidence at the inquiry. Do co-relate each item of oral or documentary evidence, decide what is likely to be proved or disproved. Do anticipate what Charged Officer is likely to admit.
- Don't miss to observe the demeanour of the witness while deposing and to make a note of it.
- Do not miss to collect and produce documents cited by the Charged Officer as 'defence documents' during the course of inquiry. Non-production of such documents by its custodian through Presenting Officer within a time limit fixed by Inquiry Officer will lead the CVC to take an adverse view against the concerned officer (custodian of the documents).
- Don't miss to be present on all the hearings. Otherwise, the case may be lost by default.
- Don't recall a witness for re-examination till it is absolutely necessary and is in the interest of justice.
- If any of the prosecution witnesses is not cooperative or changes his earlier stand, request the 10 to declare him a hostile witness and to permit you to Cross-examine that witness.
- Remember you have to do the examination-in-chief of the Prosecution witnesses, followed by cross-examination by the Charged Officer and then again re-examination by you.
- In case of defence witnesses, they are to be examined by the Charged Officeror his Defence Assistant, to be cross-examined by the Presenting Officer and then further re-examined by Charged Officer/Defence Assistant.
- Don't miss to equip yourself fully with the points, which are generally raised by the defence, viz. mala-fides, natural justice, burden of proof. Only then you can meet them, whenever they are raised.
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