The Supreme Court of India opined that a test identification parade conducted in the presence of a police officer is not valid. It is barred under Section 162 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. While referring to the ratio of Musheer Khan Vs. State of Madhya Pradesh, the Apex Court held that test identification is not substantive evidence. It is only meant for the purpose of helping the investigating agency and provides them with the assurance that their investigation is being progressed in the correct direction.
The first major flaw pointed out by the Court, in this case, was that during the exercise of test identification, police officers were present. When identifications are held in police presence, the resultant communications would be the same as statements made by the identifiers to a police officer in the course of the investigation, and this is restricted under Section 162 of the Code. The same was also upheld in the case of Ramkishan Mithanlal Sharma vs. The State of Bombay. The statements of witnesses recorded by the police under Section 162 of CrPC cannot be used for assurance of the testimony of a witness. It was also observed that to establish the presence of the Appellant at the scene of occurrence, the trial Court and High Court relied on the test identification parade and testimony of an independent witness.
The second important flaw was, as per the statement of the independent witness, it was observed that the related witness was shown only one lungi, however during the test identification, he mentioned that three lungis were presented for identification. Such infirmities render the test identification parade unworthy of acceptance. Thus the prosecution cannot solely rely on test identification parade for conviction of the accused. Therefore, by understanding the law related to the discussed infirmities that were highlighted in the case, the Supreme Court of India concluded that the appeal, is allowed and the judgment of the trial court and also of the High Court are consequently set aside.