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Questioning the Truth. Ideals of Justice and Trial Techniques in India

Abstract : In this paper we explore how the notion of ‘truth’ is invoked and managed practically in criminal cases in India. We address this issue by first evoking the (rather idealistic) principle it officially represents for justice, then by analyzing some of the techniques intended to elicit a judicial truth in the context of the adversary system adopted in India. Despite the propensity with which witnesses contradict the previous statements they made to the police, legal professionals are able to suggest in writing an alternative narrative to the oral testimonies given at the bar. In order to understand this situation, it is necessary to take into account the social, economic and political settings, as these out-of-court factors heavily weigh on the way a trial unfolds - and on the kind of ‘truth’ it may establish.
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Daniela Berti, Gilles Tarabout. Questioning the Truth. Ideals of Justice and Trial Techniques in India. Ben Hounet, Yazid; Puccio-Den, Deborah. Truth, Intentionality and Evidence. Anthropological Approaches to Crime, Routledge, 2017, 978-1-138-64609-4. ⟨hal-01612781⟩

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