Gulfam v. State (2017 SCMR 1189)

In-court identification is unsafe, particularly when the witness is examined after many other prosecution witnesses and has had opportunity to see the accused in the dock.

The accused were convicted of murder under PPC 302(b) and sentenced to death. The sentence was confirmed by the Lahore High Court. The incident involved robbery of a store in which two people were killed. The accused were both identified in a joint identification parade, a practise which the Supreme Court has repeatedly stated in unlawful. The accused were also identified in court, but the Supreme Court stated that this is an unsafe practise which was never approved, explaining that “Identification of an accused person before the trial court during the trial has already been held by this Court to be unsafe particularly when the eye-witnesses making their statements before the trial court were examined after many other prosecution witnesses had already been examined and on all such occasions the accused persons could conveniently be seen by the eye-witnesses in the dock.”Thus, the identification was unreliable and without sufficient other evidence, the accused were acquitted.