Test Identification Parade – Section 9 of Indian Evidence Act, 1872


According to Section 9 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, the following facts are deemed as relevant:

  • Facts necessary to explain or introduce a fact in issue or relevant fact,
  • Facts that support or rebut an inference suggested by a fact in issue or relevant fact,
  • Facts that establish the identity of anything or person whose identity is relevant ,
  • Facts that fix the time or place at which any fact in issue or relevant fact happened, or
  • Facts that show the relation of by whom any such fact was transacted.

Facts mentioned in the first point i.e., facts necessary to explain or introduce a fact in issue or a relevant fact, are the ones that may not amount to anything if considered separately, but when they are taken into consideration in connection with other facts, they are proved to be highly relevant. For example, in Rahan Lalu v. Emperor AIR 1938 Sind. 97, the prosecution case was that Rahan Lalu killed his wife one morning with an axe. Their son a child of 5 years was crying really loud because of witnessing the whole incident and his cry attracted the witness who found Rahan with an axe in his hand and his deceased wife near him. The child’s evidence was not recorded. The witness deposed as to what the child had sad upon that they reached. It was held that the witnesses could speak to the nature of the cry and even to what the child said so far as it explains their conduct. If the child had not said that his father was killing his mother, the witness would not have gone there. So the cry and the words of the child explain as to why the witness went there.

The provision of Test Identification Parade (TIP) derives from the third point of the section i.e., facts that establish the identity of anything or person whose identity is relevant.


There was no specific provision regarding the Test Identification Parade of accused in Evidence Act or Code of Criminal Procedure till 2005. By the amendment of CrPC in 2005, a new Section 54A was inserted for identification of the person arrested. Section 54A is as follows:

“Where a person is arrested on a charge of committing an offence and his identification by any other person or persons is considered necessary for the purpose of investigation of such offence, the Court, having jurisdiction may, on the request of the officer in charge of a police station, direct the person so arrested to subject himself to identification by any person or persons in such manner as the Court may deem fit.”[1]

This provision enables the police to seek permission from the court for identification of the arrested and the court may determine the manner of identification. This manner of identification includes identification parade.

Purpose of Test Identification Parade (TIP):

Heera v. State of Rajasthan AIR 2007 SC 2425: The purpose of conducting a prior test identification is to strengthen the trust worthiness of that evidence, it is considered as a safe rule of prudence to look for corroboration. The identification parades belong to the stage of investigation, and there is no provision in the court which obliges the investigating agency to confer a right upon the accused to claim for a TIP. They do not constitute a substantive piece of evidence and are essentially governed by section 162 of the code. Failure in holding the TIP would not make the evidence of identification inadmissible in the court. The weight attached to such identification should be matter for the courts to decide.

Value of Test Identification Parade (TIP):

Suresh Chandra Bahiri v. State of Bihar AIR 1994 SC 2420: It was held that identification of accused in the court is a substantial piece of evidence only where the person is not known previously by the witness. When accused had been seen by the witness a quite a number of times at different places and point of times, no identification is required.

Sayed Darain Ahsan v. State of West Bengal AIR 2012 SC 1286: Holding of TIP is not necessary when the eye witness and accused belong to the same locality or are known to each other.  

Muniappan v. State of Tamil Nadu AIR 2010 SC 3718: The evidence of TIP is not substantive but a corroborative one.

Delay in holding Test Identification Parade (TIP):

Girja Shanker v. State of U.P. AIR 1993 SC 2618: It is true that Test Identification Parade is a step in investigation, but it is the indentification in the court that is an evidence. The Test Identification Parade assumes importance particularly if held within reasonable time after the commission of the offence.

Joint Test Identification Parade (TIP):

In Sheikh Sintha Madhar alias Jaffar alias Sintha v. State AIR 2016 SC 1844 p. 1848, it was held that there is no invariable rule that that the two accused persons cannot be made part of the same test identification parade. Joint Test Identification Parade does in no manner affects the validity of Test Identification Parade. The purpose of holding a TIP is just to ensure that whether the investigation is going on the right track or not and is merely a corroborative evidence. If the accused is already known to the witness, Test Identification Parade does not hold much value and it is the identification in the court which is of utmost importance.

Evidence of sniffer dogs :

In Abdul Razzak v. State of Maharashtra (1967) 72 Bom LR 646 (SC), it was held by the Supreme Court that the evidence of dog tracking is admissible but ordinarily, is not of much weight. The possibly of misunderstanding between the dog and its master is close to its heels. The possibility of misrepresenting or wrong inference from the behaviour of dogs can not be ruled out.

Identification by finger print:

The accepted conclusion of science is that several fixed and typical variety of ridges on fingertips are clearly distinguishable and that the chance of two individuals bearing the same combination of such marks are so small as to be negligible. Hence identity of finger marks is the strongest evidence of the identity of person and such evidence is admissible.

[1] https://legislative.gov.in/sites/default/files/A1974-02.pdf

Author: Rudra Gupta,
3rd Year, B.A. LL.B., Aligarh Muslim University

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