Section 147 in Indian Evidence Act 1872

Title: When witness to be compelled to answer

Description: If any such question relates to a matter relevant to the suit or proceeding, the provisions of section 132 shall apply thereto.

Title: Court to decide when question shall be asked and when witness compelled to answer

Description: If any such question relates to a matter not relevant to the suit or proceeding, except in so far as it affects the credit of the witness by injuring his character, the Court shall decide whether or not the witness shall be compelled to answer it, and may, if it thinks fit, warn the witness that he is not obliged to answer it. In exercising its discretion, the Court shall have regard to the following considerations: -- (1) such questions are proper if they are of such a nature that the truth of the imputation conveyed by them would seriously affect the opinion of the Court as to the credibility of the witness on the matter to which he testifies; (2) such questions are improper if the imputation which they convey relates to matters so remote in time, or of such a character, that the truth of the imputation would not affect, or would affect in a slight degree, the opinion of the Court as to the credibility of the witness on the matter to which he testifies; (3) such questions are improper if there is a great disproportion between the importance of the imputation made against the witnesss character and the importance of his evidence; (4) the Court may, if it sees fit, draw, from the witnesss refusal to answer, the inference that the answer if given would be unfavourable.

Title: Question not to be asked without reasonable grounds

Description: No such question as is referred to in section 148 ought to be asked, unless the person asking it has reasonable grounds for thinking that the imputation which it conveys is well-founded. Illustrations (a) A barrister is instructed by an attorney or vakil that an important witness is a dakait. This is a reasonable ground for asking the witness whether he is a dakait. (b) A pleader is informed by a person in Court that an important witness is a dakait. The informant, on being questioned by the pleader, gives satisfactory reasons for his statement. This is a reasonable ground for asking the witness whether he is a dakait. (c) A witness, of whom nothing whatever is known is asked at random whether he is a dakait. There are here no reasonable ground for the question. (d) A witness, of whom nothing whatever is known, being questioned as to his mode of life and means of living, gives unsatisfactory answers. This may be a reasonable ground for asking him if he is a dakait.

Title: Procedure of Court in case of question being asked without reasonable grounds

Description: If the Court is of opinion that any such question was asked without reasonable grounds, it may, if it was asked by any barrister, pleader, vakil or attorney, report the circumstances of the case to the High Court or other authority to which such barrister, pleader, vakil or attorney is subject in the exercise of his profession.

Title: Indecent and scandalous questions

Description: The Court may forbid any questions or inquiries which it regards as indecent or scandalous, although such questions or inquiries may have some bearing on the questions before the Court unless they relate to facts in issue, or to matters necessary to be known in order to determine whether or not the facts in issue existed.

PART 3 PRODUCTION AND EFFECT OF EVIDENCE CHAPTER 10 OF THE EXAMINATION OF WITNESSES