The Art of Cross-Examination – Explianed

Only lawyers have the art of cross-examination. The art of cross-examination is essential for every lawyer which comes with years of practice and hard work.  The art of cross-examination is a check out of a lawyer’s skill. With the expertise of this art, a lawyer can win the almost lost case easily.


The simple understanding of cross-examination is that the relevant question asked by an advocate relates to the fact in issue to a witness. The Indian Evidence Act,1872 explains the examination of witnesses in both civil and criminal cases.

Section 137 of the Indian Evidence Act  defines the terms

  • The first step of the witness examination is the examination in chief. The party who calls a witness, that is, his own party, conducts the witness’s major examination.
  • The witness is questioned by the opposing side once the principal examination is completed. Cross-examination is the term for this.
  • Re-examination occurs when the party who summoned the witness wants to interrogate him again after the cross-examination.


The constructive or destructive approach is adopted by advocates during the cross-examination of a witness. The constructive technique is used by a lawyer to cross-examine a witness to emphasize the fact.  When a witness has some relevant information that can help the lawyer to win the case and the lawyer wants to draw the attention of the judge than a variety of questions are asked to the witness to collect the information.

On the other side destructive approach is used to prove no credibility of a witness statement or information. However this approach is only used by an advocate when he doesn’t want the judge to believe any fact which can affect his case, the lawyer will make the witness confuse, closely observe, and what he thinks is important to bring out the truth, but suppose if the statement given by a witness is relevant and can help him in his case then this approach never adapt by any lawyer.

However, there is a third condition that also exists where only those who can survive who has the real art of cross-examination. Sometimes it happens that some part of a witness statement is unfavorable to his case but the rest information is not only relevant but also important in his case.

In that condition, a lawyer should be extra attentive because he has to use both approaches in that situation during cross-examination.

Cross-examination also comes in use when there is some changes in the witness has hidden some fact from the court or also given different statements on different events. The lawyer in these situations shows his skill and brings out the truth from the unwanted witness. Really this art is undoubtedly appreciable.

At last, it can be said that Cross-examination requires precise planning, dedication, and common sense. A cross-framework examination should be pre-planned and chronological since it is also highly important for the judge or tribunal to go over significant facts of the case step by step.

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