MOCK TRIAL PROBLEM
End semester exams at the law school commenced on 13 April 2012. Aman had his evidence on 19 April. A student of 9th semester, this was his last chance to clear Law of crime. Failure to pass in this paper would have meant not only a year back but his not able to join a prestigious LLM at a European University where he was quite hopeful of securing admission.
Aman and Robin were not in good terms. They both hailed from the same city where there had been traditional rivalry between their schools. Further, they had both been on the opposite sides at a football match that had turned ugly.
The examination seating plan saw Aman seating in the last row in the extreme right seat. Jyoti occupied a seat in his from whereas Robin was on his left.
15 minutes after the paper started, Dr. Radha, the Exam Superintendent came for a round. As she entered the class exam hall, she noticed Aman talking to Jyoti. Dr. Radha scolded Aman and warned him to behave. Aman remained silent.
About 10 minutes later, three or four students in the front two rows got up and complained that the question paper was very tough and two questions were out of syllabus. The invigilator tried to control the commotion and asked them to sit down. Dr Misra, the invigilator saw Aman bending down to pick up something from ground. Dr Misra went to Aman to equire. Aman explained that he had to retrieve his question paper that had flown away (EXHIBIT 1). The question paper was found to have some material written on it in capital letters and then smudged. It was not clear in whose handwriting was the material. However, the handwriting experts report was of the view that it matched the style of Jyoti. Aman later found out that Mr Khan, handwriting expert, has had no formal education in the science.
One hour later, when the University checking squad came for round, Aman was blamed for incriminating material lying on the ground a couple of feet away from his chair. The documents were six pages (EXHIBITT 2) torn from a text book on Criminal Law. He protested that he had nothing to do with the documents. A case was however, initiated against him for use of unfair means.
The matter was brought before the UFM Committee. Aman requested that he be allowed to make a statement and lead his evidence as also cross examine the witnesses.
The case against Aman was that he was quite desperate to clear the Law of Crimes paper. This was his last chance. He had fared poorly in the internals. Jyoti was on friendly terms with him. She had tried to help him by enumerating the points regarding one question by whispers.
It was Jyoti who wrote answer in point form on the question paper in capital letters.
The pages torn from the text book were from a library book that had once been issued to Aman.
The defence version as discernible from the statement of Aman highlighted that:
- He had prepared adequately for the exam.
- He had not spoken anything to Jyoti.
- The nothings on the question paper where in his own hand writing. These were rough notes he had jolted down.
- The incriminating printed pages did not belong to him. These could have been deliberately thrown by Robin, or someone else, to falsely implicate him.
- Dr. Radha was prejudiced again him since she had earlier taught him in a previous semester and felt that he had given a negative feedback.
- Prepare for the examination of Jyoti as a defence witness whereas Dr. Radha and Robin are the prosecution witness.
- Aman may offer himself as a defence witness.
- Any facts that do not contradict or are not inconsistent with above narrative may be assumed.
- The mock trial team would consist of Aman, Jyoti, Robin, Dr Radha, Judge, Prosecutor and Defence Counsel.
- The provisions of Indian Evidence Act would apply.
- The time for examination in chief allowed for each witness is not to exceed 10 minutes and 30 minutes for the cross examination.
MOCK TRIAL RULES
- The facts given in the problem constitute the facts of the case. However each team may presume facts to explain and expand their case as long as the version given is not contradicted.
- Each witness is bound to sign an affidavit signifying his presence at the trial.
- Advance copy of their statements as a whole as well as their pleadings are to be submitted one day before.
- Witnesses are not permitted to use notes in testifying during the trial.
- All participants are expected to display proper courtroom decorum and sportsmanlike conduct.
- The trial proceedings are governed by these rules.
- During the actual trial, teachers, affiliated non-participating team members, and all other observers may not talk to, signal, or otherwise communicate or coach their teams. Team members may communicate with each other during the trial. Instructors from opposing teams are advised to sit next to one another, is possible, and be reasonable. The purpose of this rule is to prevent last minute coaching; it is not intended as a device to disqualify an opposing team.
- Neither team may introduce surprise witnesses nor call witnesses from the other side. All witnesses must take the stand, in whatever order or sequence determined by the party calling them.
- Witnesses should be excluded from the courtroom during the trial.
- Only students who have given their names before 19th December 2013 will be eligible to participate in the Amity Mock Trial Competition.
- The starting time of any trial will not be delayed for longer than 15 minutes. Incomplete teams will have to begin without their other members.
- Presiding judges for MOCK TRIALS would include law school faculty members of the AMITY LAW SCHOOL, NOIDA.
- All judges receive the Guidelines for judges, Judge’s score sheet and the Mock Trial problem.
- Presiding judges are asked to make a legal decision on the merits of the case, but this does not affect a team’s score. Judges shall give scores to the teams and the scores will indicate the winner.
- All decisions of the Judges shall be final.
- The opening statement will not exceed three minutes.
- Each team will be given maximum one hour time to complete the examination of witnesses.
- Any objection raised which is rejected would entail negative marks.
Maj. Gen. Nilendra Kumar
Amity Law School,
& Dean Faculty of Law,Amity University, NOIDA