Legal duties of the veterinarians


  • To make a veterinarian know and recognize his exact duties, privileges and responsibilities in vetro-legal cases both as witness and as an expert advisor it is very essential that he should have a fair knowledge of all the subjects of veterinary sciences.
  • He must be well acquainted with the animal related Acts and the legal procedures in the criminal courts.
  • Veterinarian has the following responsibilities.
    • Conducting postmortem examination of the vetro-legal cases.
    • Investigations of common offences against animals.
    • Investigations in case of malicious and accidental poisoning.
    • Investigations in case of frauds in the sale of livestock and livestock products.
    • Issuing health certificates.
    • To get the real culprits punished and help in providing justice and fair treatment to man and animal and also to save innocent people/persons from the false accusations of crime.
    • To prevent cruelty to animals.
    • Application and enforcement of state of law meant for animals. (Prevention of cruelty to Animals, Cattle Trespass Act)
    • To protect the interests of society at large and prevent the unethical practices in relation to animals in the society.
    • In fact everything in which recourse to law is necessary in relation to the veterinary profession.
  • The evidence is recorded as follows
    • Examination in chief
      • This is the first examination of a witness y the party which calls him.
      • In Government prosecution cases, the prosecuting inspector as a rule, first examines the witness to elicit the principal facts concerning the case.
      • If the witness is summoned by a private party, he is first examined by the pleader of that party. Leading questions are not allowed. (Eg.) If a person x strike or with a stick
      • The proper forms of the question in a case of an assault are
        • When did this incident occur?
        • Where were you at that time?
        • What did you notice?
      • In that case the witness will narrate the whole incident of a person ‘x’ stricking ‘y’ as he saw it.
    • Cross examination
      • This may be regarded as the most reliable procedure of testing the value of an evidence and is held by counsel for the accused who tries to elicit facts (or) demonstrate the possibility of theories, not necessarily inconsistent with the evidence the witness has given, but helpful to his own case.
      • Leading questions are permissible and witness should be very cautions in answering them.
      • He should not attempt to answer the questions unless he clearly and completely understands them.
      • There is no time limit to cross examination.

Re examination

  • The prosecuting Inspector or counsel who conducts the examination inchief has the right to re-examine the witness to explain away any discrepancies that may have occurred during cross examination.
  • The witness should not introduce any new subject without the consent of the judge or opposing counsel lest he should become liable to cross examination on the new point thus introduced.

Question put by the Judge, Juror or Assessor

  • The Judge, Juror or Assessor may question the witness at any stage to clear up doubtful points.
Last modified: Tuesday, 5 June 2012, 8:50 AM