INDIAN EVIDENCE ACT, 1872

INDIAN EVIDENCE ACT, 1872
[Act No. 1 of 1872]1
Whereas it is expedient to consolidate, define and amend the law of Evidence;
It is hereby enacted as follows: –
CHAPTER SECTIONS TITLE
PART I : RELEVANCY OF FACTS
I 1-4 PRELIMINARY
II 5-55 OF THE RELEVANCY OF FACTS

PART II : ON PROOF
III 56-58 FACTS WHICH NEED NOT BE PROVED
IV 59-60 OF ORAL EVIDENCE
V 61-90 OF DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE
VI 91-100 OF THE EXCLUSION OF ORAL BY DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE
PART III : PRODUCTION AND EFFECT OF EVIDENCE
VII 101-85[114 A] OF THE BURDEN OF PROOF
VIII 115-117 ESTOPPEL
IX 118-134 OF WITNESSES
X 135-166 OF THE EXAMINATION OF WITNESSES
XI 167 OF IMPROPER ADMISSION AND REJECTION OF EVIDENCE
FOOT NOTES
PART I : RELEVANCY OF FACTS
CHAPTER I : PRELIMINARY
1. Short title, extent and commencement
This Act may be called the Indian Evidence Act, 1872.
2It extends to the whole of India 3 [Except the State of Jammu and Kashmir] and applies to all
judicial proceedings in or before any Court, including Courts-martial, 4[other than Courts-martial
convened under the Army Act.,] (44 & 45 Vict., c.58) 5[the Naval Discipline Act (29 & 30 Vict., c
109) or 6[***] the Indian Navy (Discipline) Act. 19347] (34 of 1934) 8[or the Air Force Act] 7 Geo.
5, c. 51) but not to affidavits presented to any Court to any Court or Officer, not to proceedings
before an arbitrator
And it shall come into force on the first day of September, 1872.
[2. Repeal of enactments: Repealed by the Repealing Act, 1938]
3. Interpretation clause
In this Act the following words and expressions are use in the following sense. Unless a contrary
intention appears from the context-
“Court”- includes all Judges and Magistrates, and all persons, except arbitrators, legally
authorized to take evidence.
“Fact” – “Fact” means and includes- (1) any thing, state of things, or relation of things, capable of being perceived by the sense;
(2) any mental condition of which any person is conscious.
Illustrations
(a) That there are certain objects arranged in a certain order in a certain place, is a fact.
(b) That a man heard or saw something, is a fact.
(c) That a man said certain words, is a fact.
(d) That a man holds a certain opinion, has a certain intention, acts in goods faith or fraudulently,
or uses a particular word in a particular sense, or is or was at a specified time conscious of a
particulars sensation, is a fact.
(e) That a man has a certain reputation, is a fact.
“Relevant” – One fact is said to be relevant to another when the one is connected with the other
in any of the ways referred to in the provisions of this Act relating to the relevancy of facts.
“Facts in issue” – The expression “facts in issue” means and includes –
any fact from which, either by itself or in connection with other facts, the existence, non-existence,
nature or extent of any right, liability, or disability, asserted or denied on any suit or proceeding,
necessarily follows.
Explanation – Whenever, under the provisions of the law for the time being in force relating to Civil
Procedure, any Court records an issue of fact, the fact to be asserted or denied in the answer to
such issue is a fact in issue.
Illustrations
A is accused of the murder of B.
At his trial the following facts may be in issue:-
That caused A B’s death;
That A intended to cause Bs’ death;
That A had received grave and sudden provocation from B;
That A, at the time of doing the act which caused B’s death, was, by reason of unsoundness of
mind, incapable of knowing its nature.
“Documents” – “Documents” means any matter expressed of described upon any substance by
means of letters, figures or marks, or by more than one of those means, intended to be used, or
which may be used, for the purpose of recording that matter.
Illustrations
A writing is a document;
Words printed, Lithographed or photographed are documents;
A map or plan is a document;
an inscription on a metal plate or stone is a document;
A caricature is a document.
“Evidence” – “Evidence” means and includes (1) all statements which the Court permits or requires to be made before it by witnesses, in
relation to matters of fact under inquiry;
such statements are called oral evidence;
(2) all documents produced for the inspection of the Court;
such statements are called oral evidence;
“Proved” – A fact is said to be proved when, after considering the matters before it, the Court
either believes it to exist, or considers its existence so probable that a prudent man ought, under
the circumstances of the particular case, to act upon the supposition that it exists.
“Disproved”– A fact is said to be disproved when, after considering the matters before it, the
Court either believes that it does not exist, or considers its non-existence so probable that a
prudent man ought, under the circumstances of the particular case, to act upon the supposition
that it does not exist.
“Not proved”– A fact is said not to be proved when it is neither proved nor disproved.
“India”— 9[“India” means the territory of India excluding the State of Jammu and Kashmir.]
4. “May presume”
Whenever it is provided by this Act that Court may presume a fact, it may either regard such fact
as proved, unless and until it is disproved, or may call for proof of it:
“Shall presume” – Whenever it s directed by this Act that the Court shall presume a fact, it shall
regard such fact as proved, unless and until it disproved;
“Conclusive proof” – When one fact is declared by this Act to be conclusive proof of another, the
Court shall, on proof of the one fact, regard the other as proved, and shall not allow evidence to
be given for the purpose of disproving it.
CHAPTER II : OF THE RELEVANCY OF FACTS
5. Evidence may be given of facts in issue and relevant facts
Evidence may be given in any suit or proceeding of the existence or non-existence of every fact
in issue and of such other facts as are hereinafter declared to be relevant, and of no others.
Explanation—This section shall not enable any person to give evidence of a fact which he is
disentitled to prove by any provision of the law for the time being in force relating to Civil
Procedure10
Illustrations
A is tried for the murder of B by beating him with a club with the intention of causing his death.
At A’s trial the following facts are in issue:-
A’s beating B with the club;
A’s causing B’s death by such beating;
A’s intention to cause B’s death. (b) A suitor does not bring with him, and have in readiness for production at the first hearing of
the case, a bond on which he relies. This section does not enable him to produce the bond or
prove its contents at a subsequent stage of he proceedings, otherwise than in accordance with
the conditions prescribed by the Code of Civil Producer10
6. Relevancy of facts forming part of same transaction
Facts which, though not in issue, are so connected with a fact in issue as to form part of the same
transaction, are relevant, whether they occurred at the same time and place or at different times
and places.
Illustrations
(a) A is accused of the murder of B by beating him. Whatever was said or done by A or B or the
by-standers at the beating, or so shortly or after it as to form part of the transaction, is a relevant
fact.
(b) A is accused of waging war against the 11[ Government of India] by taking part in an armed
insurrection in which property is destroyed troops are attacked and goals are broken open. The
occurrence of these facts is relevant, as forming part of the general transaction, though A may not
have been present at all of them.
(c) A sues B for a libel contained in a letter forming part of a correspondence. Letters between the
parties relating to the subject out of which the libel arose, and forming part of the correspondence
in which it is contained, are relevant facts, though they do not contain the libel itself.
(d) The question is, whether certain goods ordered from B were delivered to A. The goods were
delivered to several intermediate persons successively. Each delivery is a relevant fact.
7. Facts which are the occasion, cause or effect of facts in issue
Facts which are the occasion, cause, or effect, immediately or otherwise, of relevant facts, or
facts in issue, or which constitute the state of things under which they happened, or which
afforded an opportunity for their occurrence or transaction, are relevant.
Illustrations
(a) The question is, whether A robbed B.
The facts that, shortly before the robbery, B went to a fair with money in his possession, and that
he showed it or mentioned the fact that he had it, to third persons, are relevant.
(b) The question is whether A murdered B.
Marks on the ground, produced by a struggle at or near the place where the murder was
committed, are relevant facts.
(c) The question is whether A Poisoned B.
The state of B’s health before the symptoms ascribed to poison, and habits of B, known to A,
which afforded an opportunity for the administration of poison, are relevant facts.
8. Motive, preparation and previous or subsequent conduct
Any fact is relevant which shows or constitutes a motive or preparation for any fact in issue or
relevant fact.
The conduct of any party, or of any agent to any party, to any suit or proceeding, in reference to such suit or proceeding, or in reference to any fact in issue therein or relevant thereto, and the
conduct of any person an offence against whom is subject of any proceeding, is relevant, if such
conduct influences or is influenced by any fact ins issue or relevant fact, and whether it was
previous or subsequent thereto.
Explanation 1- The work “conduct” in this section does not include statements, unless those
statements accompany and explain acts other than statements, but this explanation is not to
affect the relevancy of statements under any other section of this Act.
Explanation 2—When the conduct of any person is relevant, any statement made to him or in his
presence and hearing, which affects such conduct is relevant.
Illustrations
(a) A is tried for the murder of B.
The facts that A murdered C, that B knew that A had murdered C, and B had tried to had extort
money from A by threatening to make his knowledge public, are relevant.
(b) A sues B upon a bond for the payment of money. B denies the making of the bond.
the fact that, at the time when the bound was alleged to be made, B required money for a
particular purpose, is relevant.
(c) A is tried for the murder of B by poison.
The fact that, before the death of B, A procured poison similar to that which was administered to
B, is relevant.
(d) The question is, whether a certain document is the will of A.
The facts that, not long before the date of the alleged will, A made inquiry into matters to which
the provisions of the alleged will relate that the consulted vakils in reference to making the will,
and that he caused drafts or other wills to be prepared of which he did not approve, are relevant.
(e) A is accused of a crime.
The acts that, either before or at the time of, or after the alleged crime, A proved evidence which
would tend to give to the facts of the case an appearance favourable to himself, or that he
destroyed or concealed evidence, or prevented the presence or procured the absence of persons
who might have been witnesses, or suborned persons to give false evidence respecting it, are
relevant.
(f) The question is, whether A robbed B.
The facts that, after B was robbed, C said in and A’s presence- “the police are coming to look for
the man who robbed B.” and that immediately afterwards A ran away, are relevant.
(g) The question is, whether A owes B rupees 10,000.
The facts that A asked C to lend him money, and that D said to C in A’s presence and hearing- “I
advise you not to trust A, for he B 10,000 rupees,” and that A went away without making any
answer, are relevant facts.
(h) The question is, whether A committed a crime. The fact that A absconded after receiving a letter warning him that inquiry was being made for the
criminal and the contents of the letter, are relevant.
(i) A is accused of a crime.
The facts that, after the commission of the alleged crime, he absconded, or was in possession of
property of the proceeds of property acquired by the crime, or attempted to conceal things which
were or might have been used in committing if, are relevant.
(j) The question is, whether A was ravished.
The facts that, shortly after the alleged rape, she made a complaint relating to the crime, the
circumstances under which, and the terms in which, the complaint was made, are relevant.
The fact that, without, making a complaint, she said that she had been ravished is not relevant as
conduct under this section, though it may be relevant.
as a dying declaration under section 32, clause (1), or
as corroborative evidence under section 157.
(k) The question is, whether A was robbed.
The fact that, soon after the alleged robbery, he made a complaint relating to the offence, the
circumstances under which, and the terms in which the complaint was made, are relevant.
The fact that he said he had been robbed, without making any complaint, is not relevant as
conduct under this section, though it may be relevant.
as a dying declaration under section 32, clause (1), or
as corroborative evidence under section 157.
9. Facts necessary to explain or introduce relevant facts
Facts necessary to explain or introduce a fact in issue or relevant fact, or which support or rebut
an inference suggested by a fact in issue or relevant fact, or which establish the identity of any
thing or person whose identity is relevant, or fix the time or place at which any fact issue or
relevant fact happened, or which show the relation of parties by whom any such fact was
transacted, are relevant in so far as they are necessary for that purpose
Illustrations
(a) The question is, whether a given document is the will of A.
The state of A’s property and of his family at the date of the alleged will may be relevant facts.
(b) A sues B for a libel imputing disgraceful conduct to A; B affirms that the matter alleged to be
libelous is true.
The position and relations of the parties at the time when the libel was published may be relevant
facts as introductory to the facts in issue.
The particulars of a dispute between A and B about a matter unconnected with the alleged libel
are irrelevant though the fact that there was a dispute may be relevant it is affected the relations
between A and B. (c) A is accused of a crime.
The fact that, soon after the commission of the crime, A absconded from his house, is relevant,
under section 8 as conduct subsequent to and affected by facts in issue.
The fact that at the time when he left home he had sudden and urgent business at the place to
which he went is relevant, as tending to explain the fact that he left home suddenly.
The details of the business on which he left are not relevant, except in so far as they are
necessary to show that the business was sudden and urgent.
(d) A sues B for inducing C to break a contract of service made by him with A.C,on leaving A’s
service, says to A—”I am leaving you because B has made me a better offer” . This statement is
a relevant fact as explanatory of Co’s conduct, which is relevant as a fact in issue.
(e) A accused of theft, is seen to give the stolen property to B, who is seen to give it to A’s wife. B
says as he delivers it—”A says your are to hide this”. B’s statement is relevant as explanatory of
a fact which is part of the transaction.
(f) A is tried for a riot and is proved to have marched at the head of a mob. The cries of the mob
are relevant as explanatory of the nature of the transaction.
10. Things said or done by conspirator in reference to common design
Where there is reasonable ground to believe that two or more persons have conspired together to
commit an offence or an actionable wrong, anything said, done or written by any one of such
persons in reference to their common intention, after the time when such intention was first
entertained by any one of them, is a relevant fact as against each of the persons believed to be
so conspiring, as well for the purpose of proving the existence of the conspiracy as for the
purpose of showing that any such person was a party to it.
Illustration
Reasonable ground exists for believing that A has joined in a conspiracy to wage war against the
11[ Government of India]
The facts that B procured arms in Europe for the purpose of the conspiracy, C collected in
Calcutta for a like object D persuaded persons to join the conspiracy in Bombay, E published
writings advocating the object in view at Agra, and F transmitted from Delhi to G at Kabul the
money which C had collected at Calcutta , and the contents of a letter written by H giving an
account of the conspiracy, are each relevant, both to prove the existence of the conspiracy, and
to prove A’s complicity in it, although he may have been ignorant of all of them, and although the
persons by whom they were done were strangers to him, and although they may have taken
place before he joined the conspiracy or after he left it.
11. When facts not otherwise relevant become relevant
Facts not otherwise relevant are relevant-
(1) If they are inconsistent with any fact is issue or relevant fact;
(2) If by themselves or in connection with other facts they make the existence or non-existence of
any fact in issue or relevant fact highly probable or improbable
Illustration
(a) The question is, whether A committed a crime at Calcutta on a certain day.
The fact that, on that day, A was at Lahore is relevant. The fact that, near the time when the crime was committed, A was at a distance from the place
where it was committed. Which would render it highly improbable, though not impossible, that he
committed it, is relevant.
(b) The question is, whether A committed a crime.
The circumstances are such that the crime must have been committed either by A,B,C or D.
Every fact which shows that the crime could have been committed by no one else and that it was
not committed by either B, C or D is relevant.
12. In suits for damages, facts tending to enable Court to determine amount are relevant
In suits in which damages are claimed, any fact which will enable the Court to determine the
amount of damages which ought to be awarded, is relevant.
13. Facts relevant when right or custom is in question
Where the question is as to the existence of any right or custom, the following facts are relevant.
(a) Any transaction by which the right or custom in question was created, claimed, modified,
recognized, asserted, or denied, or which was inconsistent with its existence;
(b) Particular instances in which the right or custom was claimed, recognized, or exercised, or in
which its exercise was disputed, asserted or departed from.
Illustration
The question is, whether A has a right to a fishery. A deed conferring the fishery on A’s
ancestors, a mortgage of the fishery by A’s father, a subsequent grant of the fishery by A’s father,
irreconcilable with the mortgage, instances in which A’s father exercised the right, or in which the
exercise of the right was stopped by A’s neighbours, are relevant facts.
14. Facts showing existence of state of mind, or of body or bodily feeling
Facts showing the existence of any state of mind, such as intention, knowledge, good faith,
negligence, rashness, I will or good-will or good-will towards any particular person, or showing the
existence of any state of body or bodily feeling, are relevant, when the existence of any such
state of mind or body or bodily feeling, is in issue or relevant.
12[ Explanation 1- A fact relevant as showing the existence of a relevant state of mind must show
that the state of mind exists, not generally, but in reference to the particular matter in question.
Explanation 2- But where, upon the trial of a person accused of an offence, the previous
commission by the accused of an offence is relevant within the meaning of this section, the
previous conviction of such person shall also be a relevant fact.
Illustrations
(a) A is accused of receiving stolen goods knowing them to be stolen, It is proved that he was in
possession of a particular stolen article.
The fact that at the same time, he was in possession of many other stolen articles is relevant, as
tending to show that he knew each and all of the articles off which he was in possession to be
stolen.
13[(b) A is accused of fraudulently delivering to another person a counterfeit coin which, at the
time when he delivered it, he know to be counterfeit. The fact that, at the time of its delivery, A was possessed of a number of other pieces of
counterfeit is relevant.
The fact that A had been previously convicted of delivering to another person as genuine a
counterfeit coin knowing it to be counterfeit is relevant.]
(c) A sues B for damage done by a dog of B’s which knew to be ferocious.
The facts that the dog had previously bitten X, Y and Z, and that they had made complaints to B,
are relevant.
(d) The question is whether A, the acceptor of a bill of exchange, knew that the name of the
payee was fictitious.
The fact that A had accepted other bills drawn in the same manner before they could have been
transmitted to him by the payee if the payee, is relevant, as showing that a knew that the payee
was a fictitious person.
(e) A is accused of defaming B by publishing an imputation intended to harm the reputation of B.
The fact of previous publications by A respecting B, showing ill-will on the part of A towards B, is
relevant, as proving A’s intention to harm B’s reputation by the particular publication in question.
The facts that there was no previous quarrel between A and B, and that A repeated the matter
complained of as he heard, it are relevant, as showing that A did not intend to harm the reputation
of B.
(f) A is sued by B for fraudulently representing to B that C was solvent, whereby B, being induced
to trust C, who was insolvent, suffered loss.
The fact that, at the time when A represented C to be solvent, C was supposed to be solvent by
his neighbours and by persons dealing with him, is relevant, as showing that A made the
representation in good faith.
(g) A is sued by B for the price of work done by B, upon a house of which A is owner, by the order
of C,
(h) A is accused of the dishonest misappropriation of property which he had found, and the
question is whether, when he appropriated it, he believed in good faith that the real owner could
not be found.
The fact that public notice off the loss of the property had been given in the place where A was, is
relevant, as showing that A did not in good faith believe that the real owner of the property could
not be found.
The fact that A knew, or had reason to believe, that the notice was given fraudulently by C, who
had heard of the loss of the property and wished to set up a false claim to it, is relevant, as
showing the fact that A knew of the notice did not disprove A’s good faith.
(i) A is charged with shooting at B with intent to kill him. In order to show A’s intent, the fact of A’s
having previously shot at B may proved.
(j) A is charged with sending threatening letters to B. Threatening letters previously sent by A to B
may be proved as showing the intention of the letters.
(k) The question is, whether A has been guilty of cruelty towards B, his wife. (l) The question is, whether A’s death was caused by poison.
Statements made by A during his illness as to his symptoms, are relevant facts.
(m) The question is, what was the state of A’s health at the time when an assurance on his life
was effected.
Statements made by A as to the state of his health at or near the time in question, are relevant
facts.
(n) A sues B for negligence in providing him with a carriage for hire not reasonably fit for use,
whereby A was injured.
The fact that B’s attention was drawn on other occasions to the defect of that particular carriage,
is relevant
The fact that B was habitually negligent about the carriage which he let to hire, is irrelevant.
(o) A is tried for the murder of B by intentionally shooting him dead.
(p) A is tried for a crime.
The fact that he said something indicating an intention to commit that particular crime is relevant.
The fact that he said something indicating a general disposition to commit crimes of that class is
irrelevant.
The fact that A, on other occasions shot at B is relevant; as showing his intention to shoot B.
The fact that A was in the habit of shooting at people with intent to murder them, is irrelevant.
15. Facts bearing on question whether act was accidental or intentional
When there is a question whether an act was accidental or intentional, 14[ or done with a
particular knowledge or intention,] the fact that such act formed part of a series of similar
occurrences, in each of which the person doing the act was concerned, is relevant.
Illustration
(a) A is accused of burning down his house in order to obtain money for which it is insured.
The facts that a lived in several houses successively, each of which he insured, in each of which
a fire occurred, and after each of which fires. A received payment from a different insurance
office, are relevant, as tending to show that the fires were not accidental.
(b) A is employed to receive money from the debtors, of B. It is A’s duty to make entries in a book
showing the amounts received by him. He makes an entry showing that on a particular occasion
he received less than he really did receive.
The question is, whether this false entry was accidental or intentional.
The facts that other entries made by A in the same book are false, and that the false entry is in
each case in favour of A, relevant.
(c) A is accused of fraudulently delivering to B a counterfeit rupee. The question is, whether the delivery of the rupee was accidental.
The facts that, soon before or soon after the delivery to B, A delivered counter feit rupees to C, D
and E are relevant, as showing that the delivery to B was not accidental.
16. Existence of course of business when relevant
When there is a question whether a particular act was done, the existence of any course of
business, according to which it naturally would have been done, is a relevant fact.
Illustrations
(a) The question is, whether a particular letter was dispatched.
The facts that it was the ordinary course of business for all letters put in a certain place to be
carried to the post, and that that particular letter was put in that place are relevant.
(b) The question is, whether a particular letter reached A. The facts that it was posted in due
course, and was not returned through the Dead Letter Office, are relevant.
ADMISSIONS
17. Admission defined
An admission is a statement, oral or documentary, which suggests any inference as to any fact in
issue or relevant fact, and which is made by any of the persons, and under the circumstances,
hereinafter mentioned.
18. Admission- by party to proceeding or his agent
Statements made by party to the proceeding, or by an agent to any such party, whom the Court
regards, under the circumstances of the case, as expressly or impliedly authorized by him to
make them, are admissions.
By suitor in representative character — Statements made by parties to suits, suing or sued in a
representative character, are not admissions, unless they are made while the party making them
held that character.
Statements made by—
(1) By party interested in subject-matter—persons who have any proprietary or pecuniary interest
in the subject-matter of the proceeding, and who make the statement in their character of persons
so interested, or
(2) By person from whom interest derived- Persons from whom the parties to the suit have
derived their interest in the subject-matter of the suit,
are admissions, if they are made during the continuance of the interest of the persons making the
statements.
19. Admissions by persons whose position must be proved as against party to suit
Statements made by persons whose position or liability it is necessary to prove as against any
party to the suit are admissions, if such statements would be relevant as against such persons in
relation to such position or liability in a suit brought by or against them, and if they are made
whilst the person making them occupies such position or is subject to such liability.
Illustration A undertakes to collect rents for B.
B sues A for not collecting rent due from C to B.
A denies that rent was due from C to B.
A statement by C that he owned B rent is an admission, and is a relevant fact as against A, if A
denies that C did owe rent to B.
20. Admissions by persons expressly referred to by party to suit
Statements made by persons to whom party to the suit has expressly referred for information in
reference to a matter in dispute are admissions.
Illustration
The question is, whether a horse sold by A to B is sound.
A says to B- ” Go and ask C, knows all about it” C’s statement is an admission.
21. Proof of admissions against persons making them, and by or on their behalf
Admissions are relevant and may be proved as against the person who makes them, or his
representative in interest; but they cannot be proved by or on behalf of the person who makes
them or by his representative in interest, except in the following cases:-
(1) An admission may be proved by or on behalf of the person making it, when it is of such a
nature that, if the person making it were dead, it would be relevant as between third persons
under section 32.
(2) An admission may be proved by or on behalf of the person making it, when it consists of a
statement of the existence of any state of mind of body, relevant or in issue, made at or about the
time when such state of mind or body existed, and is accompanied by conduct rendering its
falsehood improbable.
(3) An admission may be proved by or on behalf of the person making it, if it is relevant otherwise
than as an admission.
Illustration
(a) The question between A and B is, whether a certain deed is or not forged. A affirms that it is
genuine, B that it is forged.
A may prove a statement by B that the deed is genuine, and B may prove a statement by A that
the deed is forged ; but A cannot prove a statement y himself that the deed is genuine, nor can B
prove a statement by himself that the deed is forged.
(b) A, the Captain of a ship, is tried for casting her away.
Evidence is given to show that the ship was taken out of her proper course.
A produces a book kept by him in the ordinary course of his business showing observations
alleged to have been taken by him from day to day, and indicating that the ship was not taken out
of her proper course, A may prove these statements, because they would be admissible between
third parties, if he were dead, under section 32, clause (2)
(c) A is accused of a crime committed by him at Calcutta. He produces a letter written by himself and date at Lahore on that day, and bearing the Lahore
post mark of that day.
The statement in the date of the letter is admissible, because, if A were dead, it would be
admissible under section 32, clause (2).
(d) A is accused of receiving stolen goods knowing them to be stolen.
He offers to prove that he refused to sell them below their value.
A may prove these statements, though they are admissions, because they are explanatory of
conduct influenced by facts in issue.
(e) A is accused of fraudulently having in his possession counterfeit coin which he knew to be
counterfeit.
He offers to prove that he asked a skillful person to examine the coin as he doubted whether it
was counterfeit or not, and that person did examine it and told him it was genuine.
A may prove these facts for the reasons stated in the last preceding illustration.
22. When oral admissions as to contents of documents are relevant
Oral admissions as to the contents of a documents are not relevant, unless and until the party
proposing to prove them shows that he is entitled to give secondary evidence of the contents of
such document under the rules herein after contained, or unless the geniuses of a document
produced is in question.
23. Admission in civil cases relevant
In civil cases no admission is relevant, if it is made either upon an express condition that
evidence of it is not to be given, or under circumstances from which the Court can infer that the
parties agreed together that evidence of it should bot be given.
Explanation – Nothing in this section shall be taken to exempt any barrister, pleader attorney or
vakil from giving evidence of any matter of which he may be compelled to give evidence under
section 126.
24. Confession caused by inducement, threat or promise when irrelevant in criminal
proceedings
A confession made by an accused person is irrelevant in a criminal proceeding, if the making of
the confession appears to the Court to have been caused by any inducement, threat for promise,
having reference to the charge against the accused person, proceeding from a person in authority
and sufficient, in the opinion of the Court, to give the accused person grounds, which would
appear to him reasonable, for supposing that by making it he would gain any advantage or avoid
any evil of a temporal nature in reference to the proceedings against him.
25. Confession to police officer not to be proved
No confession made to a police officer shall be proved as against a person accused of any
offence.
26. Confession by accused while in custody of police not to be proved against him
No confession made by any person whilst he is in the custody of a police officer, unless it be
made in the immediate presence of a Magistrate,17 shall be proved as against such person.
18[ Explanation- In this section “Magistrate” does not include the head of a village discharging
magisterial functions in the Presidency of Fort St. George 19[***] or else where, unless such
headman is a Magistrate exercising the power of a Magistrate under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 188220 (10 of 1882).
27. How much of information received from accused may be proved
Provided that when any fact is deposed to as discovered in consequences of information received
from a person accused of any offence, in the custody of a police officer, so much of such
information, whether if amounts to a confessions or not, as relates distinctly to the fact thereby
discovered, may be proved.
28. Confession made after removal of impression caused by inducement, threat or
promise, relevant
If such a confession as is referred to in section 24 is made after the impression caused by any
such inducement, threat or promise has, in the opinion of the Court, been fully removed, it is
relevant.
29. Confession otherwise relevant not to become irrelevant because of promise of
secrecy, etc.
If such a confession is otherwise relevant, it does not become irrelevant merely because it was
made under a promise of secrecy, or in consequence of a deception practised on the accused
person for the purpose of obtaining, it, or when he was drunk, or because it was made in answer
to questions which he need not have answered, whatever may have been the form of those
questions, or because he was not warned that he was not bound to make such confession, and
that evidence of it might be given against him.
30. Consideration of proved confession affecting person making it and others jointly under
trial for same offence
When more persons than one are being tried jointly for the same offence, and a confession made
by one of such persons affecting himself and some other of such persons is proved, the Court
may take into consideration such confession as against such other person as well as against the
person makes such confession.
21[ Explanation—”Offence” as used in this section, includes the abetment of, or attempt to
commit, the offence.]
Illustrations
(a) A and B are jointly tied for the murder of C. It is proved that A said—” B and I murdered C’
The court may consider the effect of this confession as against B.
(b) A is on his trial for the murder of C, There is evidence to show that C was murdered by A and
B, and that B said—”A and I murdered C”.
This statement may not be taken into consideration by the Court against A, as B is not being
jointly tried.
Illustrations
(a) A and B are jointly tied for the murder of C. It is proved that A said—” B and I murdered C’
The court may consider the effect of this confession as against B.
(b) A is on his trial for the murder of C, There is evidence to show that C was murdered by A and
B, and that B said—”A and I murdered C”.
This statement may not be taken into consideration by the Court against A, as B is not being
jointly tried.
31. Admission not conclusive proof, but may estopAdmissions are not conclusive proof of the matters admitted but they may operate as estoppels
under the provisions hereinafter contained.
STATEMENTS BY PERSONS WHO CANNOT BE CALLED AS WITNESSES
32. Cases in which statement of relevant fact by person who is dead or cannot be found,
etc, is relevant
Statements, written or verbal, or relevant facts made by a person who is dead, or who cannot be
found, or who has become incapable of giving evidence, or whose attendance cannot be
procured without an amount of delay or expenses which, under the circumstances of the case,
appears to the Court unreasonable, are themselves relevant facts in the following cases:-
(1) When it relates to cause of death—When the statement is made by a person as to the cause
of his death, or as to any of the circumstances of the transaction which resulted in his death, in
cases in which the cause of that person’s death comes into question.
Such statements are relevant whether the person who made them was or was not, at the time
when they were made, under expectation of death, and whatever may be the nature of the
proceeding in which the cause of his death comes into question.
(2) Or is made in course of business – When the statement was made by such person in the
ordinary course of business, and in particular when it consists of any entry or memorandum made
by him in books kept in the ordinary course of business, or in the discharge of professional duty;
or of an acknowledgement written or signed by him of the receipt of money, goods, securities or
property of any kind; or of a document used in commerce written or signed by him; or of the date
of a letter or other document usually dated, written or signed by him.
(3) Or against interest of maker—When the statement is against the pecuniary for proprietary
interest of the person making it or when, if true , it would expose him or would have exposed him
to a criminal prosecution or to a suit for damages.
(4) Or gives opinion as to public right or custom, or matters of general interests – when the
statement gives the opinion of any such person, as to the existence of any public right or custom
or matter of public or general interest, of the existence of which, if it existed, he would have been
likely to be aware, and when such statement was made before any controversy as to such right,
custom or matter had arisen.
(5) Or relates to existence of relationship- When the statement relates to the existence of any
relationship 22[by blood, marriage or, adoption] between persons as to whose relationship 22[ by
blood, marriage or adoption ] the person making the statement had special means of knowledge,
and when the statement was made before the question in dispute was raised.
(6) Or is made in will or deed relating to family affairs—When the statement relates to the
existence of any relationship 22[ by blood, marriage or adoption] between persons deceased, and
is made in any will or deed relating to the affairs of the family to which any such deceased person
belonged, or in any family pedigree, or upon any tombstone, family portrait or other thing on
which such statements are usually made, and when such statement was made before the
question in dispute was raised.
(7) Or in document relating to transaction mentioned in section 13, clause (a) – When the
statement is contained in any deed, will or other document which relates to any such transaction
as is mentioned in section 13, clause (a).
(8) Or is made by several persons and expresses feelings relevant to matter in question – When
the statement was made by a number of persons, and expressed feelings or impressions on their
part relevant to the matter in question. Illustrations
(a) The question is, whether A was murdered by B, or
A dies of injuries received in a transaction in the course of which she was ravished. The question
is whether she was ravished by B; or
The question is, whether A was killed by B under such circumstances that a suit would lie against
B by A’ widow.
Statements made by A as to the cause of his or her death, referring respectively to the murder,
the rape and the actionable wrong consideration, are relevant facts.
(b) The question is as to the date of A’s birth.
An entry in the diary of a deceased surgeon, regularly kept in the course of business, stating that,
on a given day, he attended A’s mother and delivered her of a son, is a relevant fact.
(c) The question is, whether A was in Calcutta on a given day.
A statement in the diary of a deceased solicitor, regularly kept in the course of business, that on a
given day the solicitor attended A at a place mentioned, in Calcutta, for the purpose of conferring
with him upon specified business, is a relevant fact.
(d) The question is, whether a ship sailed from Bombay harbour on a given day.
A letter written by a deceased member of a merchant’s firm by which she was chartered, to their
correspondents in London to whom the cargo was consigned, stating that the ship sailed on a
given day from Bombay harbour, is a relevant fact.
(e) The question is, whether rent was paid to A for certain land.
A letter from A’s deceased agent to A, saying that he had received the rent on A’s account and
held it at A’s orders is a relevant fact.
(f) The question is, whether A and B were legally married.
The statement of a deceased clergymen that he carried them under such circumstances that the
celebration would be crime, is relevant.
(g) The question is, whether A, a person who cannot be found, wrote a letter on a certain day.
The fact that a letter written by him is dated on that day is relevant.
(h) The question is, what was the cause of the wreck of a ship.
A protest made by the Captain, whose attendance cannot be procured, is a relevant fact.
(i) The question is, whether a given road is a public way.
A statement by A, deceased headman of the village, that the road was public, is a relevant fact.
(j) The question is, what was the price of grain on a certain day in a particular market.
A statement of a price, made by deceased banya in the ordinary course of his business is a
relevant fact. (k) The question is, whether A, who is dead, was the father of B.
A statement by A that B was his son, is a relevant fact.
(l) The question is, what was the date of the birth of A.
A letter from A’s deceased father to a friend, announcing the birth of A on a given day, is a
relevant fact.
(m) The question is, whether and when, A and B were married.
An entry in a memorandum book by C, the deceased father of B, of his daughter’s marriage with
A on a given date, is a relevant fact.
(n) A sues B for libel expressed in a painted caricature exposed in a shop window. The question
is as to the similarity of the caricature and its libelous character. The remarks of a crowd of
spectators on these points may be proved.
33. Relevancy of certain evidence for proving, in subsequent proceeding, the truth of facts
therein stated
Evidence given by a witness in a judicial proceeding or before any person authorised by law to
take it, is relevant for the purpose of proving, in a subsequent judicial proceeding, or in a later
stage of the same judicial proceeding, the truth of the facts which it states, when the witness is
dead or cannot be found, or is incapable of giving evidence, or is kept out of the way by the
adverse party, or if his presence cannot be obtained without amount of delay or expense which,
under the circumstances of the case, the Court considers unreasonable:
Provided—
that the proceeding was between the same parties or their representatives in interest;
that the adverse party in the first proceeding had the right and opportunity to cross- examine;
that the question in issue were substantially the same in the first as in the second proceeding.
Explanation .—A criminal trial or inquiry shall be deemed to be a proceeding between the
prosecutor and the accused within the meaning of this section.
STATEMENT MADE UNDER SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES.
34. Entries in books of account when relevant
Entries in books of account, regularly kept in the course of business, are relevant whenever they
refer to a matter into which the court has to inquire but such statements shall not alone be
sufficient evidence to charge any person with liability.
Illustration
A sues B for Rs. 1,000 and shows entries in his account- books showing B to be indebted to him
to this amount. The entries are relevant, but are not sufficient, without other evidence, to prove
the debt.
35. Relevancy of entry in public record made in performance of duty
An entry in any public or other official book, register or record, stating a fact in issue or relevant
fact, and made by a public servant in the discharge of his official duty, or by any other person in
performance of a duty specially enjoined by the law of the country in which such book, register, or
record is kept, is itself a relevant fact. 36. Relevancy of statements in maps, charts and plans
Statements of facts in issue or relevant facts, made in published maps or charts generally offered
for public sale, or in maps or plans made under the authority of 23[the Central Government or any
State Government ], as to matters usually represented or stated in such maps, charts or plans,
are themselves relevant facts.
37. Relevancy of statement as to fact of public nature, contained in certain acts or
notifications
When the Court has to form an opinion as to the existence on any fact of a Public nature, any
statement of it, made in recital contained in any Act of Parliament 24[ of the United Kingdom], or
in any 25[ Central Act, Provincial Act, or 26 [ a State Act,] or in a Government notification or
notification by the crown Representative appearing in the Official Gazette or in any printed paper
purporting to be the London Gazette or the Government Gazette of any Dominion, colony or
possession of His Majesty is a relevant fact].
27[***]
38. Relevancy of statements as to any law contained in law-books
When the Court has to form an opinion as to a law of any country, any statement of such law
contained in a book purporting to be printed or published under the authority of the Government
of such country and to contain any such law, and any report of a ruling of the Courts of such
country contained in a book purporting to be a report of such rulings, is relevant.
HOW MUCH OF A STATEMENT IS TO BE PROVED
39. What evidence to be given when statement forms part of conversation, document,
book or series of letters or papers
When any statement of which evidence is given forms part of a longer statement, or of a
conversation or part of an isolated document, or is contained in a document which forms part of a
book, or of connected series of letters or papers, evidence shall be given of so much and no more
of the statement, conversation, document, books, or series of letters or papers as the Court
considers necessary in that particular case to the full understanding of the nature and effect of the
statement, and of the circumstances under which it was made.
JUDGEMENTS OF COURTS OF JUSTICE WHEN RELEVANT
40. Previous judgements relevant to bar a second suit or trial
The existence of any judgement, order or decree which by law prevents any Courts from taking
cognizance of a suit or holding a trial, is a relevant fact when the question is whether such Court
ought to take cognizance of such suit, or to hold such trial.
41. Relevancy of certain judgements in probate, etc. jurisdiction
A final judgement, order or decree of a competent Court, in the exercise of probate, matrimonial,
admiralty or insolvency jurisdiction, which confers upon or takes away from any person any legal
character, or which declares any person to be entitled to any such character, or to be entitled to
an specific thing, not as against any specified person but absolutely, is relevant when the
existence of any such legal character, or the title of any such person to any such thing, is
relevant.
Such judgement, order pr decree is conclusive proof—
that any legal character which it confers accrued at the time when such judgement, order or
decree came into operation;
That any legal character, to which it declares any such person to be entitled, accrued, to that
person to be entitled, accrued, to that person at the time when such judgement, 28[order or decree ] declares it to have accrued to that person; that any legal character which it takes away
from any person ceased at the time from which judgement, 28[ order or decree ] declared that it
had ceased or should cease;
And that anything to which it declares any person to be so entitled was the property of that person
at the time from which such judgement, 28[order or decree] declares that it had been or should be
his property.
42. Relevancy and effect of judgements, orders or decrees, other than those mentioned in
section 41
Judgments, orders or decrees other than those mentioned in section 41, are relevant if they relate
to matters of a public nature relevant to the enquiry; but such judgements, orders or decrees are
not conclusive proof of that which they state.
Illustration
A Sues B for trespass on his land. B alleges the existence of a public right of way over the land,
which A denies
The existence of a decree in favour of the defendant, in a suit by A against C for a trespass on
the same land, in which C alleged the existence of the same right of way, is relevant, but it is not
conclusive proof that the right of way exists
43. Judgement, etc., other than those mentioned in sections 40 to 42, when relevant
Judgements, orders or decrees, other than those mentioned in sections 40, 41 and 42, are
irrelevant, unless the existence of such judgement, order or decree, is a fact in issue, or is
relevant under some other provision of this Act.
Illustrations
(a) A and B separately sue C for a libel which reflects upon each of them. C in each case says,
that the matter alleged to be libellous is true, and the circumstances are such that it is probably
true in each case, or in neither.
A obtains a decree against C for damages on the ground that C failed to make out his
justification. The fact is irrelevant as between B and C.
(b) A prosecutes B for adultery with C, A’s wife.
B denies that C is A’s wife, but the Court convicts B of adultery.
Afterwards, C is prosecuted for bigamy in marrying B during A’s lifetime. C says that she never
was A’s wife
The judgement against B is irrelevant as against C.
(c) A prosecutes B for stealing a cow from him, B is convicted.
A afterwards sues C for the cow, which B had sold to him before his conviction. As between A
and C, the judgement against B is irrelevant.
(d) A has obtained a decree for the possession of land against B, C, B’s son, murders A is
consequence.
The existence of the judgement is relevant, as showing motive for a crime. 29[(e) A is charged with theft and with having been previously convicted of theft. The previous
conviction is relevant as a fact in issue.
(f) A is tried for the murder of B. The fact that B prosecuted A for libel and that A was convicted
and sentenced is relevant under section 8 as showing the motive for the fact in issue.
44. Fraud or collusion in obtaining judgment, or incompetency of Court, may be proved
Any party to a suit or other proceeding may show that any judgement, order or decree which is
relevant under section 40, 41 or 42 and which has been proved by the adverse party, was
delivered by a Court not competent to deliver it, or was obtained by fraud or collusion.
OPINIONS OF THIRD PERSONS WHEN RELEVANT
45. Opinions of experts
When the Court has to form and opinion upon a point of foreign law or of science or art, or as to
identity of handwriting 30[ or finger impressions], the opinions upon that point of persons specially
skilled in such foreign law, science or art, 31[ or in questions as to identity of handwriting ] 30[ or
finger impressions ] are relevant facts.
Such persons are called experts.
Illustrations
(a) The question is, whether the death of A was caused by poison.
The opinions of experts as to the symptoms produced by the poison by which A is supposed to
have died, are relevant.
(b) The question is, whether A, at the time of doing a certain act, was, by reason of unsoundness
of mind, incapable of knowing the nature of the Act, or that he was doing what was either wrong
or contrary to law.
The opinions of experts upon the question whether the symptioms exhibited by A commonly show
unsoundness of mind, and whether such unsoundness of mind usually renders persons incapable
of knowing the nature of the acts which they do, or of knowing that what they do is either wrong or
contrary to law, are relevant.
(c) The question is, whether a certain document was written by A. Another document is produced
which is proved or admitted to have been written by A.
The opinions of experts on the question whether the two documents were written by the same
person or by different persons are relevant.
46. Facts bearing upon opinions of experts
Facts, not otherwise relevant, are relevant if they support or are inconsistent with the opinions of
experts, when such opinions are relevant.
Illustrations
(a) The question is, whether A was poisoned by a certain poison.
The fact that other persons, who were poisoned by that poison, exhibited certain symptoms which
experts affirm or deny to be symptoms of that poison, is relevant.
(b) The question is, whether an obstruction to a harbour is caused by a certain sea-wall. The fact that other harbours similarly situated in other respects, but where there were no such
sea-walls, began to be obstructed at about the same time, is relevant.
47. Opinion as to handwriting, when relevant
When the Court has to form an opinon as to the person by whom any document was written or
signed, the opinion of any person acquainted with the handwriting of the person by whom it is
supposed to be written or signed that it was or was not written or signed by that person, is a
relevant fact.
Illustration
The question is, whether a given letter is in the handwriting of A, merchant in London.
B is a merchant in Calcutta, who has written letters addressed to A and received letters
purporting to be written by him. C is B’s clerk, whose duty it was to examine and file B’s
correspondence. D is B’s broker, to whom B habitually submitted the letters purporting to be
written by A for the purpose of advising with him thereon.
The opinions of B, C and D on the question whether the letter is in the handwriting of A are
relevant, though neither B, C and D ever saw A write.
48. Opinion as to existence of right or custom, when relevant
When the Court has to form an opinion as to the existence of any general custom or right, the
opinions, as to the existence of such custom or right, or persons who would be likely to know of
its existence if it existed, are relevant.
Explanation – The expression “general custom or right” includes customs or rights common to
any considerable class of persons.
Illustrations
The right of the villages of a particular village to use the water of a particular well is a general right
within the meaning of this section.
49. Opinion as to usage, tenets, etc., when relevant
When the Court has to form an opinion as to-
the usages and tenets of any body of men or family,
the constitution and government of any religious or charitable foundation, or
the meaning of words or terms used in particular districts or by particular or by particular classes
of people, the opinions of persons having special means of knowledge thereon, we relevant facts.
50. Opinion on relationship, when relevant
When the Court has to form an opinion as to the relationship of one person to another, the
opinion expressed by conduct, as to the existence of such relationship, of any person who, as a
member of the family or otherwise, has special means of knowledge on the subject, is a relevant
fact:
Provided that such opinion shall not be sufficient to prove a marriage in proceedings under the
India Divorce Act, 1869 (4 of 1869) or in prosecutions under sections 494, 495, 497 or 498 of the
Indian Penal Code, (45 of 1960)
Illustrations(a) The question is, whether A and B, were married.
The fact that they were usually received and treated by their friends as husband and wife, is
relevant.
(b) The question is, whether A was the legitimate son of B. The fact that A was always treated as
such by members of the family, is relevant.
Illustration
An expert may give an account of experiments performed by him for the purpose of forming his
opinion.
CHARACTER WHEN RELEVANT
52. In civil cases character to prove conduct imputed, irrelevant
In civil cases, the fact that the character of any person concerned is such as to render probable or
improbable any conduct imputed to him, is irrelevant, except in so far as such character appears
from facts otherwise relevant.
53. In criminal cases previous good character relevant
In criminal proceedings, the fact that the person accused is of a good character, is relevant.
32[54. Previous bad character not relevant, except in reply
In criminal proceedings the fact that the accused person has a bad character is irrelevant, unless
evidence has been given that he has a good character, in which case it becomes relevant.
Explanation 1—This section does not apply to cases in which the bad character of any person is
itself a fact in issue.
Explanation 2- A previous conviction is relevant as evidence of bad character.]
55. Character as affecting damages
In civil cases, the fact that the character of any person is such as to affect the amount of
damages which he ought to receive, is relevant.
Explanation – In sections 52, 53, 54 and 55 the word “character” includes both reputation and
disposition; but 33[ except as provided in section 54], evidence may be given only of general
reputation and general disposition, and not of particular acts by which reputation or disposition
were shown.
CHAPTER III : FACTS WHICH NEED NOT BE PROVED
56. Fact Judicially noticeable need not be proved
No fact of which the Court will take judicial notice need be proved.
57. Facts of which Court must take judicial notice
The Court shall take judicial notice of the following facts:-
34[(1) All laws in force in the territory of India :]
(2) All public Acts passed or hereafter to be passed by Parliament 35[of the United Kingdom], and
all local and personal Acts directed by Parliament 35[of the United Kingdom] to be judicially noticed;
(3) Articles of War for 36[ the Indian ] Army 37[Navy or Air Force];
38[(4) The course of proceeding of Parliament of the United Kingdom, of the Constituent
Assembly of India, of Parliament and of the legislatures established under any laws for the time
being in force in a Province or in the States; ]
(5) The accession and the sign manual of the Sovereign for the time being of the United Kingdom
of Great Britain and Ireland ;
(6) All seals of which English Courts take judicial notice: the seals of all the 39[Courts in 40[India]]
and of all Courts out of 40[India] established by the authority of 41[the Central Government or the
Crown Representative]; the seals of Courts of Admiralty and Maritime Jurisdiction and of Notaries
Public, and all seals which any person is authorized to use by 42[the Constitution or an Act of
Parliament of the United Kingdom or an] Act or Regulation having the force of law in 40[India]
(7) The accession to office, names, titles, functions and signatures of the persons filling for the
time being any public office in any State, if the fact of their appointment to such office is notified in
43[any Official Gazette];
(8) The existence, title and national flag of every State or Sovereign recognized by 44[the
Government of India];
(9) The divisions of time, the geographical divisions of the world, and public festivals, fasts and
holidays notified in the Official Gazette;
(10) The territories under the dominion of 44[ the Government of India];
(11) The commencement, continuance, and termination of hostilities between 44[the Government
of India] and any other State or body of persons;
(12) The names of the members and officers of the Court and of their deputies and subordinate
officers and assistants, and also of all officers acting in execution of its process, and of or all
advocates, attorneys, proctors, vakils, pleaders and other persons authorised by law to appear or
act before it;
(13) The rule of the road 45[ on land or at sea].
In all these cases, and also on all matters of public history, literature, science or art, the Court
may resort for its aid to appropriate books or documents of reference.
If the Court is called upon by any person to take judicial notice of any fact, it may refuse to do so
unless and until such person produces any such book or document as it may consider necessary
to enable it to do so.
58. Facts admitted need not be proved
No fact need to be proved in any proceeding which the parties thereto or their agents agree to
admit at the hearing, or which, before the hearing, they agree to admit by any writing under their
hands, or which by any rule of pleading in force at the fine they are deemed to have admitted by
their pleadings:
Provided that the Court may, in its discretion, require the facts admitted to be proved otherwise
than by such admissions.CHAPTER IV : OF ORAL EVIDENCE
59. Proof of facts by oral evidence
All facts, except the contents of documents, may be proved by oral evidence.
60. Oral evidence must be direct
Oral evidence must, in all cases whatever, be direct; that is to say—
if it refers to a fact which could be seen, it must be the evidence of a witness who says who says
he saw it;
if it refers to a fact which could be heard, it must be the evidence of a witness who says he heard
it;
if it refers to a fact which could be perceived by any other sense or in any other manner, it must
be the evidence of a witness who says he perceived it by that sense or in that manner;
if it refers to an opinion or to the grounds on which that opinion is held, it must be the evidence of
the person who holds that opinion on those grounds:
Provided that the opinions of experts expressed in any treatise commonly offered for sale, and
the grounds on which such opinions are held, may be proved by the production of such treatises
if the author is dead or cannot be found, or has become incapable of giving evidence, or cannot
be called as a witness without an amount of delay or expense which the Court regards as
unreasonable:
Provided also that, if oral evidence refers to the existence to the existence or condition of any
material thing other than a document, the Court may, if it thinks fit, require the production of such
material thing for its inspection.
CHAPTER V : OF DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE
61. Proof of contents of documents
The contents of documents may be proved either by primary or by secondary evidence.
62. Primary evidence
Primary evidence means the documents itself produced for the inspection of the Court.
Explanation 1—Where a document is executed in several parts, each part is primary evidence of
the document :
Where a document is executed in counterpart, each counterpart being executed by one or some
of the parties only, each counterpart is primary evidence as against the parties executing it.
Explanation 2- Where a number of documents are all made by one uniform process, as in the
case of printing, lithography, or photography, each is primary evidence of the contents of the rest
; but, where they are all copies of a common original, they are not primary evidence of the
contents of the original.
Illustrations
A person is shown to have been in possession of a number of placards, all printed at one time
from one original. Any one of the placards is primary evidence of the contents of any other, but no
one of them is primary evidence of the contents of the original. 63. Secondary evidence
Secondary evidence means and includes—
(1) certified copies given under the provisions hereinafter contained;
(2) Copies made from the original by mechanical processes which in themselves ensure the
accuracy of the copy, and copies compared with such copies.
(3) copies made from or compared with the original ;
(4) counterparts of documents as against the parties who did not execute them;
(5) oral accounts of the contents of a documents given by some person who has himself seen it.
Illustration
(a) A photograph of an original is secondary evidence of its contents, though the two have not
been compared,if it is proved that the thing photographed was the original.
(b) A copy compared with a copy of a letter made by a copying machine is secondary evidence of
the contents of the letter, if it is shown that the copy made by the copying machine was made
from the original.
(c) A copy transcribed from a copy, but afterwards compared with the original, is secondary
evidence; but he copy not so compared is not secondary evidence of the original, although the
copy from which it was transcribed was compared with the original.
(d) Neither an oral account of a copy compared with the original, nor an oral account of a
photograph or machine copy of the original, is secondary evidence of the original.
64. Proof of documents by primary evidence
Documents must be proved by primary evidence except in the cases hereinafter mentioned.
65. Cases in which secondary evidence relating to documents may be given
Secondary evidence may be given of the existence, condition, or contents of a documents in the
following cases:-
(a) When the original is shown or appears to be in the possession or power—
of the person against whom the document is sought to be proved , or
of any person out of reach of, or not subject to, the process of the Court or
of any person legally bound to produce it,
and when, after the notice mentioned in section 66, such person does not produce it;
(b) when the existence, condition or contents of the original have been proved to be admitted in
writing by the person against whom it is proved or by his representative in interest;
(c) when the original has been destroyed or lost, or when the party offering evidence of its
contents cannot, for any other reason not arising from his own default or neglect, produce it in
reasonable time;
(d) when the original is of such a nature as not to be easily movable; (e) when the original is public document within the meaning of section 74;
(f) when the original is a document of which a certified copy is permitted by this Act, or by any
other law in force in 40[India] to be given in evidence ;
(g) when the originals consist of numerous accounts or other documents which cannot
conveniently be examined in court and the fact to be proved it the general result of the whole
collection.
In cases (a), (c) and (d), any secondary evidence of the contents of the document is admissible.
In case (b), the written admission is admissible.
In case (e) or (f), a certified copy of the document, but no other kind of secondary evidence,
admissible.
In case (g), evidence may be given as to the general result of the documents by any person who
has examined them, and who is skilled in the examination of such documents.
66. Rules as to notice to produce
Secondary evidence of the contents of the documents referred to in section 65, clause (a), shall
not be given unless the party proposing to give such secondary evidence has previously given to
the party in whose possession or power the document is, 46[or to his attorney or pleader,] such
notice to produce it as is prescribed by law, and if no notice is prescribed by law, then such notice
as the Court considers reasonable under the circumstances of the case:
Provided that such notice shall not be required in order to render secondary evidence admissible
in any of the following cases, or in any other case in which the Court thinks fit to dispense with it:-
(1) when the document to be proved is itself a notice ;
(2) when, from the nature of the case, the adverse party must know that he will be required to
produce it;
(3) When it appears or is proved that the adversary has obtained possession of the original by
fraud or force;
(4) when the adverse party or his agent has the original in Court ;
(5) when the adverse party or his agent has admitted the loss of the document;
(6) when the person in possession of the document is out of reach of, or not subject to, the
process of the Court.
67. Proof of signature and handwriting of person alleged to have signed or written
document produced
If a document is alleged to be signed or to have been written wholly or in part by any person, the
signature or the handwriting of so much of the document as is alleged to be in that person’s
handwriting must be proved to be in his handwriting.
68. Proof of execution of document required by law to be attested
If a document is required by law to be attested, it shall not be used as evidence until one attesting
witness at least has been called for the purpose of proving its execution, if there be an attesting
witness alive, and subject to the process of the court and capable of giving evidence :
47[Provided that it shall not be necessary to call an attesting witness in proof of the execution of any document, not being a will, which has been registered in accordance with the provisions of
the Indian Registration Act, 1908 (16 of 1908), unless its execution by the person by whom it
purports to have been executed is specifically denied.]
69. Proof where no attesting witness found
If no such attesting witness can be found, or if the document purports to have been executed in
the United Kingdom, it must be proved that the attestation of one attesting witness at least is in
his handwriting, and that the signature of the person executing the document is in the handwriting
of that person.
70. Admission of execution by party to attested document
The admission of a party to an attested document of its execution by himself shall be sufficient
proof of its execution as against him, though it be a document is in the handwriting of that person.
71. Proof when attesting witness denies the execution
If the attesting witness denies or does not recollect the execution of the document, its execution
may be proved by other evidence.
72. Proof of document not required by law to be attested
An attesting document not required by law to be attested may be proved as if it was unattested.
73. Comparison of signature, writing or seal with others admitted or proved
In order to ascertain whether a signature, writing, or seal is that of the person by whom it purports
to have been written or made, any signature, writing, or seal admitted or proved to the satisfaction
of the Court to have been written or made by that person may be compared with the one which is
to be proved, although that signature, writing, or seal has not been produced or proved for any
other purpose.
The court may direct any person present in Court to write any words or figures for the purpose of
enabling the Court to compare the words or figures so written with any words or figures alleged to
have been written by such person.
30[This section applies also, with any necessary modifications, to finger – impressions.]
PUBLIC DOCUMENTS
74. Public documents
The following documents are public documents :-
(1) documents forming the acts, or records of the acts –
(i) of the sovereign authority,
(ii) of official bodies and tribunals, and
(iii) of public officers, legislative, judicial and executive, 48[of any part of India or of the
Commonwealth ] or of a foreign country;
(2) Public records kept 49[ in any State ] of private documents.
75. Private documents
All other documents are private.
76. Certified copies of public documents
Every public officer having the custody of a public document, which any person has a right to
inspect, shall give that person on demand a copy of it on payment of the legal fees therefor, together with a certificate written at the foot of such copy that it is a true copy of such document of
part thereof, as the case may be, and such certificate shall be dated and subscribed by such
document of part thereof, as the case may be, and such certificate shall be dated and subscribed
by such officer with his name and his name and his official title, and shall be sealed, whenever
such officer is authorised by law to make use of a seal; and such copies so certified shall be
called certified copies.
Explanation – Any officer who, by the ordinary course of official duty, is authorised to deliver such
copies, shall be deemed to have the custody of such documents within the meaning of this
section.
77. Proof of documents by production of certified copies
Such certified copies may be produced in proof of the contents of the public documents or parts
of the public documents of which they purport to be copies.
78. Proof of other official documents
The following public documents may be proved as follows:-
(1) Acts, orders or notifications of 50[the Central Government] in any of its departments, 51[or of
the Crown Representative] or of any State Government or any department of any State
Government,–
by the records of the departments, certified by the heads of those departments respectively, or by
any document purporting to be printed by order of any such Government 51[or as the case may
be, of the Crown Representative];
(2) the proceedings of the Legislatures,–
By the journals of those bodies respectively, or by published Acts o abstracts, or by copies
purporting to be printed 52[by order of the Government concerned];
(3) proclamations, orders or regulations issued by 53 Her Majesty or by the Privy Council. Or by
any department of 53Her Majesty’s Government,–
by copies or extracts contained in the London Gazette, or purporting to be printed by the Queen’s
printer;
(4) the acts of the Executive or the proceedings of the Legislature of a foreign country,–
by journals published by their authority, or commonly received in that country as such, or by a
copy certified under the seal of the country or sovereign, or by a recognition thereof in some
54[Central Act];
(5) the proceedings of a municipal body in 55[a State],–
by a copy of such proceedings, certified by the legal keeper thereof, or by a printed book
purporting to be published by the authority of such body;
(6) Public documents of any other class in a foreign country,-
by the original , or by a copy certified by the legal keeper thereof, with a certificate under the seal
of a Notary Public, or of 56[an India Consul] or diplomatic agent that the copy is duly certified by
the officer having the legal custody of the original, and upon proof of the character of the
document according to the law of the foreign country.
PRESUMPTIONS AS TO DOCUMENTS79.Presumption as to genuineness of certified copies
The Court shall presume 57[to be genuine] every document purporting to be a certificate, certified
copy or other document, which is by law declared to be admissible as evidence of any particular
fact and which purports to be duly certified by any officer 58[of the Central Government or of a
State Government, or by any officer 59[in the State of Jammu and Kashmir] who is duly
authorised thereto by the Central Government] :
Provided that such document is substantially in the form and purports to be executed in the
manner directed by law in that behalf.
The Court shall also presume that any officer by whom any such document purports to be signed
or certified held when he signed it, the official character which he claims in such paper.
80. Presumption as to documents produced as record of evidence
Whenever any document i.e. produced before any Court, purporting to be a record or
memorandum of the evidence, or of any part of the evidence, given by a witness in a judicial
proceeding or before any officer authorised by law to take such evidence or to be a statement or
confession by any prisoner or accused person, taken in accordance with law, and purporting to
be signed by any Judge or Magistrate or by any such officer as aforesaid, the Court shall
presume –
that the document is genuine; that any statement as to the circumstances under which it was
taken, purporting to be made by the person signing it, and that such evidence, statement or
confession was duly taken.
81. Presumption as to Gazettes, newspapers, private Acts of Parliament and other
documents
The Court shall presume the genuineness of every document purporting to be the London
Gazette or 60[any Official Gazette, or the Government Gazette ] of any colony, dependency or
possession of the British Crown, or to be a newspaper or journal, or to be a copy of a private Act
of Parliament 24[of the United Kingdom] printed by the Queen’s Printer and of every document
purporting to be a document directed by any law to be kept by any person, if such document is
kept substantially in the form required by law and is produced from proper custody.
82. Presumption as to document admissible in England without proof of seal or signature
When any document is produced before any Court, purporting to be a document which, by the
law in force for the time being in England or Ireland, would be admissible in proof of any particular
in any Court of justice in England or Ireland, without proof of the seal or stamp or signature
authenticating it, or of the judicial or official character claimed by the person by whom it purports
to be signed, the Court shall presume that such seal, stamp or signature is genuine, and that the
person signing it held, at the time when he signed it, the judicial or official character which he
claims,
and the document shall be admissible for the same purpose for which it would be admissible in
England or Ireland.
83. Presumption as to maps or plans made by authority of Government
The Court shall presume that maps or plans purporting to be made by the authority of 61[ the
Central Government or any State Government ] were so made, and are accurate; but maps or
plans made for the purposes of any cause must be proved to be accurate.
84. Presumption as to collections of laws and reports of decisions
The Court shall presume the genuineness of every book purporting to be printed or published
under the authority of the Government of nay country, and to contain any of the laws of that
country. and of every book purporting to contain reports of decisions of the courts of such country.
85. Presumption as to powers-of-attorney
The Court shall presume that every document purporting to be a power-of- attorney, and to have
been executed before, and authenticated by, a notary public, or any Court, Judge, Magistrate,
62[Indian] Consul or Vice- Consul, or representative 63[***] of the 64[Central Government], was
so executed and authenticated.
86. Presumption as to certified copies of foreign judicial records
The Courts may presume that any document purporting to be a certified copy of any judicial
record of 65[66[***] any country and not forming part of India or] of Her Majesty’s dominions is
genuine and accurate, if the document purports to be certified in any manner which is certified by
any representative of 67[***] the 64[Central Government ] 68[in or for] 69[such country] to be the
manner commonly in use in 70[that country] for the certification of copies of judicial records.
71[An Officer who, with respect to 72[***] any territory or place not forming part of 24[India or Her
Majesty’s dominions, is a Political Agent therefor, as defined in section 3, 73[clause (43), of the
General Clause Act, 1897, shall, for the purposes of this section, be deemed to be a
representative of the 64[Central Government] 74[ in and for the country] comprising that territory
of place.
87. Presumption as to books, maps and charts
The Courts may presume that any book to which it may refer for information on matters of public
or general interest, and that any published map or chart, the statements of which are relevant
facts and which is produced for its inspection, was written and published by the person and at the
time and place, by whom or at which it purports to have been written or published.
88. Presumption as to books, maps and charts
The Court may presume that a message, forwarded from a telegraph office to the person to
whom such message purports to be addressed, corresponds with a message delivered for
transmission at the office from which the message purports to be sent ; but the Court shall not
make any presumption as to the person by whom such message was delivered for transmission.
89. Presumption as to due execution, etc., of documents not produced
The Court shall presume that every document, called for and not produced after notice to
produce, was attested, stamped and executed in the manner required by law.
90. Presumption as to documents thirty years old
Where any document, purporting or proved to be thirty years old, is produced from any custody
which the Court in the particular case considers proper the Court may presume that the signature
and every other part of such document, which purports to be in the handwriting of any particular
person, is in that person’s handwriting, and, in the case of document executed or attested, that it
was duly executed and attested by the persons by whom it purports to be executed and attested.
Explanation – Documents are said to be in proper custody if they are in the place in which, and
under the care of the person with whom, they would naturally be; but no custody is improper if it is
proved to have had a legitimate origin, or the circumstances of the particular case are such as to
render such an origin, probable.
This explanation applies also to section 81.
Illustrations
(a) A has been in possession of landed property for a long time. He produces from his custody
deeds relating to the land showing his titles to it. The custody is proper. (b) A produces deeds relating to landed property of which he is the mortgagee. The mortgagor is
in possession.
(c) A, a connection of B, produces deeds relating to lands in B’s possession, which were
deposited with him by B for safe custody. The custody is proper.
CHAPTER VI : OF THE EXCLUSION OF ORAL BY DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE
91. Evidence of terms of contracts, grants and other dispositions of property reduced to
form of document
When the terms of a contract, or of a grant, or of any other disposition of property, have been
reduced to the form of a document, and in all cases in which any matter is required by law to be
reduced to the form of a document, no evidence shall be given in proof of the terms of such
contract, grant or other disposition of property, or of such matter, except the document itself, or
secondary evidence of its contents in cases in which secondary evidence is admissible under the
provisions hereinbefore contained.
Exception 1. – When a public officer is required by law to be appointed in writing, and when it is
shown that any particular person has acted as such officer, the writing by which he is appointed
need not be proved.
Exception 2. – Wills 75[ admitted to probate in 40[India] may be proved by the probate.
Explanation 1- This section applies equally to cases in which the contracts grants or dispositions
of property referred to are contained in one document and to cases in which they are contained in
more documents than one.
Explanation 2—Where there are more originals than one,one original only need be proved.
Explanation 3. – The statement, in any document whatever, of a fact other then the facts referred
to in this section, shall, not preclude the admission of oral evidence as to the same fact.
Illustration
(a) If a contract be contained in several letters, all the letters in which it is contained must be
proved.
(b) If a contract is contained in a bill of exchange, the bill of exchange must be proved.
(c) If a bill of exchange is drawn in set of three, one only need be proved.
(d) A contracts, in writing, with B, for the delivery of indigo upon certain terms. The contract
mentions the fact that B had paid A the price of other indigo contracted for verbally on another
occasion.
Oral evidence is offered that no payment was made for the other indigo. The evidence is
admissible.
(e) A gives B receipt for money paid by B.
Oral evidence is offered of the payment.
The evidence is admissible. 92. Exclusion of evidence of oral agreement
When the terms of any such contract, grantor other disposition of property, or any matter required
by law to be reduced to the form of a document have been proved according to the last section,
no evidence of any oral agreement of statement shall be admitted, as between the parties to any
such instrument or their representatives in interest, for purpose of contradicting, varying, adding
to, or subtracting from, its terms;
Provision (1) – Any fact may be proved which would invalidate any document, or which would
entitle any person to any decree or order relating thereto; such as fraud, intimidation, illegality,
want of due execution, want of capacity in any contracting party, 76[want or failure] of
consideration, or mistake in fact or law.
Proviso (2) – The existence of any separate oral agreement as to any matter on which a
document is silent, and which is not inconsistent with its terms, may be proved. In considering
whether or not this proviso applies, the Court shall have regard to the degree of formality of the
document.
Proviso (3). – The existence of any separate oral agreement, constituting a condition precedent to
the attaching of any obligation under any such contract, grant or disposition of property, may be
proved.
Proviso (4). – The existence of any distinct subsequent oral agreement to rescind or modify any
such contract, grant or disposition of property, may be proved, except in cases in which such
contract grant or disposition of property is by law required to be in writing, or has been registered
according to the law in force for the time being as to the registration of documents.
Proviso (5) – Any usage or custom by which incidents not expressly mentioned in any contract
are usually annexed to contracts of that description, may be proved.
Provided that the annexing of such incident would not be repugnant to, or inconsistent with the
express terms of the contract.
Proviso (6).—Any fact may be proved which shows in what manner the language of a document
is related to existing facts.
Illustration
(a) A policy of insurance is effected on goods “in ships from Calcutta to London”. The goods are
shipped in a particular ship which is lost. The fact that that particular ship was orally excepted
from the policy cannot be proved.
(b) A agrees absolutely in writing to pay B Rs. 1,000 on the first March, 1873. The fact that, at the
same time an oral agreement was made that the money should not be paid till the thirty-first
March cannot be proved.
(c) An estate called “the Rampore tea estate” is sold by a deed which contains a map of the
property sold. The fact that the land not included in the map had always been regarded as part of
the estate and was meant to pass by the deed cannot be proved.
(d) A enters into a written contract with B to work certain mines, the property of B, upon certain
terms. A was induced to do so by a misrepresentation of B’s as to their value. This fact may be
proved.
(e) A institutes a suit against B for the specific performance of a contract, and also prays that the
contract may be reformed as to one of its provisions, as that provision was interested in it by mistake. A may prove that such a mistake was made as would be law entitle him to have the
contract reformed.
(f) A orders goods of B for the specific performance of a contract, and also prays that the contract
may be reformed as to one of its provisions, as that provision was inserted in it by mistake. A may
prove that such a mistake was made as would be law entitle him to have the contract reformed.
(g) A sells B a horse and verbally warrants him sound. A gives B a paper in these words “Bought
of A a horse Rs. 500”. B may prove the verbal warranty.
(h) A hires lodgings of B, and gives B a card on which is written – “Rooms, Rs. 200 a month”. A
may prove a verbal agreement that these terms were to include partial board.
A hires lodgings of B for a year, and a regularly stamped agreement, drawn up by an attorney, is
made between them, it is silent on the subject of board, A may not prove that board was included
in the term verbally.
(i) A applies to B for a debt due to A by sending a receipt for the money. B keeps the receipt and
does not send the money. In a suit for the amount, A may prove this.
(j) A and B make a contract in writing to take effect upon the happening of a certain contingency.
The writing is left with B, who sues A upon it. A may show the circumstances under which it was
delivered.
93. Exclusion of evidence to explain or amend ambiguous document
When the language used in a document is, on its face, ambiguous or defective, evidence may not
be given of facts which would show its meaning or supply its defects.
Illustrations
(a) A agrees, in writing, to sell a horse to B for “Rs. 1,000 or Rs. 1,500”.
Evidence cannot be given to show which price was to be given.
(b) A deed contains blanks. Evidence cannot be given of facts which would show how they were
meant to be filled.
94. Exclusion of evidence against application of document to existing facts
When language used in a document is plain in itself, and when it applies accurately to existing
facts, evidence may not be given to show that it was not meant to apply to such facts.
Illustrations
A sells to B, by deed, “my estate at Rampur containing 100 bighas”. A has an estate at Rampur
containing 100 bighas. Evidence may not be given of the fact that the estate meant to be sold
was one situated at a different place and of a different size.
95. Evidence as to document unmeaning in reference to existing facts
When language use in a documents is plain it itself, but is unmeaning in reference to existing
facts, evidence may be given to show that it was in a peculiar sense.
Illustrations
A sells to B, by deed, “my house in Calcutta”
A had no house in Calcutta, but it appears that he had a house at Howrah, of which B had been
in possession since the execution of the deed. These facts may be proved to show that the deed related to the house at Howrah.
96. Evidence as to application of language which can apply to one only of several persons
When the facts are such that the language used might have been meant to apply to any one, and
could not have been meant to apply to more than one, of several persons or things, evidence
may be given of facts which show which of those persons or things its was intended to apply to.
Illustrations
(a) A agrees to sell to B, for Rs. 1,000, “my white horse”. A has two white horses. Evidence may
be given of facts which show which of them was meant.
(b) A agrees to accompany B to Haidarabad. Evidence may be given of facts showing whether
Haidarabad in the Deckhand or Haidarabad in Sindh was meant.
97. Evidence as to application of language to one of two sets of facts, to neither of which
the whole correctly applies
When the language used applies partly to one set of existing facts, and partly to another set of
existing facts, but the whole of it does not apply correctly to either, evidence may be given to
show to which of the two it was meant to apply.
Illustration
A agrees to sell to B “my land at X in the occupation of Y”. A has land at X, but not in the
occupation of Y and he has land in the occupation of Y but it is not at X. Evidence may be given
of facts showing which he meant to sell.
98. Evidence as to meaning of illegible characters, etc.
Evidence may be given to show the meaning of illegible or not commonly intelligible characters,
of foreign, obsolete, technical, local and provincial expressions, of abbreviations and of words
used in a peculiar sense.
Illustration
A, a sculptor, agrees to sell to B, “all my mods” A has both models and modelling tools. Evidence
may be given to show which he meant to sell.
99. Who may give evidence of agreement varying terms of document
Persons who are not parties to a document, or their representatives in interest, may give
evidence of any facts tending to show a contemporaneous agreement varying the terms of the
document.
Illustration
A and B make a contract in writing that B shall sell A certain cotton, to be paid for on delivery. At
the same time they make an oral agreement that three months’ credit shall be given to A. This
could not be shown as between A and B, but it might be shown by C, if it affected his interests.
100. Saving of provisions of Indian Succession Act, relating to wills
Nothing in this Chapter contained shall be taken to affect any of the provisions of the Indian
Succession Act77 (10 of 1865) as to the construction of wills.CHAPTER VII : OF THE BURDEN OF PROOF
101. Burden of proof
Whoever desires any Court to give judgement as to any legal right or liability dependent on the
existence of facts which he asserts, must prove that those facts exist.
When a person is bound to prove the existence of any fact, it is said that he burden of proof lies
on that person.
Illustrations
(a) A desires a Court to give judgement that B shall be punished for a crime which A says B has
committed.
A must prove that B has committed the crime.
(b) A desires a Court to give judgment that he is entitled to certain land in the possession of B, by
reason of facts which he asserts, and which B denies, to be true.
A must prove the existence of those facts.
102. On whom burden of proof lies
The burden of proof in a suit or proceeding lies on that person who would fail if no evidence at all
were given on either side.
Illustrations
(a) A sues B for land of which B is in possession, and which, as A asserts, was left to A by the will
of C, B’s father
If no evidence were given on either side, B would b entitled to retain his possession.
Therefore the burden of proof is on A.
(b) A sues B for money due on a bond.
The execution of the bond is admitted, by B says that it was obtained by fraud, which A denies.
If no evidence were given on either side, A would succeed, as the bond is not disputed and the
fraud is not proved.
Therefore the burden of proof is on B.
103. Burden of proof as to particular fact
The burden of proof as to any particular fact lies on that person who wishes the Court to believe
in its existence, unless it is provided by any law that the proof of that fact shall lie on any
particular person.
Illustration
78[(a)] A prosecutes B for theft, and wishes the Court to believe that B admitted the theft to C, A
must prove the admission.
B wishes the Court to believe that, at the time in question, he was elsewhere. He must prove it. 104. Burden of proving fact to be proved to make evidence admissible
The burden of proving any fact necessary to be proved in order to enable any person to give
evidence of any other fact is on the person who wishes to give such evidence.
Illustrations
(a) A wishes to prove a dying declaration by B. A must prove B’s death.
(b) A wishes to prove, by secondary evidence, the contents of a lost document.
A must prove that the document has been lost.
105. Burden of proving that case of accused comes within exceptions.
When a person is accused of any offence, the burden of proving the existence of circumstances
bringing the case within any of the General Exceptions in the Indian Penal Code 45 of 1860, or
within any special exception or proviso contained in any other part of the same Code, or in any
law defining the offence, is upon him, and the Court shall presume the absence of such
circumstances.
Illustrations
(a) A, Accused of murder, alleges that, by reason of unsoundness of mind, he did not know the
nature of the act
The burden of proof is on A..,
(b) A, accused of murder, alleges that, by grave and sudden provocation, he was deprived of the
power of self control.
The burden of proof is on A.
(c) Section 325 o the Indian Penal Code 45 of 1860 provides that whoever, except in the case
provided for by section 335 voluntarily causes grievous hurt, shall be subject to certain
punishments.
A is charged with voluntarily causing grievous hurt under section 325.
The burden of proving the circumstances bringing the case under section 335 lies on A.
106. Burden of proving fact especially within knowledge
When any fact is especially within the knowledge of any person, the burden of proving that fact is
upon him.
Illustrations
(a) when a person does an act with some intention other than that which the character and
circumstances of the act suggest, the burden of proving that intention is upon him.
(b) A is charged with travelling on a railway without a ticket. The burden of proving that he had a
ticket is on him.
107. Burden of proving death of person known to have been alive within thirty years
When the question is whether a man is alive or dead, and it is shown that he was alive within
thirty years, the burden of proving that he is dead is on the person who affirms it.
108. Burden of proving that person is alive who has not been heard of for seven years79[Provided that when ] the question is whether a man is alive or dead, and it is proved that he
has not been heard of for seven years by those who would naturally have heard of him if he had
been alive, the burden of proving that he is alive is 80[shifted to] the person who affirms it .
109. Burden of proof as to relationship in the cases of partners, landlord and tenant,
principal and agent
When the question is whether persons are partners, landlord and tenant, or principal and agent,
and it has been shown that they have been acting as such, the burden of proving that they do not
stand, or have ceased to stand, to each other in those relationships respectively, is on the person
who affirms it.
110. Burden of proof as to ownership
When the question is whether any person is owner of anything of which he is shown to be in
possession, the burden of proving that he is not the owner is on the person who affirms that he is
not the owner.
111. Proof of good faith in transactions where one party is in relation of active confidence
Where there is a question as to the good faith of a transaction between parties, one of whom
stands to the other in a position of active confidence, the burden of proving the good faith of a
transaction between parties, one of whom stands to the other in a position of active confidence,
the burden of proving the good faith of the transaction is on the party who is in a position of active
confidence.
Illustrations
(a) The good faith of a sale by a client to an attorney is in question in a suit brought by the client.
The burden proving the good faith of the transaction is on the attorney.
(b) The good faith of a sale by a son just come of age to a father is in question is a suit brought by
the son. The burden of proving the good faith of the transaction is on the father.
81[111A. Presumption as to certain offences
(1) Where a person is accused of having committed any offence specified in sub-section (2), in –
(a) any area declared to be a disturbed area under any enactment, for the time being in force,
making provision for the suppression of disorder and restoration and maintenance of public order;
of
(b) any area in which there has been, over a period of more than one month, extensive
disturbance of the public peace,
and it is shown that such person had been at a place in such area at a time when firearms or
explosives were used at or from that place to attack or resist the members of any armed forces or
the forces charged with the maintenance of public order acting in the discharge of their duties, it
shall be presumed, unless the contrary is shown, that such person had committed such offence.
(2) The offences referred to in sub-section (I) are the following, namely:-
(a) an offence under section 121, section 121 A, section 122 or section 123 of the Indian Penal
Code (45 of 1860);
(b) criminal conspiracy or attempt to commit, or a betment of, an offence under section 122 or
section 123 of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860).]
112. Birth during marriage, conclusive proof of legitimacy
The fact that any person was born during the continuance of a valid marriage between his mother and man, or within two hundred and eighty days after its dissolution, the mother remaining
unmarried, shall be conclusive proof that he is the legitimate son of that man, unless it can be
shown that the parties to the parties to the marriage had no access to each other at any time
when he could have been begotten.
113. Proof of cession of territory
A notification in the official Gazette that any portion of British territory has 82[before the
commencement of Part III of the Government of India, Act, 1935] been coded to any Native State,
Prince or Ruler shall be conclusive proof that a valid cession of such territory took place at the
date mentioned in such notification.
83[113A. Presumption as to abetment of suicide by a married women
When the question is whether the commission of suicide by a woman had been abetted by her
husband or any relative of her husband and it is shown that she had committed suicide within a
period of seven years from the date of her marriage and that her husband or such relative of her
husband had subjected her to cruelty, the court may presume, having regard to all the other
circumstance s of the case, that such suicide had been abetted by her husband or by such
relative of her husband.
Explanation – For the purposes of this section, “cruelty” shall have the same meaning as in
section 498 A of the Indian Panel Code (45 of 1860).
84[113B. Presumption as to dowry death
When the question is whether a person has committed the dowry death of a woman and it is
shown that soon before her death such woman had been subjected by such person to cruelty or
harassment for, or in connection with, any demand for dowry, the Court shall presume that such
person had caused the dowry death.
Explanation.- For the purposes of this section, “dowry death” shall have the same meaning as in
section 304B of the Indian Penal Code(45 of 1860).]
114. Court may presume existence of certain acts
The court may presume the existence of any fact which it thinks likely to have happened, regard
being had to the common course of natural events, human conduct and public and private
business, in their relation to the facts of the particular case.
Illustrations
The Court may presume—
(a) That a man who is in possession of stolen goods soon after the theft is either the thief or has
received the goods knowing them to be stolen, unless he can accounts for his possession.
(b) That an accomplice is unworthy of credit, unless he is corroborated in material particulars;
(c) That a bill of exchange, accepted or endorsed, was accepted or endorsed for good
consideration.
(d) That a thing or state of things which has been shown to be in existence within a period shorter
than that within which such things or states of things usually cease to exist, is still in existence;
(e) That judicial and official acts have been regularly performed;
(f) That the common course of business has been followed in particular cases;
(g) That evidence which could be and is not produced would, if produced, be unfavourable to the person withholds it.
(h) That if a man refuses to answer a question which he is not compelled to answer by law, the
answer, if given would be unfavourable to him;
(i) That when a document creating and obligation is in the hands of the obligor, the obligation has
been discharged.
But the Court shall also have regard to such facts as the following, in considering whether such
maxims do or do not apply to the particular case before it:-
As to illustration (a) –A shop- keeper has in his till a marked rupee soon after it was stolen, and
cannot account for its possession specifically, but is continually receiving rupees in the course of
his business;
As to illustration (b)–A person of the highest character is tried for causing a man’s death by an act
of negligence in arranging certain machinery. B, person of equally goods character, who also took
part in the took part in the arrangement, describes precisely what was done, and admits and
explains the common carelessness of A and himself;
As to illustration (b)-A person of the highest character is tried for causing a man’s death by an act
of negligence in arranging certain machinery B, person of equality goods character, who also took
part in the arrangement, describes precisely what was done, and admits and explains the
common carelessness of A and himself;
As to illustration (b)–A crime is committed by several persons. A, B and C, three of the criminals,
are captured on the spot and kept apart from each other. Each gives an account of the crime
implicating D, and the accounts corroborate each other in such a manner as to render previous
concert highly improbable;
As to illustration (c) – A, the drawer of a bill of exchange, was a man of business. B, the acceptor,
was young and ignorant person, completely under A’s influence;
As to illustration (d) – It is proved that a river ran in a certain course five years ago, but it is known
that there have been floods since that time which might change its course.
As to illustration (e) – A judicial Act, the regularity of which is in question, was performed under
exceptional circumstances;
As to illustration (f) – The question is, whether a letter was received, it is shown to have been
posted, but the usual course of the post was interrupted by disturbances;
As to illustration (g) – A man refuses to produce a document which would bear on a contract of
small importance on which he is sued, but which might also injure the feeling and reputation of his
family;
As to illustration (h) – A man refuses to answer a question which he is not compelled by law to
answer, but the answer to it might cause loss to him in matters unconnected with the matter in
relation to which it is asked;
As to illustration (i) – A bond is in possession of the obligor, but the circumstances of the case are
such that he may have stolen it.
85[114 A. Presumption as to absence of consent in certain prosecutions for rape
In a prosecution for rape under clause (a) or clause (b) or clause (c) or clause (d) or clause (e) or
clause (g) of sub-section (2) or section 376 of the Indian Penal Code, (45 of 1860) where sexual intercourse by the accused is proved and the question is whether it was without the consent of
the woman alleged to have been raped and she states in her evidence before the Court that she
did not consent, the Court shall presume that she did not consent.]
CHAPTER VIII : ESTOPPEL
115. Estoppel
When one person has, by his declaration, act or omission, intentionally caused or permitted
another person to believe a thing to be true and to act upon such belief, neither he nor his
representative shall be allowed, in any suit or proceeding between himself and such person or his
representative, to deny the truth of that thing.
Illustration
A intentionally and falsely leads B to believe that certain land belongs to A, and thereby induces B
to buy and pay for it.
The land afterwards becomes the property of A, and A seeks to set aside the sale on the ground
that, at the time the sale, he had not title. He must not be allowed to prove his want to title.
116. Estoppel of tenant; and of licence of person in possession
No tenant of immovable property or person claiming through such tenant, shall, during the
continuance of the tenancy, be permitted to deny that the landlord of such tenant had, at the
beginning of the tenancy, a title to such immovable property; and no person who came upon any
immovable property by the license of the person in possession thereof, shall be permitted to deny
that such person had a title to such possession at the time when license was given.
117. Estoppel of acceptor of bill of exchange, bailee or licensee
No acceptor of a bill of exchange shall be permitted to deny that the drawer had authority to draw
such bill or to endorse it; nor shall any bailee or licensee be permitted to deny that his bailor or
licensor had, at the time when the bailment or licence commenced, authority to make such
bailment or grant such licence.
Explanation 1. – The acceptor of a bill of exchange may deny that the bill was really drawn by the
person by whom it purports to have been drawn.
Explanation 2.- If a bailee delivers the goods bailed to a person other than the bailor, he may
prove that such person had a right to them as against the bailor.
CHAPTER IX : OF WITNESSES
118. Who may testify
All persons shall be competent to testify unless the Court considers that they are prevented form
understanding the question put to them, or from giving rational answers to those questions, by
tender years, extreme old age, disease, whether of body or mind, or any other cause of the same
kind.
Explanation – A lunatic is not incompetent to testify, unless he is prevented by his Lunacy from
understanding the questions put to him and giving rational answers to them.
119. Dumb witnesses
A witness who is unable to speak may give his evidence in any other manner in which he can
make it intelligible, as by writing or by signs; but such writing must be written and the signs made
in open Court. Evidence so given shall be deemed to be oral evidence. 120. Parties to civil suit, and their wives or husbands, Husbands or wife of person under
criminal trial
In all civil proceedings the parties to the suit, and the husband or wife of any party to the suit,
shall be competent witnesses. In criminal proceedings against any person, the husband or wife of
such person , respectively, shall be a competent witness.
121. Judges and Magistrates
No Judge or Magistrate shall, except upon the special order to some Court to which he is
subordinate, be compelled to answer any questions as to his own conduct in Court as such Judge
or Magistrate, or as to anything which came to his knowledge in Court as such Judge or
Magistrate; but he may be examined as to other matters which occurred in his presence whilst he
was so acting.
Illustrations
(a) A, on his trial before the Court of Session, says that a deposition was improperly taken by B’
the Magistrate. B cannot be compelled to answer questions as to this, except upon the special
order of a superior Court.
(b) A is accused before the Court of Session of having given false evidence before B, a
Magistrate, B cannot be asked what A said, except upon the special order of the superior court.
(c) A is accused before the Court of Session of attempting to murder a police officer whilst on his
trial before a Session Judge. B may be examined as to what occurred.
122. Communications during marriage
No person who is or has been married shall be compelled to disclose any communication made
to him during marriage by any person to whom he is or has been married ; nor shall he be
permitted to disclose any such communication , unless the person who made it, or his
representative in interest, consents, except in suits between married persons, or proceedings in
which one married person is prosecuted for any crime committed against the other.
123. Evidence as to affairs of State
No one shall be permitted to give any evidence derived from unpublished official records relating
to any affairs of State, except with the permission of the officer at the head of the department
concerned, who shall give or withhold such permission as he thinks fit.
124. Official communications
No public officer shall be compelled to disclose communications made to him in official
confidence, when he considers that the public interests would suffer by the disclosure.
86[125. Information as to commission of offences
No Magistrate or Police –Officer shall be compelled to say whence he got any information as to
the commission of any offence, and no Revenue- Officer shall be compelled to say whence he
got any information as to the commission of any offence against the public revenue.
Explanation – “Revenue-officer” in this section means any officer employed in or about the
business of any branch of the public revenue.]
126. Professional communication
No barrister, attorney, pleader or vakil shall at any time be permitted, unless with his client’s
express consent, to disclose any communication made to him in the course and for the purpose
of his employment as such barrister, pleader, attorney or vakil, by or on behalf of his client, or to
state the contents or condition of any document with which he has become acquainted in the
course and for the purpose of his professional employment, or to disclose any advice given by
him to his client in the course and for the purpose of such employment: Provided that nothing in this section shall protect from disclosure –
(1) Any such communication made in furtherance of any 87[illegal] purpose.
(2) Any fact observed by any barrister, pleader, attorney or vakil, in the course of his employment
as such, showing that any crime or fraud has been committed since the commencement of his
employment.
It is immaterial whether the attention of such barrister, 88[pleader], attorney or vakil was or was
not directed to such fact by or on behalf on his client.
Explanation – The obligation stated in this section continues after the employment has ceased.
Illustrations
(a) A, a client says to B, an attorney-“I have committed forgery and I wish you to defend me”.
As the defense of a man known to be guilty is not a criminal purpose, this communication is
protected from disclosure.
(b) A, a client, says to, B, an attorney-“I wish to obtain possession of [property by the use] of
forged deed on which I request you to sue”.
This communication, being made in furtherance of a criminal purpose, is not protected from
disclosure.
(c) A, being charged with embezzlement, retains B, an attorney, ” to defend him. In the course of
the proceedings B observes that an entry has been made in A’s account book, charging A with
the sum said to have been embezzled, which entry was not in the book at the commencement of
his employment.
This being a fact observed by B in the course of his employment, showing that a fraud has been
committed since the commencement of the proceedings, it is not protected from disclosure.
127. Section 126 to apply to interpreters etc.
The provision of section 126 shall apply to interpreters, and the clerks or servants of barristers,
pleaders, attorneys and vakils.
128. Privilege not waived by volunteering evidence
If any party to a suit gives evidence therein at his own instance or otherwise, he shall not be
deemed to have consented thereby to such disclosure as is mentioned in section 126; and if any
party to a suit or proceeding calls any such barrister, 88[ pleader], attorney or vakil as a witness,
he shall be deemed to have consented to such disclosure only if he questions such barrister,
attorney or vakil or matters which, but for such question, he would not be at liberty to disclose.
129. Confidential communications with legal advisers
No one shall be compelled to disclose to the Court any confidential communication which has
take place between him and his legal professional adviser, unless he offers himself as a witness,
in which case he may be complete to disclose any such communication as may appear to the
Court necessary to be known in order to explain any evidence which he has given, but no others.
130. Production of title-deeds of witness not a party
No witness who is not a party to a suit shall be compelled to produce his title-deeds to any
property, or any document in virtue of which he holds an property as pledges or mortgagee or any
document the production of which might tend to criminate him, unless he has agreed in writing to produce them with the person seeking the production of such deeds or some person through
whom he claims.
131. Production of documents which another person. having possession, could refuse to
produce
No one shall be compelled to produce documents in his possession, which any other person
would be entitled to refuse to produce if they were in his possession, unless such last –mentioned
person consents to their production.
132. Witness not excused from answering on ground that answer will criminate
A witness shall not be excused from answering any question as to any matter relevant to the
matter in issue in any suit or in any civil or criminal proceeding, upon the ground that the answer
to such question will criminate, or may tend directly or indirectly to criminate, such witness, or that
it will expose, or tend directly or indirectly to expose, such witness to a penalty or forfeiture of any
kind:
Proviso – Provided that no such answer, which a witness shall be compelled to give, shall subject
him to any arrest or prosecution, or be proved against him in any criminal proceeding, except a
prosecution for giving false evidence by such answer.
133. Accomplice
An accomplice shall be a competent witness against an accused person; and a conviction is not
illegal merely because it proceeds upon the uncorroborated testimony of an accomplice.
134. Number of witnesses
No particular number of witnesses shall in any case be required for the proof of any fact.
CHAPTER X : OF THE EXAMINATION OF WITNESSES
135. Order of production and examination of witnesses
The order in which witness are produced and examined shall be regulated by the law and
practice for the time being relating to civil and criminal procedure respectively, and, in the
absence of any such law, by the discretion of the Court.
136. Judge to decide as to admissibility of evidence
When either party proposes to give evidence of any fact, the Judge may ask the party proposing
to give the evidence in what manner the alleged fact, if proved, would be relevant; and the Judge
shall admit the evidence if he thinks that the fact, if proved, would be relevant, and not otherwise.
If the fact proposed to be proved is one of which evidence is admissible only upon proof of some
other fact, such last-mentioned fact must be proved before evidence is given of the fact first
mentioned, unless the party undertakes to give proof of such fact, and the Court is satisfied with
such undertaking.
If the relevancy of one alleged fact depends upon another alleged fact being first proved, the
Judge may, in his discretion, either permit evidence of the first fact to be given before the second
fact is proved, or require evidence to be given of the second fact before evidence is given of the
first fact.
Illustrations
(a) It is proposed to prove a statement about a relevant fact by a person alleged to be dead,
which statement is relevant under section 32. The fact that the person is dead must be proved by the person proposing to prove the statement,
before evidence is given of the statement.
(b) It is proposed to prove, by a copy, the contents of a document said to be lost.
The fact that the original is lost must be proved by the person proposing to produce the copy,
before the copy is produced.
(c) A is accused of receiving stolen property knowing it to have been stolen.
It is to prove that he denied the possession of the property.
The relevancy of the denial depends on the identity of the property. The Court may, in its
discretion, either require the property to be identified before the denial of the possession is
proved, or permit the denial of the possession to be proved before the property is identified.
(d) It is proposed to prove a fact (A) which is said to have been the cause or effect of a fact in
issue. There are several intermediate facts (B, C and D) which must be shown to exist before the
fact (A) can be regarded as the cause or effect of the fact in issue. The Court may either permit A
to be proved before B, C or D is proved, or may require proof of B, C and D before permitting
proof of A.
137. Examination in chief
The examination of a witness by the party who calls him shall be called his examination in-chief.
Cross-examination- The examination of a a witnes by the adverse party shall be called his crossexamination.
Re-examination- The examination of a witness, subsequent to the cross-examination by the party
who called him, shall be called his re-examination.
138. Order of examinations
Witnesses shall be first examined-in-chief, then (if the adverse party so desires) cross –
examined, then (if the party calling him so desires) re-examined.
The examination and cross – examination must relate to relevant facts but the cross –
examination need not be confined to the facts to which the witness testified on his examination –
in-Chief.
Direction of re-examination – The re-examination shall be directed to the explanation of matters
referred to in cross-examination ; and , if new matter is, by permission of the Court, introduced inre-examination, the adverse party may further cross-examine upon that matter.
139. Cross–examination of person called to produce a document
A person summoned to produce a document does not become a witness by the mere fact that he
produces it and cannot be cross examined unless and until he is called as a witness.
140. Witnesses to character
Witnesses to character may be cross-examined and re-examined.
141. Leading questions
Any question suggesting the answer which the person putting it wishes or expects to receive is
called a leading question.
142. When they must not be asked
Leading questions must not, if objected to by the adverse party be asked in an examination-in-chief, or in a re-examination, except with the permission of the Court.
The Court shall permit leading questions as to matters which are introductory or undisputed, or
which have, in its opinion, been already sufficiently proved.
143. When they may be asked
Leading questions may be asked in cross- examination.
144. Evidence as to matters in writing
Any witness may be asked, whilst under examination whether any contract, grant or other
disposition of property, as to which he is giving evidence, was not contained in a document, and if
he says that it was, or if he is about to make any statement as to the contents of any document,
which, in the opinion of the Court, ought to be produced, the adverse party may object to such
evidence being given until such document is produced, or until facts have been proved which
entitle the party who called the witness to give secondary evidence of it.
Explanation – A witness may give oral evidence of statements made by other persons about the
contents of documents if such statements are in themselves relevant facts.
Illustration
The question is, whether A assaulted B.
C deposes that he heard A say to D-“B wrote a letter accusing me of theft, and I will be revenged
on him”. This statement is relevant, as showing A’s motive for the assault, and evidence may be
given of it, though no other evidence is given about the letter.
89[145. Cross–examination as to previous Statements in writing
A witness may be cross- examined as to previous statements made by him in writing or reduced
into writing or reduced into writing, and relevant to matters in question, without such writing being
shown to him, or being proved; but, if it is intended to contradict him by the writing, his attention
must, before the writing can be proved, be called to those parts of its which are to be used for the
purpose of contradicting him.
146. Questions lawful in cross-examination
When a witness is cross-examined, he may, in addition to the questions herein before referred to
be asked any questions which tend-
(1) to test his veracity.
(2) to discover who he is and what is his position in life, or
(3) to shake his credit, by injuring his character, although the answer to such questions might
tend directly or indirectly to criminate him or might expose or tend directly or indirectly t expose
him to a penalty or forfeiture.
147. When witness to be compelled to answer
If any such question relates to a matter relevant to the suit or proceeding, the provisions of
section 132 shall apply thereto.
148. Court to decide when question shall be asked and when witness compelled to
answer
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 Courts as to the credibility of the
witness or the matter to which 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 witness’s character and the importance of his evidence;
(4) the Court may, if it sees fit, draw, from the witness’s refusal to answer, the inference that the
answer if given would be unfavourable.
149. Question not to be asked without reasonable grounds
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.
Illustration
(a) A barrister is instructed by an attorney or vakil that an important witness is a dakait. This is
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
information being questioned by the pleader, gives satisfactory reason 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 grounds for the questions.
(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.
150. Procedure of Court in case of question being asked without reasonable grounds
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.
151. Indecent and scandalous questions
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 exited.
152. questions intended to insult or annoy
The Court shall forbid any question which appears to it to be intended to insult or annoy, or which,
though proper in itself, appears to the court need lessly offensive in form.
153. Exclusion of evidence to contradict answers to questions testing veracity
When a witness has been asked and has answered any question which is relevant to the inquiry
only in so far as it tends to shake his credit by injuring his character, no evidence shall be given to contradict him; but, if he answers falsely, he may afterwardas be charged with giving false
evidence.
Exception -1 If a witness is asked whether he has been previously convicted of any crime and
denies it, evidence may be given of his previous conviction.
Exception 2- If a witness is asked any question tending to impeach his impartiality, and answers it
by denying the facts suggested, he may be contradicted.
Illustrations
(a) A claim against an underwriter is resisted on the ground of fraud.
The claimant is asked whether, in a former transaction, he had not made a fraudulent claim. He
denies it, Evidence is offered to show that he did make such a claim.
The evidence is inadmissible.
(b) A witness is asked whether he was not dismissed from a situation for dishonesty. He denies it.
Evidence is offered to show that he was dismissed for dishonesty.
The evidence is not admissible.
(c) A affirm that on a certain day he saw B at Lahore.
A is asked whether he himself was not on that day at Calcutta. He denies it.
Evidence is offered to show that A was on that day at Calcutta.
The evidence is admissible, not as contradicting A on a fact which affects his credit, but as
contradicting the alleged fact that B was seen on the day in question in Lahore.
In each of these cases the witness might, if his denial was false, be charged with giving false
evidence.
(d) A is asked whether his family has not had a blood feud with the family of B against whom he
gives evidence.
He denies it. He may be contradicted on the ground that the question tends to impeach his
impartiality.
154. Question by party to his own witness
The Court may, in its discretion, permit the person who calls a witness to put any questions to him
which might be put in cross examination by the adverse party.
155. Impeaching credit of witness
The credit of a witness may be impeached in the following ways by the adverse party, or, with the
consent of the Court, by the party who calls him:-
(1) by the evidence of persons who testify that they, from their knowledge of the witness believe
him to be unworthy of credit;
(2) by proof that the witness has been bribed, or has 90[accepted] the offer of a bride, or has
received any other corrupt inducement to give his evidence;
(3) by proof of former statements inconsistent with any part of his evidence which is liable to be contradicted;
(4) When a man is prosecuted for rape or an attempt to ravish, it may be shown that the
prosecutrix was of generally immoral character.
Explanation – A witness declaring another witness to be unworthy of credit may not, upon his
examination-in-chief, give reasons for his belief, but he may be asked his reasons in crossexamination, and the answers which he gives cannot be contradicted, though, if they are false, he
may afterwards be charged with giving false evidence.
Illustrations
(a) A sues B for the price of goods sold and delivered to B. C says that he delivered the goods to
B.
Evidence is offered to show that, on a previous occasion, he said that he had delivered goods to
B.
The evidence is admissible.
(b) A is indicated for the murder of B.
C says that B, when dying, declared that A had given B the wound of which he died.
Evidence is offered to show that, on a previous occasion, C said that the wound was not given by
A or in his presence.
The evidence admissible.
156. Questions tending to corroborate evidence of relevant fact, admissible
When a witness whom it is intended to corroborate gives evidence of any relevant fact, he may
be questioned as to any other circumstances which he observed at or near to the time or place at
which such relevant fact occurred,if the Court is of opinion that such circumstances, if proved,
would corroborate the testimony of the witness as to the relevant fact which he testifies.
Illustration
A, an accomplice, gives an account of a robbery in which he took part. He describes various
incidents unconnected with the robbery which occurred on his way to and from the place where it
was committed.
Independent evidence of these facts may be given in order to corroborate his evidence as to the
robbery itself.
157. Former statements of witness may be proved to corroborate later testimony as to
same fact-
In order to corroborate the testimony of a witness, any former statement made by such witness
relating to the same fact at or about the time when the fact took place, or before any authority
legally component to investigate the fact, may be proved.
158. What matters may be proved in connection with proved statement relevant under
section 32 or 33
Whenever any statement, relevant under section 32 or 33, is proved, all matters may be proved
either in order to contradict or to corroborate it, or in order to impeach or confirm the credit of the
person by whom it was made, which might have been proved if that person had been called as a
witness and had denied upon cross –examination the truth of the matter suggested. 159. Refreshing memory
A witness may, while under examination, refresh his memory by referring to any writing made by
himself at the time of the transaction concerning which he is questioned, or so soon afterwards
that the Court considers it likely that the transaction was at that time fresh in his memory.
The witness may also refer to any such writing made by any other person, and read by the
witness within the time aforesaid, if when he read it he knew it to be correct.
When witness may use copy of document to refresh memory- Whenever a witness may refresh
his memory by reference to any document, he may, with the permission of the Court, refer to a
copy of such document:
Provided the Court be satisfied that there is sufficient reason for the non – production of the
original.
An expert may refresh his memory by reference to professional treatises.
160. Testimony to facts stated in document mentioned in section 159
A witness may also testify to facts mentioned in any such document as is mentioned is section
159, although he has no specific recollection of the facts themselves, if he is sure that the facts
were correctly recorded in the document.
Illustration
A book- keeper may testify to facts recorded by him in books regularly kept in the course of
business, if he know that the books were correctly kept, although he has forgotten the particular
transactions entered.
89[161. Right of adverse party as to writing used to refresh memory
Any writing referred to under the provisions of the two last preceding sections must be produced
and shown to the adverse party if he requires it; such party may, if he pleases, cross-examine the
witness thereupon.
162. Productions of documents
A witness summoned to produce a document shall, if it is in his possession or power, bring it to
Court, notwithstanding any objection which there may be to its production or to its admissibility.
The validity of any such objection shall be decided on by the Court.
The Court, if it sees fit, may inspect the document, unless it refers to matters of State, or take
other evidence to enable it to determine on its admissibility.
Translation of documents – If for such a purpose it is necessary to cause any document to be
translated, the Court may, if it thinks fit, direct the translator to keep the contents secret, unless
the document is to be given in evidence : and, if the interpreter disobeys such direction , he shall
be held to have committed an offence under section 166 of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860).
163. Giving, as evidence, of document called for and produced on notice
When a party calls for a document which he has given the other party notice to produce, and
such document is produced and inspected by the party calling for its production, he is bound to
give it as evidence if the party producing it requires him to do so.
164. Using, as evidence, of document production of which was refused on notice
When a party refuses to produce a document which he has had notice to produce, he cannot
afterwards use the document as evidence without the consent of the other party or the order of
the Court.Illustration
A use B on an agreement and gives B notice to produce it, At the trial A calls for the document
and B refuses to produce it. A gives secondary evidence of its contents. B seeks to produce
documents itself to contradict the secondary evidence given by A, or in order to show that the
agreement is not stamped. He cannot do so.
165. Judge’s power to put questions or order production
The Judge may, in order to discover or to obtain proper proof of relevant facts, ask any question
he pleases, in any form, at any time, of any witness, or of the parties about any fact relevant of
irrelevant; and may order the production of any document or thing; and neither the parties nor
their agents shall be entitled to make any objection to any such question or order, nor, without the
leave of the Court, to cross-examine any witness upon any answer give in reply to any such
question:
Provided that the judgement must be based upon facts declared by this Act to be relevant, and
duly proved.
Provided also that this section shall not authorize any Judge to compel any witness to answer any
question or to produce any document which such witness would be entitled to refuse to answer or
produce under sections 121 to 131, both inclusive , if the question were asked or the document
were called for by the adverse party; nor shall the Judge ask any question which it would be
improper for any other person to ask under section 148 or 149; nor shall he dispense with primary
evidence of any document, except in the cases herein before excepted.
166. Power of jury or assessors to put questions
In cases tried by jury or with assessors, the jury or assessors may put any questions to the
witnesses, through or by leave of the Judge, which the Judge himself might put and which he
considers proper.
CHAPTER XI : OF IMPROPER ADMISSION AND REJECTION OF EVIDENCE
167. No new trial for improper admission or rejection or evidence
This improper admission or rejection of evidence shall not be ground of itself for a new trial or
reversal of any decision in any case, if it shall appear to the court before which such objection is
raised that, independently of the evidence objected to and admitted, there was sufficient evidence
to justify the decision, or that, if the rejected evidence had been received, it ought not to have
varied the decision.
[THE SCHEDULE repealed by the Repealing Act, 1938]
Foot Notes
1. Dated 15th. March 1872.
2. This Act has been extended to Berar by the Berar Laws Act, 1941 and has been declared to be
in force in the Sonthal Parganas by the settlement Parganas Settlement Regulation, 1872 (3 of
1872); in Panth Piploda by the Panth Piploda Laws Regulation, 1929; in the Khondmals Districts
by the Khondmals Laws Regulation, 1936; and in the Angul District by the Angul Laws
Regulation, 1936; also by notification under the Scheduled Districts Act, 1874; in the following
Scheduled Districts, namely the Districts of Hazaribagh, Lohardaga (now the Ranchi District-see
Calcutta Gazette, 1899. Pt. I, p. 44) and Manbhum and Pargana Dhalbhum and the Kolhan in the
District of Binghabhum – see GOI, 1881, Pt. 1, p. 504 (the Lohardaga or Ranchi District included at this time the Palamau District, separated in 1894); and the Tarai of the Province of Agra, ibid.,
1876, Pt. 1, p. 505; Gajnam and Vizagapatam-see GOI, 1899, Part 1, p. 720. This Act has been
extended also to Dadra and Nagar Haveli by Reg. 6 of 1963; to Pondichery by Reg. 7 of 1963; to
Goa, Daman and Diu by Reg. 11 of 1963, and to Laccadive, Minicoy and Amindivi Islands by
Reg. 8 of 1965.
3. Substituted by Act No. 3 of 1951, for the words “except Part B States”.
4. Inserted by Act No. 18 of 1919, see also section 127 of the Army Act.
5. Inserted by Act No. 35 of 1934.
6. The words “that Act as modified by” omitted by the A.O. 1950.
7. See now the Navy Act, 1957.
8. Inserted by Act No. 10 of 1927.
9. Substituted by Act No. 3 of 1951 for the definition of “State” and “States”.
10 See now the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908.
11 Substituted by the A.O. 1950, for the word “Queen”.
12. Substituted by Act No. 3 of 1891, for the earlier Explanation .
13. Substituted by Act No. 3 of 1891, for the earlier illustration (b).
14. Inserted by Act No. 3 of 1891.
17. A Coroner has been declared to be Magistrate for the purposes of this section, see section 10
of the Coroners Act, 1871.
18. Inserted by Act No. 3 of 1891.
19. The words “or in Burma” omitted by the A.O. 1937.
20. See now the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898.
21. Inserted by Act No. 3 of 1891.
22. Inserted by Act No. 18 of 1872.
23. Substituted by the A.O. 1948 for the words “any Government in British India”.
24. Inserted by the A.O. 1950.
25. Substituted for the words “Act of the Governor General of India in Council or of the Governors
in Council of Madras or Bombay, or of the Lieutenant Governor in Council of Bengal, or in
notification of the Government appearing in the Gazette of India, or in the Gazette of any L.G. or
in any printed paper purporting to be the London Gazette or the Government Gazette of any
colony or possession of the Queen, is a relevant fact” successively by Act No. 10 of 1914, A.O.
1937, A.O. 1948 and A.O. 1950.
26. Substituted by Act No. 3 of 1951 for the words “an Act of the Legislature of a Part A State or a
Part C State”. 27. Certain words omitted by Act No. 10 of 1914.
28 Inserted by Act No. 18 of 1872.
29. Inserted by Act No. 3 of 1891.
30. Inserted by Act No. 5 of 1899.
31. Inserted by Act No. 18 of 1872.
32. Substituted by Act No. 3 of 1891.
33. Inserted by Act No. 3 of 1891.
34. Substituted by the A.O. 1950.
35. Inserted by the A.O. 1950.
36. Substituted by the A.O. 1950 for the words “Her Majesty’s”.
37. Substituted by Act No. 10 of 1927 for the words “or Navy”.
38. Substituted by the A.O. 1950.
39. Substituted by the A.O. 1948 for the words “Courts of British India”.
40. Substituted by Act No. 3 of 1951 for the words “the States”.
41. Substituted by the A.O. 1937, for the words “the G. G. or any L. G. in Council”.
42. Substituted by the A.O. 1950, for the words “any Act of Parliament of other”.
43. Substituted by the A.O. 1937, for the words “the Gazetted of India, or in the Official Gazette of
any L.G.”.
44 Substituted by the A.O. 1950, for the words “the British Crown”.
45. Inserted by Act No. 18 of 1872.
46. Inserted by Act No. 18 of 1872.
47. Inserted by Act No. 31 of 1926.
48. The words “whether of British India, or of any other part of Her Majesty’s dominions” have
successively been amended by the A.O. 1948 and the A.O. 1950.
49. Substituted by the A.O. 1950, for the words “in any province”.
50. Substituted by the A.O. 1937, for the words “the Executive Government of British India”
51. Inserted by the A.O. 1937.
52. Substituted by the A.O. 1937 for the words “by order of Government”.
53. The words “Her Majesty” stand unaltered, see the A.O. 1950. 54. Substituted by the A.O. 1937., for the words “public Act of the Governor General of India in
Council”.
55. Substituted by the A.O. 1950, for the words “a Province”.
56. Substituted by the A.O. 1950, for the words “a British Counsel”.
57. Inserted by the A.O. 1948.
58. The words beginning from “in British India” and ending with the words “to be genuine” have
been successively amended by the A.O. 1937, A. 1948 and A.O. 1950.
59. Substituted by Act No. 3 of 1951 for the words “in a Part B State”.
60. Substituted by the A.O. 1937 for the words “the Gazette of India, or the Government Gazette
of any L.G. or”.
61. The word “Government” has successively been amended by the A.O. 1937, A.O. 1948, Act
No. 40 of 1949 and the A.O. 1950.
62. Substituted by the A.O. 1950 for the words “British”.
63. The words “of Her Majesty or” omitted by the A.O. 1950.
64. Substituted by the A.O. 1937, for the words “G.of I.”.
65. Substituted by the A.O. 1950 for the words “any country not forming part”.
66. The words “a Part B State or of “omitted by Act No. 3 of 1951.
67. The words “Her Majesty or of” omitted by the A.O. 1950.
68. Substituted by Act No. 3 of 1891 for the words “resident in” Substituted by Act No. 3 of 1951
for the words “such Part B State or country”.
69. Substituted by Act No. 3 of 1951 for the words “such Part B State or country”.
70. Substituted by Act No. 3 of 1951 for the words “that State of country”.
71. Substituted by Act No. 5 of 1899 for the former paragraph which had been inserted by Act No.
3 of 1891.
72. The words “a Part B State or” omitted by Act No. 3 of 1951.
73. Substituted by the A.O. 1950 for the words, figures and brackets “clause (40)”.
74. Substituted by Act No. 3 of 1951 for the words “in and for that Part B State or country”.
75. Substituted by Act No. 18 of 1872 for the words “under the Indian Succession Act”.
76. Substituted by Act No. 18 of 1872 for the words “for want of failure”.
77. See now the Indian Succession Act, 1925.
78. Sic. In the Act as published in Gazette of India, 1872, Pt. IV, P. 1, there is no Illustration (b). 79. Substituted by Act No. 18 of 1872 for the words “When”.
80. Substituted by Act No. 18 of 1872 for the words “on”.
81. Inserted by Act No. 61 of 1984.
82. Inserted by the A.O. 1937, w.e.f. 1st. April 1937.
83. Inserted by Act No. 46 of 1983.
84. Section 113B inserted by the Dowry prohibition (Amendment) Act, 1986 dated 8th September
1986.
85. Inserted by Act No. 43 of 1983.
86. Substituted by Act No. 3 of 1887 for the earlier section 125.
87. Substituted by Act No. 18 of 1872 for the words “criminal”.
88. Inserted by Act No. 18 of 1872.
89. See also section 172 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898.
90. Substituted by Act No. 18 of 1872 for the words “had”.

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