THE INDIAN EVIDENCE ACT, 1872 – W.B.C.S. Examination Notes on Law.
ইন্ডিয়ান এভিডেন্স অ্যাক্ট, ১৮৭২ – WBCS আইন সংক্রান্ত পরীক্ষার নোট।
This Act may be called the Indian Evidence Act, 1872. It extends to the whole of India 1[except the State of Jammu and Kashmir] and applies to all judicial proceedings in or before any Court, including Courts-martial, 2[other than Courts-martial convened under the Army Act] (44 & 45 Vict., c. 58) 3[the Naval Discipline Act (29 & 30 Vict., c. 109) or 4[***] the Indian Navy (Discipline) Act, 1934 (34 of 1934)5 6[or the Air Force Act] (7 Geo. 5, c. 51) but not to affidavits 7presented to any Court or Officer, nor to proceedings before an arbitrator; and it shall come into force on the first day of September, 1872.Continue Reading THE INDIAN EVIDENCE ACT, 1872 – W.B.C.S. Examination Notes on Law.
2. Repeal of enactments.—[Rep. by the Repealing Act, 1938 (1 of 1938), sec. 2 and Sch.]
3 Interpretation clause. —In this Act the following words and expressions are used in the following senses, unless a contrary intention appears from the context:— “Court”. —“Court” includes all Judges1 and Magistrates, 2 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 senses;
(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 good faith, or fraudulently, or uses a particular word in a particular sense, or is or was at a specified time conscious of a particular 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 in any suit or proceeding, necessarily follows. Explanation.— Whenever, under the provisions of the law for the time being in force relating to Civil Procedure, 3 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 A caused B’s death; That A intended to cause B’s 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. “Document”. —“Document” 4 means any matter expressed or 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 5 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) 6 [all documents including electronic records produced for the inspection of the Court], such documents are called documentary 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. 7 [“ India ”. —“ India ” means the territory of India excluding the State of Jammu and Kashmir .] 8 [the expressions “Certifying Authority”, 9 [electronic signature], 9 [Electronic Signature Certificate], “electronic form”, “electronic records”, “information”, “secure electronic record”, “secure digital signature” and “subscriber” shall have the meanings respectively assigned to them in the Information Technology Act, 2000 (21 of 2000).]
4. “May presume”.—Whenever it is provided by this Act that the 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 is directed by this Act that the Court shall presume a fact, it shall regard such fact as proved, unless and until it is 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.
5. Evidence may be given of facts in issue and relevant facts.—Evidence may be given in any suit or proceedings 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 Procedure1..—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 Procedure1.” Illustrations
(a) 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 the proceedings, otherwise than in accordance with the conditions prescribed by the Code of Civil Procedure.
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 before or after it as to form part of the transaction, is a relevant fact.
(b) A is accused of waging war against the 1[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, immediate 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 the subject of any proceeding, is relevant, if such conduct influences or is influenced by any fact in issue or relevant fact, and whether it was previous or subsequent thereto. Explanation 1.—The word “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 that B had tried to 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 bond 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 he 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 facts that, either before or at the time of, or after the alleged crime, A provided 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 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 owes 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 or the proceeds of property acquired by the crime, or attempted to conceal things which were or might have been used in committing it, 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. COMMENTS Ground for rejection of testimony of eye witness The conduct of an eye witness in non-disclosing the incident to anybody for a number of days, is highly unnatural one and is sufficient to reject his testimony; Ganpat Kondiba Chavan v. State of Maharashtra, (1997) 2 Crimes 38 (Bom). It is well settled that the conduct of a witness in not disclosing the incident to person(s) whom he must have met after the incident is indicative of the fact that he had not seen the accident; Ganpat Kondiba Chavan v. State of Maharashtra, (1997) 2 Crimes 38 (Bom). Role of motive in an offence If motive is proved, the case of prosecution becomes more easier to connect accused to the alleged incident; P.V. Narayana v. State of Andhra Pradesh, (1997) 2 Crimes 307 (AP). Normally there is a motive behind every criminal act; Barikanoo v. State of Uttar Pradesh, (1997) 1 Crimes 500 (All). When motive is not sine qua non Where the ocular evidence is very clear and convincing and the role of the accused person in the crime stands clearly established, establishment of motive is not a sine qua non for proving the prosecution case; Yunis alias Kariya v. State of Madhya Pradesh, AIR 2003 SC 539. It is well settled that where the direct evidence regarding the assault is worthy of the credence and can be believed, the question of motive becomes more or less academic. Sometimes the motive is clear and can be proved and sometimes the motive is shrouded in the mystery and it is very difficult to locate the same. If, however, the evidence of eye witnesses is credit-worthy and is believed by the court which has placed implicit reliance on them, the question whether there is any motive or not becomes wholly irrelevant; Raja v. State, (1972) 2 Crimes 175. Motive is a thing primarily known to the accused himself and it may not the possible for the prosecution in each and every case to find out the real motive behind the crime; Barikanoo v. State of Uttar Pradesh, (1997)1 Crimes 500 (All). It is well established that where there is an eyewitness account regarding the incident, the motive loses all its importance; Barikanoo v. State of Uttar Pradesh, (1997) 1 Crimes 500 (All).
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