01. Evidence Act 1-16

Delhi Law Academy

                                                                INDIAN     EVIDENCE   ACT     1872

Section 1                     Extent and commencement

  • This Act extends to the whole of India
    • except the State of Jammu and Kashmir
  • It shall come into force
    • on the first day of September, 1872

 

Applicability

  • It applies to all judicial proceedings in or before any Court
    • other than Courts-martial convened under Army, Navy and Air Force Acts
  • but not to affidavits presented to any Court or Officer
  • not to proceedings before an arbitrator

 

Section 3                     Interpretation clause

  • Unless contrary intention appears from context

Court

  • “Court” includes
    • all Judges and Magistrates
    • all persons legally authorized to take evidence except arbitrators

“Fact”

  • “Fact” means and includes
    • any thing, state of things or relation of things
      • capable of being perceived by the sense
    • any mental condition
      • of which any person is conscious

Illustrations

  • That there are certain objects arranged in a certain order in a certain place
    • is a fact
  • That a man heard or saw something
    • is a fact
  • That a man said certain words
    • is a fact
  • That a man holds a certain opinion
    • has a certain intention
    • acts in goods faith or fraudulently
    • is or was conscious of a particulars sensation
      • is a fact
  • 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 this Act relating to relevancy of facts

 

“Facts in issue”

  • “Facts in issue” means and includes
    • any fact from which
      • either by itself or in connection with other facts
    • existence, non-existence, nature or extent
      • of any right, liability or disability asserted or denied in any suit or proceeding
    • necessarily follows

Illustration

  • A is accused of murder of B
  • At his trial the following facts may be in issue:
    • That A caused 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 or described upon any substance
    • by means of letters, figures or marks
      • intended to be used for recording that matter
      • or which may be used for recording that matter

Illustrations of documents

  • A writing
  • Words printed, Lithographed or photographed
  • A map or plan
  • An inscription on a metal plate or stone
  • A caricature

 

“Evidence”

  • “Evidence” means and includes
    • all statements which 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]
    • all documents including electronic records produced for inspection of Court
      • [such statements are called documentary evidence]

 

“Proved”

  • A fact is said to be proved
    • when, after considering the matters before it
  • Court either believes it to exist
  • or considers its existence so probable
    • that a prudent man ought to act upon the supposition that it exists

 

“Disproved”

  • A fact is said to be disproved
    • when, after considering the matters before it
  • Court either believes that it does not exist
  • or considers its non-existence so probable
    • that a prudent man ought to act upon the supposition that it does not exist

 

“Not proved”

  • A fact is said to be not proved
    • when it is neither proved nor disproved


Section 4

“May presume”

  • Whenever it is provided 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 is directed 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 to be conclusive proof of another
  • Court shall, on proof of the one fact
    • regard the other as proved
  • and shall not allow evidence to be given
    • for disproving it

                                               

 

   CHAPTER    II                RELEVANCY    OF    FACTS

Section 5                     Evidence, of facts in issue and relevant facts

  • Evidence may be given in any suit or proceeding
    • of existence or non-existence of every fact in issue
    • and of such other facts as are declared to be relevant
      • and of no others

Illustration (a)

  • A is tried for murder of B by beating him with a club
    • with the intention of causing his death
  • At A’s trial these 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

Illustration (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 conditions prescribed by CPC

 

Section 6                     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

Illustration (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 same transaction
    • is a relevant fact

Illustration (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

Illustration (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

 

Section 7                     Facts which are the occasion, cause or effect

  • Facts
    • which are the occasion, cause, or effect 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

 

Illustration (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

Illustration (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

Illustration (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 administration of poison
  • are relevant facts

 

Section 8                     Motive, preparation and conduct

  • Any fact is relevant
    • which shows or constitutes a motive or preparation
    • for any fact in issue or relevant fact
  • Conduct of 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 in issue or relevant fact
    • whether it was previous or subsequent thereto

 

Explanation 1

  • “conduct” in this section does not include statements
    • unless those statements accompany and explain acts other than statements

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

 

Illustration (a)

  • A is tried for murder of C
  • The facts
    • that A murdered C
    • that B knew that A had murdered C
    • and B had tried to extort money from A by threatening to make this public
  • are relevant

Illustration (b)

  • A sues B upon a bond for 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

Illustration (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

Illustration (d)

  • The question is whether a certain document is the will of A
  • The facts
    • that not long before the date of will, A made inquiry into matters to which the will relates
    • that he consulted vakils in reference to making the will
    • and that he caused drafts or other wills prepared of which he did not approve
  • are relevant

Illustration (f)

  • The question is whether A robbed B
  • The facts
    • that after B was robbed, C said in A’s presence
      • “police are coming to look for the man who robbed B”
    • and that immediately afterwards A ran away
  • are relevant

Illustration (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

Illustration (i)

  • A is accused of a crime
  • The facts that
    • after commission of the crime he absconded
    • or was in possession of property or proceeds of property acquired by crime
    • or attempted to conceal things which were or might have been used in committing it
  • are relevant

Illustration (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 the complaint was made
    • 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 u/s 32 (1)
    • or as corroborative evidence u/s 157

 

Section 9                     Facts necessary to explain 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 identity of anything 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

 

Illustration (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

Illustration (b)

  • A sues B for a libel imputing disgraceful conduct to A
    • B affirms that the matter alleged to be libelous is true
  • Position and relations of parties at the time when the libel was published
    • may be relevant facts as introductory to the facts in issue
  • Particulars of a dispute between A and B about a matter unconnected with the libel
    • are irrelevant
      • though the fact that there was a dispute may be relevant
      • as it affected relations between A and B

Illustration (c)

  • A is accused of a crime
  • The fact that soon after commission of the crime, A absconded from his house
    • is relevant u/s 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

Illustration (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 C’s conduct
    • which is relevant as a fact in issue

Illustration (e)

  • A accused of theft, is seen to give 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

 

Section 10                   Things said or done by conspirator

  • Where there is reasonable ground to believe
    • that two or more persons have conspired 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   Govt of India
  • The facts that
    • B procured arms in Europe for 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
    • F transmitted from Delhi to G at Kabul the money 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

 

Section 11                   Facts not otherwise relevant become relevant

  • Facts not otherwise relevant are relevant
    • if they are inconsistent
      • with any fact in issue or relevant fact
    • 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

 

Illustration (b)

  • The question is whether A committed a crime
  • 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

 

Section 12                   Suits for damages

  • In suits in which damages are claimed
  • any fact which will enable the Court
    • to determine the amount of damages
  • is relevant


Section 14                   Facts showing existence of state of mind

  • Facts showing existence of any state of mind
    • such as intention, knowledge, good faith, negligence, ill-will or good-will
    • or showing existence of any state of body or bodily feeling
  • are relevant
    • when existence of any such state of mind or body or bodily feeling
    • is in issue or relevant

 

Illustration (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 all the articles of which he was in possession to be stolen

Illustration (c)

  • A sues B for damage done by a dog of B
    • which B 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

 

Section 15                   Whether act was accidental or intentional

  • When there is a question
    • whether an act was accidental or intentional
    • 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 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
    • after each fire A received payment from a different insurance office
  • are relevant
    • as tending to show that the fires were not accidental


Section 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

Illustration

  • 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