Chapter 3 - FACTS WHICH NEED NOT BE PROVEDSection 56 - Fact judicially noticeable need not be proved
No fact of which the Court will take judicial notice need to be proved.
Section 57 - Facts of which Court must take judicial notice
The Court shall take judicial notice of the following facts:-
1 [(1) All laws in force in the territory of India;]
(2) All public Acts passed or hereafter to be passed by Parliament 1 [of the United Kingdom] and all local and personal Acts directed by Parliament 2 [of the United Kingdom] to be judicially noticed;
(3) Articles of War for 3 [the Indian] Army 4 [Navy or Air Force];
5 [(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 law 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 6 [Courts in 7 [India] and all Courts out of 5 [India] established by the authority of 8 [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 9 [the Constitution or an Act of Parliament of the United Kingdom or an] Act or Regulation having the force of law in 7 [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 10 [any Official Gazette];
(8) The existence, title and national flag of every State or Sovereign recognized by 11 [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 11 [the Government of India];
(11) The commencement, continuance, and termination of hostilities between 11 [the Government of India] and any other State of 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 authorized by law to appear or act before it;
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.
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 time 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 admission.
INDIAN EVIDENCE ACT 1872Chapter 4 - OF ORAL EVIDENCESection 59 - Proof of facts by oral evidence
All facts, except the 1 [contents of documents or electronic records], may be proved by oral evidence.
1. Substituted by Act 21 of 2000, section 92 and Schedule II, for "contents of documents" (w.e.f. 17-10-2000).
Section 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 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 senseor 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 sate, 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 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.
INDIAN EVIDENCE ACT 1872Chapter 5 - OF DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCESection 61 - Proof of contents of documents
The contents of documents may be proved either by primary or by secondary evidence.
Section 62 - Primary evidence
Primary evidence means the document 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.
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.
Section 63 - Secondary evidence
Secondary evidence means and includes-
(1) Certified copies given under the provisions hereinafter contained1;
(2) Copies made from the original by mechanical processes which in themselves insure 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 document given by some person who has himself seen it.
(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 the 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 art 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.
Section 64 - Proof of documents by primary evidence
Documents must be proved by primary evidence except in the cases hereinafter mentioned.
Section 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 document 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 a 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 in1[India] to be given in evidence2;
(g) when the original consists of numerous accounts or other documents which cannot conveniently be examined in Court and the fact to be proved is 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, is 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.
1. Substituted by Act 3 of 1951, section 3 and Schedule, for "the States".
2. Cf. the Bankers' Books Evidence Act, 1891 (18 of 1891), section 4.
Section 65A - Special provisions as to evidence relating to electronic record
1 [65A. Special provisions as to evidence relating to electronic record
The contents of electronic records may be proved in accordance with the provisions of section 65B (w.e.f. 17-10-2000).
1. Inserted by Act 21 of 2000, section 92 and Schedule II (w.e.f. 17-10-2000).
Section 65B - Admissibility of electronic records
(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, any information contained in an electronic record which is printed on a paper, stored, recorded or copied in optical or magnetic media produced by a computer (hereinafter referred to as the computer output) shall be deemed to be also a document, if the conditions mentioned in this section are satisfied in relation to the information and computer in question and shall be admissible in any proceedings, without further proof or production of the original, as evidence or any contents of the original or of any fact stated therein of which direct evidence would be admissible.
(2) The conditions referred to in sub-section (1) in respect of a computer output shall be the following, namely: -
(a) the computer output containing the information was produced by the computer during the period over which the computer was used regularly to store or process information for the purposes of any activities regularly carried on over that period by the person having lawful control over the use of the computer;
(b) during the said period, information of the kind contained in me electronic record or of the kind from which the information so contained is derived was regularly fed into the computer in the ordinary course of the said activities;
(c) 'throughout the material part of the said period, the computer was operating properly or, if not, then in respect of any period in which it was not operating properly or was out of operation during that part of the period, was not such as to affect the electronic record or the accuracy of its contents; and
(d) the information contained in the electronic record reproduces or is derived from such information fed into the computer in the ordinary course of the said activities.
(3) Where over any period, the function of storing or processing information for the purposes of any activities regularly carried on over that period as mentioned in clause (a) of sub-section (2) was regularly performed by computers, whether--
(a) by a combination of computers operating over that period; or
(b) by different computers operating in succession over that period; or
(c) by different combinations of computers operating in succession over that period; or
(d) in any other manner involving the successive operation over that period, in whatever order, of one or more computers and one or more combinations of computers,
all the computers used for that purpose during that period shall be treated for the purposes of this section as constituting a single computer; and references in the section to a computer shall be construed accordingly.
(4) In any proceedings where it is desired to give a statement in evidence by virtue of this section, a certificate doing any of the following things, that is to say,--
(a) identifying the electronic record containing the statement and describing the manner in which it was produced;
(b) giving such particulars of any device involved in the production of that electronic record as may be appropriate for the purpose of showing that the electronic record was produced by a computer;
(c) dealing with any of the matters to which the conditions mentioned in sub-section (2) relate,
and purporting to be signed by a person occupying a responsible official position in relation to the operation of the relevant device or the management of the relevant activities (whichever is appropriate) shall be evidence of any matter stated in the certificate; and for the purposes of this sub-section it shall be sufficient for a mailer to be stated to the best of the knowledge and belief of the person stating it.
(5) For the purposes of this section,-
(a) information shall be taken to be supplied to a computer if it is supplied thereto in any appropriate form and whether it is so supplied directly or (with or without human intervention) by means of any appropriate equipment;
(b) whether in the course of activities carried on by any official information is supplied with a view to its being stored or processed for the purposes of those activities by a computer operated otherwise than in the course of those activities, that information, if duly supplied to that computer, shall be taken to be supplied to it in the course of those activities;
(c) a computer output shall be taken to have been produced by a computer whether it was produced by it directly or (with or without human intervention) by means of any appropriate equipment.
Explanation.-For the purposes of this section any reference to information being derived from other information shall be a reference to its being derived therefrom by calculation, comparison or any other process.]
Section 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,1[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 adverse party 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.
Section 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.
Section 67A - Proof as to electronic signature
The Court shall presume, unless contrary is proved, that the information listed in a 1[Electronic Signature Certificate] is correct, except for information specified as subscriber information which has not been verified, if the certificate was accepted by the subscriber.]
1. Substituted vide IT Amendment Act, 2008. Prior text was "Digital Signature Certificate".
Section 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:
1 [Provided that it shall 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.]
Section 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 documents is in the handwriting of that person.
Section 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 required by law to be attested.
Section 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
Section 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.
Section 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.
1[This section applies also, with any necessary modifications, to finger-impressions.
Section 73A - Proof as to verification of digital signature
1 [73A. Proof as to verification of digital signature
In order to ascertain whether a digital signature is that of the person by whom it purports to have been affixed, the Court may direct--
(a) that person or the Controller or the Certifying Authority to produce the Digital Signature Certificate;
(b) any other person to apply the public key listed in the Digital Signature Certificate and verify the digital signature purported to have been affixed by that person.
Explanation.-For the purposes of this section, "Controller" means the Controller appointed under sub-section (1) of section 17 of the Information Technology Act, 2000.]
1. Inserted by Act 21 of 2000, section 92 and Schedule II (w.e.f. 17-10-2000).
Section 74 to 78 - Public DocumentsSection 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,1[of any part of India or of the Commonwealth], or of a foreign country;
(2) Public records kept2[in any State] of private documents.
1. The original 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 to read as above.
2. Substituted by the A.O. 1950, for "in any province".
Section 75 - Private documents
All other documents are private.
Section 76 - Certified copies of public documents
Every1public 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 true copy of such document or part thereof, as the case may be and such certificate shall be dated and subscribed by such officer with 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 authorized to deliver such copies, shall be deemed to have the custody of such documents within the meaning of this section.
1. A village-officer in the Punjab has been declared for the purposes of this Act to be a public officer having the custody of a public document-see the Punjab Land Revenue Act, 1887 (17 of 1887), section, 151 (2).
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.
Section 78 - Proof of other official documents
The following public documents may be proved as follows:-
(1) Acts, orders or notifications of1[the Central Government] in any of its departments,2[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 head of those departments respectively,
or by any document purporting to be printed by order of any such Government2[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 or abstracts, or by copies purporting to be printed3[by order of the Government concerned];
(3) Proclamations, orders or regulations issued by4[Her Majesty] or by the Privy Council, or by any department of4[Her 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 some5[Central Act];
(5) The proceedings of a municipal body in6[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 of7[an Indian 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.
After section 78, insert the following section namely:
78A. Copies of public documents, to be as good as original documents in certain cases.-- Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act or any other law for the time being in force, where any public documents concerning any areas within West Bengal have been kept in Pakistan, then copies of such public documents shall, on being authenticated in such manner as may be prescribed from time to time by the State Government by notification in the Official Gazette, be deemed to have taken the place of and to be, the original documents from which such copies were made and all references to the original documents shall be construed as including reference to such copies."
1. Substituted by the A.O. 1937, for "the Executive Government of British India".
3. Substituted by the A.O. 1937, for "by order of Government".
4. The words "Her Majesty" stand unmodified see the A.O. 1950.
5. Substituted by the A.O. 1937, for "public Act of the Governor General of India in Council".
6. Substituted by the A.O. 1950, for "a Province".
7. Substituted by the A.O. 1950, for "a British Consul".
8.Vide West Bengal Act 29 of 1955, section 3 (w.e.f. 6-10-1955) as amended by West Bengal Act 20 of 1960, section 3 (w.e.f. 5-1-1961).
Section 79 to 90A - Presumptions as to documentsSection 79 - Presumption as to genuineness of certified copies
The Court shall presume1[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 an officer2[of the Central Government or of a State Government, or by any officer3[in the Slate of Jammu and Kaashmir] who is duly authorized 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.
2. The original word beginning from "in British India" and ending with the words "to be genuine have been successively amended by the A.O. 1937, A.O. 1948 and A.O. 1950 to read as above.
3. Substituted by Act 3 of 1951, section 3 and Schedule, for "in a Part B State".
Section 80 - Presumption as to documents produced as record of evidence
Whenever any document is 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 proceedings 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 statements as to the circumstances under which it was taken, purporting to be made by the person signing it, are true, and that such evidence, statement or confession was duly taken.
Section 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 or1[any Official Gazette, or the Government Gazette] of any colony, dependency of possession of the British Crown, or to be a newspaper or journal, or to be a copy of a private Act of Parliament2[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.
1. Substituted by A.O. 1937, for "the Gazette of India or the Government Gazette of any L.G. , or".
Section 81A - Presumption as to Gazettes in electronic forms
1[81A. Presumption as to Gazettes in electronic forms
The Court shall presume the genuineness of every electronic record purporting to be the Official Gazette or purporting to be electronic record directed by any law to be kept by any person, if such electronic record is kept substantially in the form required by law and is produced from proper custody.]
1. Inserted by Act 21 of 2000, section 92 and Schedule II (w.e.f. 17-10-2000).
Section 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 mat me person signing it held, at the lime 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
Section 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 of1[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.
1. The original word "Government" has successively been amended by the A.O. 1937, A.O. 1948, Act 40 of 1949, A.O. 1950, to read as above.
Section 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 any 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.
Section 85 - Presumption as to power-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,1[Indian] Consul or Vice-Consul, or representative2[***] of the3[Central Government], was so executed and authenticated.
The Court shall presume that every electronic record purporting to be an agreement containing the digital signatures of the parties was so concluded by affixing the 2[electronic signature] of the parties.
1. Inserted by Act 21 of 2000, section 92 and Schedule II (w.e.f. 17-10-2000).
2. Substituted vide IT Amendment Act, 2008 prior text was "digital signature "
Section 85B - Presumption as to electronic records and electronic signatures
(1) In any proceedings involving a secure electronic record, the Court shall presume unless contrary is proved, that the secure electronic record has not been altered since the specific point of time to which the secure status relates.
(2) In any proceedings, involving secure digital signature, the Court shall presume unless the contrary is proved that
(a) the secure digital signature is affixed by subscriber with the intention of signing or approving the electronic record;
(b) except in the case of a secure electronic record or a secure 1[electronic signature], nothing in this section shall cerate any presumption, relating to authenticity and integrity of the electronic record or any digital signature.
1. Substituted vide IT Amendment Act, 2008 prior text was ""digital signature"
Section 85C - Presumption as to Electronic Signature Certificates Section 85C - Presumption as to [Electronic Signature Certificates]
The Court shall presume, unless contrary is proved, that the information listed in a 1[Electronicl Signature Certificate] is correct, except for information specified as subscriber information which has not been verified, if the certificate was accepted by the subscriber.]
1. Substituted vide IT Amendment Act, 2008. Prior text was " Digital Signature Certificate"
Section 86 - Presumption as to certified copies of foreign judicial records
The Court may presume that any document purporting to be a certified copy of any judicial record of 1 [2 [***] any country 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 3 [***] the 4 [Central Government] 5 [in or for] 6 [such country] to be the manner commonly in use in 7 [that country] for the certification of copies of judicial records.
8 [An officer who, with respect to 9 [***] any territory or place not forming part of 10 [India or] Her Majesty's dominions, is Political Agent therefore, as defined in section 3, 11 [clause (43)], of the General Clauses Act, 1897 (10 of 1897), shall for the purposes of this section, be deemed to be a representative of the 12 [Central Government] 13 [in and for the country] comprising that territory or place]
1. Substituted by A.O. 1950, for "any country not forming part".
2. The words "a Part B State or of" omitted by Act 3 of 1951, section 3 and Schedule.
3. The words "Her Majesty or of" omitted by the A.O. 1950.
4. Substituted by A.O. 1937, for "Government of India".
5. Substituted by Act 3 of 1891, section 8, for "resident in".
6. Substituted by Act 3 of 1951, section 3 and Schedule, for "such Part B State or country".
7. Substituted by Act 3 of 1951, section 3 and Schedule, for "that State or country".
8. Substituted by Act 5 of 1899, section 4, for the para added by Act 3 of 1891, section 3.
9. The words " a part B State or" which were Inserted by the A.O. 1950, omitted by Act 3 of 1951, section 3 and Schedule.
11. Substituted by Act A.O. 1950, for "Clause (40)".
12. Substituted by the A.O. 1937, for "Government of India".
13. Substituted by Act 3 of 1951, section 3 and Schedule II (w.e.f. 17-10-2000).
Section 87 - Presumption as to books, maps and charts
The Court 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.
Section 88 - Presumption as to telegraphic messages
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.
Section 88A - Presumption as to electronic messages
The Court may presume that an electronic message, forwarded by the originator through an electronic mail server to the addressee to whom the message purports to be addressed corresponds with the message as fed into his computer for transmission; but the Court shall not make any presumption as to the person by whom such message was sent.
Explanation.-For the purposes of this section, the expressions "addressee" and "originator" shall have the same meanings respectively assigned to them in clauses (b) and (za) of sub-section (1) of section 2 of the Information Technology Act, 2000.]
1. Inserted by Act 21 of 2000, section 92 and Schedule II (w.e.f. 17-10-2000).
Section 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.
Section 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 a 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.
(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. The custody is proper.
(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.
(a) Renumber section 90 as sub-section (1) thereof;
(b) in sub-section (1) as so renumbered, for the words "thirty years", substitute the words "twenty years";
(c) after sub-section (1) as so renumbered, insert the following sub-section, namely:--
"( 2) Where any such document as is referred to in sub-section (1) was registered in accordance with the law relating to registration of documents and a duly certified copy thereof is produced, 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, it is that person's handwriting, and in the case of a document executed or attested, that it was duly executed and attested by the person by whom it purports to have been executed or attested".
(d) After section 90, insert the following section, inserted:--
" 90A. (1) Where any registered document or a duly certified copy thereof or any certified copy of a document which is part of the record of a Court of Justice, is produced from any custody which the Court in the particular case considers proper, the Court may presume that the original was executed by the person by whom it purports to have been executed.
( 2) This presumption shall not be made in respect of any document which is the basis of a suit or of defence or is relied upon in the plaint or written statement."
The explanation to sub-section ( 1) of section 90 will also apply to this section;
1. Vide Uttar Pradesh Act 24 of 1954 , section 2 and Schedule (w.e.f. 30-11-1954).
Section 90A - Presumption as to electronic records five years old
1[90A. Presumption as to electronic records five years old
Where any electronic record, purporting or proved to be five years old, is produced from any custody which the Court in the particular case considers proper, the Court may presume that the 2[Electronic signature] which purports to be the digital signature of any particular person was so affixed by him or any person authorised by him in this behalf.
Explanation.-Electronic records 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 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 81A.]
1. Inserted by Act 21 of 2000, section 92 and Schedule II (w.e.f. 17-10-2000).
2. Substituted vide IT Amendment Act, 2008 prior text was "digital signature"
INDIAN EVIDENCE ACT 1872Chapter 6 - OF THE EXCLUSION OF ORAL OR DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCESection 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 evidence1 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 2 [admitted to probate in 3 [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 than the facts referred to in this section, shall not preclude the admission of oral evidence as to the same fact.
(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 a 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.
1. Where, however, a criminal court finds that a confession or other statements or an accused person has not been recorded in the manner prescribed, evidence may be taken that the recorded statement was duly made see the Code or Criminal Procedure, 1973 (Act 2 of 1974), section, 463.
2. Substituted by Act 18 of 1872, section 7, for "under the Indian Succession Act".
3. Substituted by Act 3 of 1951, section 3 and Schedule, for "the States".
Section 92 - Exclusion of evidence of oral agreement
When the terms of any such contract, grant or 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 or statement shall be admitted, as between the parties to any such instrument or their representatives in interest, for the purpose of contradicting, varying, adding to, or subtracting from, its terms:
Proviso (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 1 [want or failure] of consideration, or mistake in fact or taw:
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.
(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 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 1st 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 Rampure tea estate" is sold by a deed which contains a map of the property sold. The fact that 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 inserted in it by mistake. A may prove that such a mistake was made as would by law entitle him to have the contract reformed.
(f) A orders goods of B by a letter in which nothing is said as to the time of payment, and accepts the goods on delivery. B sues A for the price. A may show that the goods were supplied on credit for a term still unexpired.
(g) A sells B a horse and verbally warrants him sound. A gives B a paper in these words "Bought of A a horse for Rs. 500". B may prove the verbal warranty.
(h) A hires lodging 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 lodging 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.
1. Substituted by Act 18 of 1872, section 8, "for want of failure".
Section 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.
(a) A agrees, in writing, to sell a horse of 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.
Section 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.
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.
Section 95 - Evidence as to document unmeaning in reference to existing facts
When language used in a document is plain in itself, but is unmeaning in reference to existing facts, evidence may be given to show that it was used in a peculiar sense.
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, at 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 of Howrah.
Section 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 it was intended to apply to.
(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 Hyderabad. Evidence may be given of facts showing whether Haidarabad in the Dekkhan or Haidarabad in Sindh was meant.
Section 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 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.
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.
Section 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.
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.
Section 99 - Who may give evidence of agreement varying term 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.
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's 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.
Section 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 Act (10 of 1865)1 as to the construction of wills.
1. See now the Indian Succession Act, 1925 (39 of 1925), Pt. VI, Ch. VI.