Basics of The Indian Evidence Act, 1872


The Indian Evidence Act, 1872


The term “law” is used in different meanings. In simple words it means any rule, regulation or norm to which the human actions are required to draw conformity. The entire corpus juris (body of laws) is divided into two categories:

The Laws which defines the rights, duties and liabilities are called “Substantive law” Ex. India Penal Code.

The laws which provides the mode or procedure by which application of substantive law is regulated are known as “procedural law” or “Adjective law”

Indian Law info provides Law of Evidence is law of procedure or adjective law. Evidence Act does not deals with rights or liabilities under the law but only provides the mode by which those rights or liabilities of parties is as curtained or restricted according to law. 

Law Evidence is “Lex fori a Maxim “Lex fori” means the law of the place of the action so Whether particular evidence proves a certain fact or not is to be determined by the law of the place where the question arises, where the remedy is sought to be enforced and court sits to enforce it.

 Basics of evidence act 

According to section 3 of the Evidence Act,1872, “evidence” means and includes:

  • All statements where the court permits or requires to be made before it by any witnesses, in relation to matters of fact under any inquiry of such statements are called oral evidence;
  • All documents now including electronics record produced for the inspection of the court such documents are called documentary evidence.

Indian evidence act of 1872 extends to the whole of Indian territory except the State of Jammu & Kashmir and to all judicial proceedings before any court of land (other than Courts-martial made under The Army Act, The Naval Discipline Act, The Indian Navy(Discipline)Act,1934 and The Air Force Act.)

however this act DOES NOT apply to affidavits presented to any Court or Officer, nor to proceedings before an arbitrator, shall come into force on the first day of September, 1872.

Basic principles and rules of Law of Evidence:

Indian Evidence Act, Section 3 defines the term Relevant in following words

“When one fact is said to be relevant to another when one is connected with other in any of the ways referred to in provisions of the evidence act relating to the relevancy of facts”

Section 6 of the Indian Evidence Act is related to doctrine of Res Gestae, which says-

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 or they not occurred at the same time and places 

Section 10 of Indian Evidence Act deals with the admissibility in a conspiracy case which says Where there is any 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 any such intention was first entertained by any one of them is a relevant fact as against each of the persons believed to be part of conspiracy as well as for the purpose of proving the existence of the  element of conspiracy as for the purpose of showing that any such person was a party to it.

Therefore anything said or done or written by any one person of conspiracy in respect of their common intention is admissible under section 10 of this act against all the conspirators conspiring for the purpose of proving

 (a) That there is conspiracy exist and

 (b) For the purpose of proving that a person was part of conspiracy exist above.

 Sections 17 to 21 of the act deal with ” admissions” that is applicable to both civil and criminal cases.

Section 17 of the act provides the Admission as – An admission is a statement oral or documentary or contained in electronic form which suggests any inference as to any fact which is an issue or relevant fact, and which is made by any of the persons, and under circumstances hereinafter mentioned.

Section 18 provides for the list of people whose admission is admissible.

In the act Sections 25 to 27 deals with the Confession made by the accused in the police custody.

Section 25 provides “No confession made to a police officer, shall be proved as against a person accused of any offence.”

Section 26 provides that no confession that has made by any person while he is in the police custody to any officer, unless it be made in the immediate presence of a Magistrate, shall be proved as against such person in any proceeding”

Section 27 provides that how any information received from accused might be proved – when any fact or facts is seem to discovered in consequence of information received from any person accused of any offence, in the custody of a police officer, so much of such information as received whether it amounts to a confession or not, as relates distinctly to the fact thereby discovered, may be proved.

Section 62 provides Primary documentary evidence is the evidence of the original documents where as Sections 63, 65  provides secondary documentary evidence is the evidence of copies, etc., of documents which are admissible under certain circumstances.

Section 64 provides the contents of a document may be proved either by primary or secondary evidence. 

Section 67 provides the person who makes an allegation should prove it as mere filing of document is not enough to make the document a part of record.

Section 68 provides execution consists in signing a document written out, read over and understood the contents of the document. 

Section 136 provides that Judge has to decide as to admissibility of evidence. 

Section 154 of the act deals with evidentiary value of Hostile Witness in following words

  1. The court may upon its discretion be able to permit the person who may call a witness to put any question or questions to him which may be put in cross examination of adverse party.
  2. Nothing in this section shall disentitle the person as so permitted under subsection (1) to rely on any part of the evidence of such witness.

Which means witness becomes hostile to party producing it, the court can on its discretion  under section 154 allow that party to cross examine his own witness and ask leading questions, before the cross examination by adverse party and person who had called the witness can rely on any part of the evidence of Hostile Witness.

Section 165 provides extensive power to the judges for the interest of administration of justice. A judge can therefore, on its direction may put any question to the witness or to the party at any time which it thinks fit for knowing the truth of a case and making it clearer.

Conclusion –

As Indian law info our aim is to explain the basics of evidence act which forms the base of procedural laws in our country to implement just in every case and situation. As evidence act provides detail background of evidence which forms the base of any trial before or in court and to understand it in Toto is desirable to understand the mechanism of justice system of our country. 


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