The Indian Evidence Act, 1872

The Indian Evidence Act, 1872 is a comprehensive law governing the rules of evidence in India.

Indian Evidence ActEvidence LawIndian Legal SystemBurden Of ProofAdmissibility Of EvidenceStandard Of Proof

Summary

The Indian Evidence Act, 1872 is an important law that governs the rules of evidence in India. It lays down the rules for the production and admissibility of evidence in court proceedings, defines what constitutes evidence, and sets out the criteria for weighing and evaluating evidence. The Act is divided into three main parts. The first part deals with the relevance of facts and the admissibility of evidence. The second part deals with the proof of facts, including the burden of proof and the standard of proof. The third part deals with the production and effect of evidence. The Act also contains provisions for the examination of witnesses, expert evidence, and the documentary evidence.

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

Preamble.

PART I
RELEVANCY OF FACTS

CHAPTER I
PRELIMINARY

Section 1 : Short title.

Section 2 : Repeal of enactments. Repealed.

Section 3 : Interpretation-clause.

Section 4 : "May Presume".

CHAPTER II
OF THE RELEVANCY OF FACTS

Section 5 : Evidence may be given of facts in issue and relevant facts.

Section 6 : Relevancy of facts forming part of same transaction.

Section 7 : Facts which are the occasion, cause or effect of facts in issue.

Section 8 : Motive, preparation and previous or subsequent conduct.

Section 9 : Facts necessary to explain or introduce relevant facts.

Section 10 : Things said or done by conspirator in reference to common design.

Section 11 : When facts not otherwise relevant become relevant.

Section 12 : In suits for damages, facts tending to enable Court to determine amount are relevant.

Section 13 : Facts relevant when right or custom is in question.

Section 14 : Facts showing existence of state of mind, or of body, of bodily feeling.

Section 15 : Facts bearing on question whether act was accidental or intentional.

Section 16 : Existence of course of business when relevant.

PART I
RELEVANCY OF FACTS | CHAPTER II
OF THE RELEVANCY OF FACTS

ADMISSIONS

Section 17 : Admission defined

Section 18 : Admission by party to proceeding or his agent.

Section 19 : Admissions by persons whose position must be proved as against party to suit.

Section 20 : Admissions by persons expressly referred to by party to suit.

Section 21 : Proof of admissions against persons making them, and by or on their behalf.

Section 22 : When oral admissions as to contents of documents are relevant.

Section 22A : When oral admission as to contents of electronic records are relevant.

Section 23 : Admissions in civil cases when relevant.

Section 24 : Confession caused by inducement, threat or promise, when irrelevant in criminal proceeding.

Section 25 : Confession to police-officer not to be proved.

Section 26 : Confession by accused while in custody of Police not to be proved against him.

Section 27 : How much of information received from accused, may be proved.

Section 28 : Confession made after removal of impression caused by inducement, threat or promise, relevant.

Section 29 : Confession otherwise relevant not to become irrelevant because of promise of secrecy, etc.

Section 30 : Consideration of proved confession affecting person making it and others jointly under trial for same offence.

Section 31 : Admissions not conclusive proof, but may estop.

STATEMENTS BY PERSONS WHO CAN NOT BE CALLED AS WITNESSES

Section 32 : Cases in which statement of relevant fact by person who is dead or can not be found, etc., is relevant.

Section 33 : Relevancy of certain evidence for proving, in subsequent proceeding, the truth of facts therein stated.

STATEMENTS MADE UNDER SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES

Section 34 : Entries in books of account when relevant.

Section 35 : Relevancy of entry in public record made in performance of duty.

Section 36 : Relevancy of statements in maps, charts and plans.

Section 37 : Relevancy of statement as to fact of public nature contained in certain Acts or notifications.

Section 38 : Relevancy of statements as to any law contained in law-books.

HOW MUCH OF A STATEMENT IS TO BE PROVED

Section 39 : What evidence to be given when statement from part of a conversation, document, electronic record, book or series of letters or papers.

JUDGMENTS OF COURTS OF JUSTICE WHEN RELEVANT

Section 40 : Previous judgments relevant to bar a second suit or trial.

Section 41 : Relevancy of certain judgments in probate, etc., jurisdiction.

Section 42 : Relevancy and effect of judgments, orders or decrees, other than those mentioned in section 41.

Section 43 : Judgments, etc., other than those mentioned in sections 40, 41 and 42, when relevant.

Section 44 : Fraud or collusion in obtaining judgment, or incompetency of Court, may be proved.

OPINIONS OF THIRD PERSONS WHEN RELEVANT

Section 45 : Opinions of experts.

Section 45A : Opinion of Examiner of Electronic Evidence.

Section 46 : Facts hearing upon opinions of experts.

Section 47 : Opinion as to handwriting, when relevant.

Section 47A : Opinion as to digital signature, when relevant.

Section 48 : Opinion as to existence of right or custom, when relevant.

Section 49 : Opinion as to usages, tenets, etc., when relevant.

Section 50 : Opinion on relationship, when relevant.

Section 51 : Grounds of opinion, when relevant.

CHARACTER WHEN RELEVANT

Section 52 : In civil cases character to prove conduct imputed, irrelevant.

Section 53 : In criminal cases previous good character relevant.

Section 53A : Evidence of character or previous sexual experience not relevant in certain cases.

Section 54 : Previous bad character not relevant, except in reply.

Section 55 : Character as affecting damages.

PART II
ON PROOF

CHAPTER III
FACTS WHICH NEED NOT BE PROVED

Section 56 : Fact judicially noticeable need not be proved.

Section 57 : Facts of which Court must take judicial notice.

Section 58 : Facts admitted need not be proved.

CHAPTER IV
OF ORAL EVIDENCE

Section 59 : Proof of facts by oral evidence.

Section 60 : Oral evidence must be direct.

CHAPTER V
OF DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE

Section 61 : Proof of contents of documents.

Section 62 : Primary evidence.

Section 63 : Secondary evidence.

Section 64 : Proof of documents by primary evidence.

Section 65 : Cases in which secondary evidence relating to documents may be given.

Section 65A : Special provisions as to evidence relating to electronic record.

Section 65B : Admissibility of electronic records.

Section 66 : Rules as to notice to produce.

Section 67 : Proof of signature and handwriting of person alleged to have signed or written document produced.

Section 67A : Proof as to electronic signature.

Section 68 : Proof of execution of document required by law to be attested.

Section 69 : Proof where no attesting witness found.

Section 70 : Admission of execution by party to attested document.

Section 71 : Proof when attesting witness denies the execution.

Section 72 : Proof of document not required by law to be attested.

Section 73 : Comparison of signature, writing or seal with others admitted or proved.

Section 73A : Proof as to verification of digital signature.

PART II
ON PROOF | CHAPTER V
OF DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE

PUBLIC DOCUMENTS

Section 74 : Public documents.

Section 75 : Private documents.

Section 76 : Certified copies of public documents.

Section 77 : Proof of documents by production of certified copies.

Section 78 : Proof of other official documents.

PRESUMPTIONS AS TO DOCUMENTS

Section 79 : Presumption as to genuineness of certified copies.

Section 80 : Presumption as to documents produced as record of evidence.

Section 81 : Presumption as to Gazettes, newspapers, private Acts of Parliament and other documents.

Section 81A : Presumption as to Gazettes in electronic forms.

Section 82 : Presumption as to document admissible in England without proof of seal or signature.

Section 83 : Presumption as to maps or plans made by authority of Government.

Section 84 : Presumption as to collections of laws and reports of decisions.

Section 85 : Presumptions as to powers-of-attorney.

Section 85A : Presumption as to electronic agreements.

Section 85B : Presumption as to electronic records and electronic signatures.

Section 85C : Presumption as to electronic signature certificates.

Section 86 : Presumption as to certified copies of foreign judicial records.

Section 87 : Presumption as to books, maps and charts.

Section 88 : Presumption as to telegraphic messages.

Section 88A : Presumption as to electronic messages.

Section 89 : Presumption as to due execution, etc., of documents not produced.

Section 90 : Presumption as to documents thirty years old.

Section 90A : Presumption as to electronic records five years old.

PART II
ON PROOF

CHAPTER VI

OF THE EXCLUSION OF ORAL BY DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE

Section 91 : Evidence of terms of contracts, grants and other dispositions of property reduced to form of document.

Section 92 : Exclusion of evidence of oral agreement.

Section 93 : Exclusion of evidence to explain or amend ambiguous document.

Section 94 : Exclusion of evidence against application of document to existing facts.

Section 95 : Evidence as to document unmeaning in reference to existing facts.

Section 96 : Evidence as to application of language which can apply to one only of several persons.

Section 97 : Evidence as to application of language to one of two sets of facts, to neither of which the whole correctly applies.

Section 98 : Evidence as to meaning of illegible characters, etc.

Section 99 : Who may give evidence of agreement varying terms of document.

Section 100 : Saving of provisions of Indian Succession Act relating to wills.

PART III
PRODUCTION AND EFFECT OF EVIDENCE

CHAPTER VII

OF THE BURDEN OF PROOF

Section 101 : Burden of proof.

Section 102 : On whom burden of proof lies.

Section 103 : Burden of proof as to particular fact.

Section 104 : Burden of proving fact to be proved to make evidence admissible.

Section 105 : Burden of proving that case of accused comes within exceptions.

Section 106 : Burden of proving fact especially within knowledge.

Section 107 : Burden of proving death of person known to have been alive within thirty years.

Section 109 : Burden of proof as to relationship in the cases of partners, landlord and tenant, principal and agent.

Section 110 : Burden of proof as to ownership.

Section 111 : Proof of good faith in transactions where one party is in relation of active confidence.

Section 111A : Presumption as to certain offences.

Section 112 : Birth during marriage, conclusive proof of legitimacy.

Section 113 : Proof of cession of territory.

Section 113A : Presumption as to abetment of suicide by a married woman.

Section 113B : Presumption as to dowry death.

Section 114 : Court may presume existence of certain facts.

Section 114A : Presumption as to absence of consent in certain prosecution for rape

PART III
PRODUCTION AND EFFECT OF EVIDENCE | CHAPTER VII

OF THE BURDEN OF PROOF

CHAPTER VIII
ESTOPPEL

Section 115 : Estoppel.

Section 116 : Estoppel of tenants and of licensee of person in possession.

Section 117 : Estoppel of acceptor of bill of exchange, bailee or licensee.

PART III
PRODUCTION AND EFFECT OF EVIDENCE

CHAPTER IX
OF WITNESSES

Section 118 : Who may testify.

Section 119 : Witness unable to communicate verbally.

Section 120 : Parties to civil suit, and their wives or husbands. Husband or wife of person under criminal trial.

Section 121 : Judges and Magistrates.

Section 122 : Communications during marriage

Section 123 : Evidence as to affairs of State.

Section 124 : Official communications.

Section 125 : Information as to commission of offences.

Section 126 : Professional communications.

Section 127 : Section 126 to apply to interpreters, etc.

Section 128 : Privilege not waived by volunteering evidence.

Section 129 : Confidential communications with legal advisers.

Section 130 : Production of title-deeds of witness not a party.

Section 131 : Production of documents or electronic records which another person, having possession, could refuse to produce.

Section 132 : Witness not excused from answering on ground that answer will criminate.

Section 133 : Accomplice.

Section 134 : Number of witnesses.

CHAPTER X

OF THE EXAMINATION OF WITNESSES

Section 135 : Order of production and examination of witnesses.

Section 136 : Judge to decide as to admissibility of evidence.

Section 137 : Examination-in-chief.

Section 138 : Order of examinations.

Section 139 : Cross-examination of person called to produce a document.

Section 140 : Witnesses to character.

Section 141 : Leading questions.

Section 142 : When they must not be asked.

Section 143 : When they may be asked.

Section 144 : Evidence as to matters in writing.

Section 145 : Cross-examination as to previous statements in writing

Section 146 : Questions lawful in cross-examination.

Section 147 : When witness to be compelled to answer.

Section 148 : Court to decide when question shall be asked and when witness compelled to answer.

Section 149 : Question not to be asked without reasonable grounds.

Section 150 : Procedure of Court in case of question being asked without reasonable grounds.

Section 151 : Indecent and scandalous questions.

Section 152 : Questions intended to insult or annoy.

Section 153 : Exclusion of evidence to contradict answers to questions testing veracity.

Section 154 : Question by party to his own witness.

Section 155 : Impeaching credit of witness.

Section 156 : Questions tending to corroborate evidence of relevant fact, admissible.

Section 157 : Former statements of witness may be proved to corroborate later testimony as to same fact.

Section 158 : What matters may be proved in connection with proved statement relevant under section 32 or 33.

Section 159 : Refreshing memory.

Section 160 : Testimony to facts stated in document mentioned in section159.

Section 161 : Right of adverse party as to writing used to refresh memory.

Section 162 : Production of documents.

Section 163 : Giving, as evidence, of document called for and produced on notice.

Section 164 : Using, as evidence, of document production of which was refused on notice.

Section 165 : Judge's power to put questions or order production.

Section 166 : Power of jury or assessors to put questions.

CHAPTER XI

OF IMPROPER ADMISSION AND REJECTION OF EVIDENCE

Section 167 : No new trial for improper admission or rejection of evidence.

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

THE SCHEDULE : Repealed.

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