PART III (CH 7 T0 11)
PRODUCTION AND EFFECT OF EVIDENCE ( SS 101-167)
प्रासंगिक तथ्यों के परिबेसन एबम परिणाम
OF THE BURDEN OF PROOF(ss101-114A)
101. Burden of proof— Whoever desires any Court to give judgment as to any legal right or liability dependent on the existence of facts which he asserts, must prove that those facts exist.
When a person is bound to prove the existence of any fact, it is said that the burden of proof lies on that person.
(a)A desires a Court to give judgment that B shall be punished for a crime which A says B has committed.
A must prove that B has committed the crime.
(b)A desires a Court to give judgment that he is entitled to certain land in the possession of B, by reason of facts which he asserts, and which B denies, to be true.
A must prove the existence of those facts.
102. ON WHOM BURDEN OF PROOF LIES — The burden of proof in a suit or proceeding lies on that person who would fail if no evidence at all were given on either side.
(a)A sues B for land of which B is in possession, and which, as A asserts, was left to A by the will of C, B’s father.
If no evidence were given on either side, B would be entitled to retain his possession.
Therefore the burden of proof is on A.
(b)A sues B for money due on a bond.
The execution of the bond is admitted, but B says that it was obtained by fraud, which A denies.
If no evidence were given on either side, A would succeed, as the bond is not disputed and the fraud is not proved.
Therefore the burden of proof is on B.
103. Burden of proof as to particular fact— The burden of proof as to any particular fact lies on that person who wishes the Court to believe in its existence, unless it is provided by any law that the proof of that fact shall lie on any particular person.
(a)A prosecutes B for theft, and wishes the Court to believe that B admitted the theft to C. A must prove the admission.
B wishes the Court to believe that, at the time in question, he was elsewhere. He must prove it.
104. Burden of proving fact to be proved to make evidence admissible.— The burden of proving any fact necessary to be proved in order to enable any person to give evidence of any other fact is on the person who wishes to give such evidence.
(a)A wishes to prove a dying declaration by B. A must prove B’s death.
(b)A wishes to prove, by secondary evidence, the contents of a lost document.
A must prove that the document has been lost.
105. Burden of proving that case of accused comes within exceptions.— When a person is accused of any offence, the burden of proving the existence of circumstances bringing the case within any of the General Exceptions in the Indian Penal Code, (45 of 1860), or within any special exception or proviso contained in any other part of the same Code, or in any law defining the offence, is upon him, and the Court shall presume the absence of such circumstances.
(a)A, accused of murder, alleges that, by reason of unsoundness of mind, he did not know the nature of the act.
The burden of proof is on A.
(b)A, accused of murder, alleges, that by grave and sudden provocation, he was deprived of the power of self-control.
The burden of proof is on A.
(c)Section 325 of the Indian Penal Code, (45 of 1860), provides that whoever, except in the case provided for by section 335, voluntarily causes grievous hurt, shall be subject to certain punishments.
A is charged with voluntarily causing grievous hurt under section 325.
The burden of proving the circumstances bringing the case under section 335 lies on A.
106. Burden of proving fact especially within knowledge— When any fact is especially within the knowledge of any person, the burden of proving that fact is upon him.
(a)When a person does an act with some intention other than that which the character and circumstances of the act suggest, the burden of proving that intention is upon him.
(b)A is charged with travelling on a railway without a ticket. The burden of proving that he had a ticket is on him.
107. Burden of proving death of person known to have been alive within thirty years.— When the question is whether a man is alive or dead, and it is shown that he was alive within thirty years, the burden of proving that he is dead is on the person who affirms it.
108. Burden of proving that person is alive who has not been heard of for seven years— Provided that when the question is whether a man is alive or dead, and it is proved that he has not been heard of for seven years by those who would naturally have heard of him if he had been alive, the burden of proving that he is alive is shifted to the person who affirms it.—
109. Burden of proof as to relationship in the cases of partners, landlord and tenant, principal and agent— When the question is whether persons are partners, landlord and tenant, or principal and agent, and it has been shown that they have been acting as such, the burden of proving that they do not stand, or have ceased to stand, to each other in those relationships respectively, is on the person who affirms it.
110. Burden of proof as to ownership — When the question is whether any person is owner of anything of which he is shown to be in possession, the burden of proving that he is not the owner is on the person who affirms that he is not the owner.
111. Proof of good faith in transactions where one party is in relation of active confidence— Where there is a question as to the good faith of a transaction between parties, one of whom stands to the other in a position of active confidence, the burden of proving the good faith of the transaction is on the party who is in a position of active confidence.
(a)The good faith of a sale by a client to an attorney is in question in a suit brought by the client. The burden of proving the good faith of the transaction is on the attorney.
(b)The good faith of a sale by a son just come of age to a father is in question in a suit brought by the son. The burden of proving the good faith of the transaction is on the father.
111A. Presumption as to certain offences —
(1) Where a person is accused of having committed any offence specified in sub-section (2), in—
(a)any area declared to be a disturbed areas under any enactment, for the time being in force, making provision for the suppression of disorder and restoration and maintenance of public order; or
(b)any area in which there has been, over a period of more than one month, extensive disturbance of the public peace,
and it is shown that such person had been at a place in such area at a time when firearms or explosives were used at or from that place to attack or resist the members of any armed forces or the forces charged with the maintenance of public order acting in the discharge of their duties, it shall be presumed, unless the contrary is shown, that such person had committed such offence.
(2) The offences referred to in sub-section (1) are the following, namely:—
(a)an offence under section 121, section 121A section 122 or section 123 of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860);
(b)criminal conspiracy or attempt to commit, or abatement of, an offence under section 122 or section 123 of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860).
112. BIRTH DURING MARRIAGE, CONCLUSIVE PROOF OF LEGITIMACY — The fact that any person was born during the continuance of a valid marriage between his mother and any man, or within 280 days after its dissolution, the mother remaining unmarried, shall be conclusive proof that he is the legitimate son of that man, unless it can be shown that the parties to the marriage had no access to each other at any time when he could have been begotten.
113. Proof of cession of territory— A notification in the Official Gazette that any portion of British territory has before the commencement of Part III of the Government of India Act, 1935 (26 Geo. 5, ch. 2) been ceded to any Native State, Prince or Ruler, shall be conclusive proof that a valid cession of such territory took place at the date mentioned in such notification.—
113A. Presumption as to abetment of suicide by a married woman— When the question is whether the commission of suicide by a woman had been abetted by her husband or any relative of her husband and it is shown that she had committed suicide within a period of seven years from the date of her marriage and that her husband or such relative of her husband had subjected her to cruelty, the Court may presume, having regard to all the other circumstances of the case, that such suicide had been abetted by her husband or by such relative of her husband.
Explanation.— For the purposes of this section, “cruelty” shall have the same meaning as in section 498A of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860).
113B. PRESUMPTION AS TO DOWRY DEATH— When the question is whether a person has committed the dowry death of a woman and it is shown that soon before her death such woman has been subjected by such person to cruelty or harassment for, or in connection with, any demand for dowry, the Court shall presume that such person had caused the dowry death.
Explanation.— For the purposes of this section, “dowry death” shall have the same meaning as in section 304B, of the Indian Penal Code, (45 of 1860).
114. COURT MAY PRESUME EXISTENCE OF CERTAIN FACTS— The Court may presume the existence of any fact which it thinks likely to have happened, regard being had to the common course of natural events, human conduct and public and private business, in their relation to the facts of the particular case.
The Court may presume—
(a)That a man who is in possession of stolen goods soon after the theft is either the thief or has received the goods knowing them to be stolen, unless he can account for his possession;
(b)That an accomplice is unworthy of credit, unless he is corroborated in material particulars;
(c)That a bill of exchange, accepted or endorsed, was accepted or endorsed for good consideration;
(d)That a thing or state of things which has been shown to be in existence within a period shorter than that within which such things or state of things usually cease to exist, is still in existence;
(e)That judicial and official acts have been regularly performed;
(f)That the common course of business has been followed in particular cases;
(g)That evidence which could be and is not produced would, if produced, be unfavourable to the person who withholds it;
(h)That if a man refuses to answer a question which he is not compelled to answer by law, the answer, if given, would be unfavourable to him;
(i)That when a document creating an obligation is in the hands of the obligor, the obligation has been discharged.
But the Court shall also have regard to such facts as the following, in considering whether such maxims do or do not apply to the particular case before it:—
As to illustration (a) — A shop-keeper has in his till a marked rupee soon after it was stolen, and cannot account for its possession specifically, but is continually receiving rupees in the course of his business;
As to illustration (b)—A, a person of the highest character, is tried for causing a man’s death by an act of negligence in arranging certain machinery. B , a person of equally good character, who also took part in the arrangement, describes precisely what was done, and admits and explains the common carelessness of A and himself;
As to illustration (b)—A crime is committed by several persons. A, B and C, three of the criminals, are captured on the spot and kept apart from each other. Each gives an account of the crime implicating D , and the accounts corroborate each other in such a manner as to render previous concert highly improbable;
As to illustration (c)— A, the drawer of a bill of exchange, was a man of business. B , the acceptor, was young and ignorant person, completely under A’s influence;
As to illustration (d)—It is proved that a river ran in a certain course five years ago, but it is known that there have been floods since that time which might change its course;
As to illustration (e)—A judicial act, the regularity of which is in question, was performed under exceptional circumstances;
As to illustration (f)—The question is, whether a letter was received. It is shown to have been posted, but the usual course of the post was interrupted by disturbances;
As to illustration (g)—A man refuses to produce a document which would bear on a contract of small importance on which he is sued, but which might also injure the feelings and reputation of his family;
As to illustration (h)—A man refuses to answer a question which he is not compelled by law to answer, but the answer to it might cause loss to him in matters unconnected with the matter in relation to which it is asked;
As to illustration (i)—A bond is in possession of the obligor, but the circumstances of the case are such that he may have stolen it.
114A. PRESUMPTION AS TO ABSENCE OF CONSENT IN CERTAIN PROSECUTION FOR RAPE— In a prosecution for rape under clause (a), clause (b), clause (c), clause (d), clause (e), clause (f), clause (g), clause (h), clause (i), clause (j), clause (k), clause (l), clause (m) or clause (n) of sub-section (2) of section 376 of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860), where sexual intercourse by the accused is proved and the question is whether it was without the consent of the woman alleged to have been raped and such woman states in her evidence before the court that she did not consent, the court shall presume that she did not consent.
Explanation.— In this section, “sexual intercourse” shall mean any of the acts mentioned in clauses (a) to (d) of section 375 of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860).
115. Estoppel.— When one person has, by his declaration, act or omission, intentionally caused or permitted another person to believe a thing to be true and to act upon such belief, neither he nor his representative shall be allowed, in any suit or proceeding between himself and such person or his representative, to deny the truth of that thing.
A intentionally and falsely leads B to believe that certain land belongs to A , and thereby induces B to buy and pay for it.
The land afterwards becomes the property of A, and A seeks to set aside the sale on the ground that, at the time of the sale, he had no title. He must not be allowed to prove his want of title.
116. Estoppel of tenant; and of licensee of person in possession.— No tenant of immovable property, or person claiming through such tenant, shall, during the continuance of the tenancy, be permitted to deny that the landlord of such tenant had, at the beginning of the tenancy, a title to such immovable property; and no person who came upon any immovable property by the licence of the person in possession thereof, shall be permitted to deny that such person had a title to such possession at the time when such licence was given.
117. Estoppel of acceptor of bill of exchange, bailee or licensee.— No acceptor of a bill of exchange shall be permitted to deny that the drawer had authority to draw such bill or to endorese it; nor shall any bailee or licensee be permitted to deny that his bailor or licensor had, at the time when the bailment or licence commenced, authority to make such bailment or grant such licence.
Explanation 1.— The acceptor of a bill of exchange may deny that the bill was really drawn by the person by whom it purports to have been drawn.
Explanation 2.— If a bailee delivers the goods bailed to a person other than the bailor, he may prove that such person had a right to them as against the bailor.
118. Who may testify— All persons shall be competent to testify unless the Court considers that they are prevented from understanding the questions put to them, or from giving rational answers to those questions, by tender years, extreme old age, disease, whether of body or mind, or any other cause of the same kind.
Explanation.— A lunatic is not incompetent to testify, unless he is prevented by his lunacy from understanding the questions put to him and giving rational answers to them.
119. Witness unable to communicate verbally:- A witness who is unable to speak may give his evidence in any other manner in which he can make it intelligible, as by writing or by signs; but such writing must be written and the signs made in open Court, evidence so given shall be deemed to be oral evidence:
Provided that if the witness is unable to communicate verbally, the Court shall take the assistance of an interpreter or a special educator in recording the statement, and such statement shall be video graphed.
120. Parties to civil suit, and their wives or husbands- Husband or wife of person under criminal trial— In all civil proceedings the parties to the suit, and the husband or wife of any party to the suit, shall be competent witnesses. In criminal proceedings against any person, the husband or wife of such person, respectively, shall be a competent witness.
121. Judges and Magistrates— No Judge or Magistrate shall, except upon the special order of some Court to which he is subordinate, be compelled to answer any question as to his own conduct in Court as such Judge or Magistrate, or as to anything which came to his knowledge in Court as such Judge or Magistrate; but he may be examined as to other matters which occurred in his presence whilst he was so acting.
(a)A, on his trial before the Court of Sessions, says that a deposition was improperly taken by B, the Magistrate. B cannot be compelled to answer questions as to this, except upon the special order of a superior Court.
(b)A is accused before the Court of Sessions of having given false evidence before B, a Magistrate. B cannot be asked what A said, except upon the special order of the superior Court.
(c)A is accused before the Court of Sessions of attempting to murder a police officer whilst on his trial before B, a Sessions Judge. B may be examined as to what occurred.
122. Communications during marriage — No person who is or has been married, shall be compelled to disclose any communication made to him during marriage by any person to whom he is or has been married; nor shall he be permitted to disclose any such communication, unless the person who made it, or his representative in interest, consents, except in suits between married persons, or proceedings in which one married person is prosecuted for any crime committed against the other.
123. Evidence as to affairs of State — No one shall be permitted to give any evidence derived from unpublished official records relating to any affairs of State, except with the permission of the officer at the head of the department concerned, who shall give or withhold such permission as he thinks fit.
124. Official communications — No public officer shall be compelled to disclose communications made to him in official confidence, when he considers that the public interests would suffer by the disclosure.
125. Information as to commission of offences — No Magistrate or Police officer shall be compelled to say whence he got any information as to the commission of any offence, and no Revenue officer shall be compelled to say whence he got any information as to the commission of any offence against the public revenue.
Explanation.— “Revenue officer” in this section means an officer employed in or about the business of any branch of the public revenue.
126. Professional communications — No barrister, attorney, pleader or vakil shall at any time be permitted, unless with his client’s express consent, to disclose any communication made to him in the course and for the purpose of his employment as such barrister, pleader, attorney or vakil, by or on behalf of his client, or to state the contents or condition of any document with which he has become acquainted in the course and for the purpose of his professional employment, or to disclose any advice given by him to his client in the course and for the purpose of such employment:
Provided that nothing in this section shall protect from disclosure—
(1) Any such communication made in furtherance of any illegal purpose;
(2) Any fact observed by any barrister, pleader, attorney or vakil, in the course of his employment as such, showing that any crime or fraud has been committed since the commencement of his employment.
It is immaterial whether the attention of such barrister, pleader, attorney or vakil was or was not directed to such fact by or on behalf of his client.
Explanation.— The obligation stated in this section continues after the employment has ceased.
(a)A, a client, says to B, an attorney—“I have committed forgery, and I wish you to defend me”.
As the defence of a man known to be guilty is not a criminal purpose, this communication is protected from disclosure.
(b)A, a client, says to B, an attorney—“I wish to obtain possession of property by the use of a forged deed on which I request you to sue”.
This communication, being made in furtherance of a criminal purpose, is not protected from disclosure.
(c)A, being charged with embezzlement, retains B, an attorney, to defend him. In the course of the proceedings, B observes that an entry has been made in A’s account-book, charging A with the sum said to have been embezzled, which entry was not in the book at the commencement of his employment.
This being a fact observed by B in the course of his employment, showing that a fraud has been committed since the commencement of the proceedings, it is not protected from disclosure.
127. Section 126 to apply to interpreters, etc — The provisions of section 126 shall apply to interpreters, and the clerks or servants of barristers, pleaders, attorneys, and vakils.
128. Privilege not waived by volunteering evidence — If any party to a suit gives evidence therein at his own instance or otherwise, he shall not be deemed to have consented thereby to such disclosure as is mentioned in section 126; and if any party to a suit or proceeding calls any such barrister,
pleader, attorney or vakil as a witness, he shall be deemed to have consented to such disclosure only if he questions such barrister, attorney or vakil on matters which, but for such question, he would not be at liberty to disclose.—
129. Confidential communications with legal advisers — No one shall be compelled to disclose to the Court any confidential communication which has taken place between him and his legal professional adviser, unless he offers himself as a witness, in which case he may be compelled to disclose any such communications as may appear to the Court necessary to be known in order to explain any evidence which he has given, but no others.
130. PRODUCTION OF TITLE-DEEDS OF WITNESS NOT A PARTY — No witness who is not a party to a suit shall be compelled to produce his title-deeds to any property, or any document in virtue of which he holds any property as pledgee or mortgagee, or any document the production of which might tend to criminate him, unless he has agreed in writing to produce them with the person seeking the production of such deeds or some person through whom he claims.
131. PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS OR ELECTRONIC RECORDS WHICH ANOTHER PERSON, HAVING POSSESSION, COULD REFUSE TO PRODUCE — No one shall be compelled to produce documents in his possession or electronic records under his control, which any other person would be entitled to refuse to produce if they were in his possession, or control, unless such last-mentioned person consents to their production.
132. WITNESS NOT EXCUSED FROM ANSWERING ON GROUND THAT ANSWER WILL CRIMINATE — A witness shall not be excused from answering any question as to any matter relevant to the matter in issue in any suit or in any civil or criminal proceeding, upon the ground that the answer to such question will criminate, or may tend directly or indirectly to criminate, such witness, or that it will expose, or tend directly or indirectly to expose, such witness to a penalty or forfeiture of any kind:
(Proviso)—Provided that no such answer, which a witness shall be compelled to give, shall subject him to any arrest or prosecution, or be proved against him in any criminal proceeding, except a prosecution for giving false evidence by such answer.
133. ACCOMPLICE— An accomplice shall be a competent witness against an accused person, and a conviction is not illegal merely because it proceeds upon the uncorroborated testimony of an accomplice.
134. Number of witnesses — No particular number of witnesses shall, in any case, be required for the proof of any fact.
OF THE EXAMINATION OF WITNESSES (ss135-166)
135. Order of production and examination of witnesses— The order in which witnesses are produced and examined shall be regulated by the law and practice for the time being relating to civil and criminal procedure respectively, and, in the absence of any such law, by the discretion of the Court.
136. JUDGE TO DECIDE AS TO ADMISSIBILITY OF EVIDENCE— When either party proposes to give evidence of any fact, the Judge may ask the party proposing to give the evidence in what manner the alleged fact, if proved, would be relevant; and the Judge shall admit the evidence if he thinks that the fact, if proved, would be relevant, and not otherwise.
If the fact proposed to be proved is one of which evidence is admissible only upon proof of some other fact, such last-mentioned fact must be proved before evidence is given of the fact first mentioned, unless the party undertakes to give proof of such fact, and the Court is satisfied with such undertaking.
If the relevancy of one alleged fact depends upon another alleged fact being first proved, the Judge may, in his discretion, either permit evidence of the first fact to be given before the second fact is proved, or require evidence to be given of the second fact before evidence is given of the first fact.
(a)It is proposed to prove a statement about a relevant fact by a person alleged to be dead, which statement is relevant under section 32.
The fact that the person is dead must be proved by the person proposing to prove the statement, before evidence is given of the statement.
(b)It is proposed to prove, by a copy, the contents of a document said to be lost.
The fact that the original is lost must be proved by the person proposing to produce the copy, before the copy is produced.
(c)A is accused of receiving stolen property knowing it to have been stolen.
It is proposed to prove that he denied the possession of the property.
The relevancy of the denial depends on the identity of the property. The Court may, in its discretion, either require the property to be identified before the denial of the possession is proved, or permit the denial of the possession to be proved before the property is identified.
(d)It is proposed to prove a fact (A) which is said to have been the cause or effect of a fact in issue. There are several intermediate facts (B, C and D) which must be shown to exist before the fact (A) can be regarded as the cause or effect of the fact in issue. The Court may either permit A to be proved before B, C or D is proved, or may require proof of B, C and D before permitting proof of A.
137. Examination-in-chief— The examination of a witness by the party who calls him shall be called his examination-in-chief.
Cross-examination.— The examination of a witness by the adverse party shall be called his cross-examination.
Re-examination.— The examination of a witness, subsequent to the cross-examination by the party who called him, shall be called his re-examination.
138. Order of examinations— Witnesses shall be first examined-in-chief, then (if the adverse party so desires) cross-examined, then (if the party calling him so desires) re-examined.
The examination and cross-examination must relate to relevant facts, but the cross-examination need not be confined to the facts to which the witness testified on his examination-in-chief.
Direction of re-examination— The re-examination shall be directed to the explanation of matters referred to in cross-examination; and, if new matter is, by permission of the Court, introduced in re-examination, the adverse party may further cross-examine upon that matter.
139. Cross-examination of person called to produce a document— A person summoned to produce a document does not become a witness by the mere fact that he produces it, and cannot be cross-examined unless and until he is called as a witness.
140. Witnesses to character— Witnesses to character may be cross-examined and re-examined.
141. LEADING QUESTIONS— Any question suggesting the answer which the person putting it wishes or expects to receive, is called a leading question.
142. When they must not be asked— Leading questions must not, if objected to by the adverse party, be asked in an examination-in-chief, or in a re-examination, except with the permission of the Court.
The Court shall permit leading questions as to matters which are introductory or undisputed, or which have, in its opinion, been already sufficiently proved.
143. When they may be asked— Leading questions may be asked in cross-examination.
144. Evidence as to matters in writing— Any witness may be asked, whilst under examination, whether any contract, grant or other disposition of property, as to which he is giving evidence, was not contained in a document, and if he says that it was, or if he is about to make any statement as to the contents of any document, which, in the opinion of the Court, ought to be produced, the adverse party may object to such evidence being given until such document is produced, or until facts have been proved which entitle the party who called the witness to give secondary evidence of it.
Explanation.— A witness may give oral evidence of statements made by other persons about the contents of documents if such statements are in themselves relevant facts.
The question is, whether A assaulted B.
C deposes that he heard A say to D—”B wrote a letter accusing me of theft, and I will be revenged on him”. This statement is relevant as showing A’s motive for the assault, and evidence may be given of it, though no other evidence is given about the letter.
145. CROSS-EXAMINATION AS TO PREVIOUS STATEMENTS IN WRITING — A witness may be cross-examined as to previous statements made by him in writing or reduced into writing, and relevant to matters in question, without such writing being shown to him, or being proved; but, if it is intended to contradict him by the writing, his attention must, before the writing can be proved, be called to those parts of it which are to be used for the purpose of contradicting him.
146. Questions lawful in cross-examination — When a witness is cross-examined, he may, in addition to the questions hereinbefore referred to, be asked any questions which tend—
(1) to test his veracity,
(2) to discover who he is and what is his position in life, or
(3) to shake his credit, by injuring his character, although the answer to such questions might tend directly or indirectly to criminate him or might expose or tend directly or indirectly to expose him to a penalty or forfeiture:
Provided that in a prosecution for an offence under section 376, section 376A, section 376B, section 376C, section 376D or section 376E of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860) or for attempt to commit any such offence, where the question of consent is an issue, it shall not be permissible to adduce evidence or to put questions in the cross-examination of the victim as to the general immoral character, or previous sexual experience, of such victim with any person for proving such consent or the quality of consent.
147. When witness to be compelled to answer— If any such question relates to a matter relevant to the suit or proceeding, the provisions of section 132 shall apply thereto.
148. COURT TO DECIDE WHEN QUESTION SHALL BE ASKED AND WHEN WITNESS COMPELLED TO ANSWER— If any such question relates to a matter not relevant to the suit or proceeding, except in so far as it affects the credit of the witness by injuring his character, the Court shall decide whether or not the witness shall be compelled to answer it, and may, if it thinks fit, warn the witness that he is not obliged to answer it. In exercising its discretion, the Court shall have regard to the following considerations:—
(1) Such questions are proper if they are of such a nature that the truth of the imputation conveyed by them would seriously affect the opinion of the Court as to the credibility of the witness on the matter to which he testifies;
(2) Such questions are improper if the imputation which they convey relates to matters so remote in time, or of such a character, that the truth of the imputation would not affect, or would affect in a slight degree, the opinion of the Court as to the credibility of the witness on the matter to which he testifies;
(3) Such questions are improper if there is a great disproportion between the importance of the imputation made against the witness’s character and the importance of his evidence;
(4) The Court may, if it sees fit, draw, from the witness’s refusal to answer, the inference that the answer if given would be unfavorable.
149. Question not to be asked without reasonable grounds— No such question as is referred to in section 148 ought to be asked, unless the person asking it has reasonable grounds for thinking that the imputation which it conveys is well-founded.
(a)A barrister is instructed by an attorney or vakil that an important witness is a dakait. This is a reasonable ground for asking the witness whether he is a dakait.
(b)A pleader is informed by a person in Court that an important witness is a dakait. The informant, on being questioned by the pleader, gives satisfactory reasons for his statement. This is a reasonable ground for asking the witness whether he is a dakait.
(c)A witness, of whom nothing whatever is known, is asked at random whether he is a dakait. There are here no reasonable grounds for the question.
(d)A witness, of whom nothing whatever is known, being questioned as to his mode of life and means of living, gives unsatisfactory answers. This may be a reasonable ground for asking him if he is a dakait.
150. Procedure of Court in case of question being asked without reasonable grounds— If the Court is of opinion that any such question was asked without reasonable grounds, it may, if it was asked by any barrister, pleader, vakil or attorney, report the circumstances of the case to the High Court or other authority to which such barrister, pleader, vakil or attorney is the subject in the exercise of his profession.
151. Indecent and scandalous questions— The Court may forbid any questions or inquiries which it regards as indecent or scandalous, although such questions or inquiries may have some bearing on the questions before the Court, unless they relate to facts in issue, or to matters necessary to be known in order to determine whether or not the facts in issue existed.
152. Questions intended to insult or annoy— The Court shall forbid any question which appears to it to be intended to insult or annoy, or which, though proper in itself, appears to the Court needlessly offensive in form.
153. Exclusion of evidence to contradict answers to questions testing veracity— When a witness has been asked and has answered any question which is relevant to the inquiry only in so far as it tends to shake his credit by injuring his character, no evidence shall be given to contradict him; but, if he answers falsely, he may afterwards be charged with giving false evidence.
Exception 1.— If a witness is asked whether he has been previously convicted of any crime and denies it, evidence may be given of his previous conviction.
Exception 2.— If a witness is asked any question tending to impeach his impartiality, and answers it by denying the facts suggested, he may be contradicted.
(a)A claim against an underwriter is resisted on the ground of fraud.
The claimant is asked whether, in a former transaction, he had not made a fraudulent claim. He denies it.
Evidence is offered to show that he did make such a claim.
The evidence is inadmissible.
(b)A witness is asked whether he was not dismissed from a situation for dishonesty. He denies it.
Evidence is offered to show that he was dismissed for dishonesty.
The evidence is not admissible.
(c)A affirms that on a certain day he saw B at Lahore.
A is asked whether he himself was not on that day at Calcutta. He denies it.
Evidence is offered to show that A was on that day at Calcutta.
The evidence is admissible, not as contradicting A on a fact which affects his credit, but as contradicting the alleged fact that B was seen on the day in question in Lahore.
In each of these cases the witness might, if his denial was false, be charged with giving false evidence.
(d)A is asked whether his family has not had a blood feud with the family of B against whom he gives evidence.
He denies it. He may be contradicted on the ground that the question tends to impeach his impartiality.
154. Question by party to his own witness—
(1) The Court may, in its discretion, permit the person who calls a witness to put any question to him which might be put in cross-examination by the adverse party.
(2) Nothing in this section shall disentitle the person so permitted under sub-section (1), to rely on any part of the evidence of such witness.
155. IMPEACHING CREDIT OF WITNESS— The credit of a witness may be impeached in the following ways by the adverse party, or with the consent of the Court, by the party who calls him:—
(1) By the evidence of persons who testify that they, from their knowledge of the witness believe him to be unworthy of credit;
(2) By proof that the witness has been bribed, or has accepted the offer of a bribe, or has received any other corrupt inducement to give his evidence;
(3) By proof of former statements inconsistent with any part of his evidence which is liable to be contradicted;
Explanation.— A witness declaring another witness to be unworthy of credit may not, upon his examination-in-chief, give reasons for his belief, but he may be asked his reasons in cross-examination, and the answers which he gives cannot be contradicted, though, if they are false, he may afterwards be charged with giving false evidence.
(a)A sues B for the price of goods sold and delivered to B.
C says that he delivered the goods to B.
Evidence is offered to show that, on a previous occasion, he said that he had not delivered the goods to B.
The evidence is admissible.
(b)A is indicted for the murder of B.
C says the B, when dying, declared that A had given B the wound of which he died.
Evidence is offered to show that, on a previous occasion, C said that the wound was not given by A or in his presence.
The evidence is admissible.
156. QUESTIONS TENDING TO CORROBORATE EVIDENCE OF RELEVANT FACT, ADMISSIBLE— When a witness whom it is intended to corroborate gives evidence of any relevant fact, he may be questioned as to any other circumstances which he observed at or near to the time or place at which such relevant fact occurred, if the Court is of opinion that such circumstances, if proved, would corroborate the testimony of the witness as to the relevant fact which he testifies.
A, an accomplice, gives an account of a robbery in which he took part. He describes various incidents unconnected with the robbery which occurred on his way to and from the place where it was committed.
Independent evidence of these facts may be given in order to corroborate his evidence as to the robbery itself.
157. Former statements of witness may be proved to corroborate later testimony as to same fact — In order to corroborate the testimony of a witness, any former statement made by such witness relating to the same fact, at or about the time when the fact took place, or before any authority legally competent to investigate the fact, may be proved.
158. What matters may be proved in connection with proved statement relevant under section 32 or 33— Whenever any statement, relevant under section 32 or 33, is proved, all matters may be proved, either in order to contradict or to corroborate it, or in order to impeach or confirm the credit of the person by whom it was made, which might have been proved if that person had been called as a witness and had denied upon cross-examination of the truth the matter suggested.
159. Refreshing memory — A witness may, while under examination, refresh his memory by referring to any writing made by himself at the time of the transaction concerning which he is questioned, or so soon afterwards that the Court considers it likely that the transaction was at that time fresh in his memory.
The witness may also refer to any such writing made by any other person, and read by the witness within the time aforesaid, if when he read it he knew it to be correct.
When witness may use copy of document to refresh memory.— Whenever a witness may refresh his memory by reference to any document, he may, with the permission of the Court, refer to a copy of such document:
Provided the Court be satisfied that there is sufficient reason for the non-production of the original.
An expert may refresh his memory by reference to professional treatises.
160. Testimony to facts stated in document mentioned in section 159— A witness may also testify to facts mentioned in any such document as is mentioned in section 159, although he has no specific recollection of the facts themselves, if he is sure that the facts were correctly recorded in the document.
A book-keeper may testify to facts recorded by him in books regularly kept in the course of business, if he knows that the books were correctly kept, although he has forgotten the particular transactions entered.
161. Right of adverse party as to writing used to refresh memory— Any writing referred to under the provisions of the two last preceding sections must be produced and shown to the adverse party if he requires it; such party may, if he pleases, cross-examine the witness thereupon.
162. Production of documents— A witness summoned to produce a document shall, if it is in his possession or power, bring it to the Court, notwithstanding any objection which there may be to its production or to its admissibility. The validity of any such objection shall be decided on by the Court.
The Court, if it sees, fit, may inspect the document, unless it refers to matters of State, or take other evidence to enable it to determine on its admissibility.
Translation of documents— If for such a purpose it is necessary to cause any document to be translated, the Court may, if it thinks fit, direct the translator to keep the contents secret, unless the document is to be given in evidence : and, if the interpreter disobeys such direction, he shall be held to have committed an offence under section 166 of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860).
163. Giving, as evidence, of document called for and produced on notice— When a party calls for a document which he has given the other party notice to produce, and such document is produced and inspected by the party calling for its production, he is bound to give it as evidence if the party producing it requires him to do so.
164. Using, as evidence, of document, production of which was refused on notice— When a party refuses to produce a document which he has had notice to produce, he cannot afterwards use the document as evidence without the consent of the other party or the order of the Court.
A sues B on an agreement and gives B notice to produce it. At the trial, A calls for the document and B refuses to produce it. A gives secondary evidence of its contents. B seeks to produce the document itself to contradict the secondary evidence given by A, or in order to show that the agreement is not stamped. He cannot do so.
165. Judge’s power to put questions or order production— The Judge may, in order to discover or to obtain proper proof of relevant facts, ask any question he pleases, in any form, at any time, of any witness, or of the parties, about any fact relevant or irrelevant; and may order the production of any document or thing; and neither the parties nor their agents shall be entitled to make any objection to any such question or order, nor, without the leave of the Court, to cross-examine any witness upon any answer given in reply to any such question:
Provided that the Judgment must be based upon facts declared by this Act to be relevant, and duly proved:
Provided also that this section shall not authorize any Judge to compel any witness to answer any question, or to produce any document which such witness would be entitled to refuse to answer or produce under sections 121 to 131, both inclusive, if the questions were asked or the documents were called for by the adverse party; nor shall the Judge ask any question which it would be improper for any other person to ask under section 148 or 149; nor shall he dispense with primary evidence of any document, except in the cases hereinbefore excepted.
166. Power of jury or assessors to put questions— In cases tried by jury or with assessors, the jury or assessors may put any question to the witnesses, through or by leave of the Judge, which the Judge himself might put and which he considers proper.
OF IMPROPER ADMISSION AND REJECTION OF EVIDENCE
167. No new trial for improper admission or rejection of evidence— The improper admission or rejection of evidence shall not be ground of itself for a new trial or reversal of any decision in any case, if it shall appear to the Court before which such objection is raised that, independently of the evidence objected to and admitted, there was sufficient evidence to justify the decision, or that, if the rejected evidence had been received, it ought not to have varied the decision.
ENACTMENTS REPEALED-[ BY REPEALING ACT – 1938, Section 2 and Schedule]