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INDIANEVIDENCEACT,1872
Section1Shorttitle,extentandCommencement
SYNOPSIS
1.India
2.Pakistan
3.ApplicationoftheActtoCourtsMartial
4.JudicialProceedings
5.StatementbyJudgeorPresidingOfficer
6.Courts
7.Affidavits
8.Departmentalenquiries
9.TheActisnotapplicabletoproceedingsbeforeanarbitrator
10.TheActisnotapplicabletoproceedingsundertheIncometaxAct
11.AdministrationofEvacueePropertyAct
12.ElectionPetition
13.ProceedingsbeforeIndustrialTribunal
14.EvidenceActandAdmiraltySuit
Comments
1.India
OriginallytheActextendedtothewholeofBritishIndia.TheanomalyoftherebeingseparaterulesofevidenceforthePresidencytowns
andfortheMofussilwhichexistedbeforethepassingoftheActwasremovedbytheAct.Theexpression"thewholeofBritishIndia"was
changedinto"alltheProvincesofIndia"bytheAdaptationOrder,1948.Theexpression"wholeofIndiaexceptPartBStates"was
substitutedfor"alltheProvincesofIndia"bytheAdaptationOrder,1950.Theexpression"excepttheStateofJammuandKashmir"was
substitutedbyAct3of1951.Therefore,nowtheActappliestothewholeofIndia."India"isnotdefinedintheAct.Intheabsenceofany
definitionofaparticularexpressioninanAct,thedefinition,ifany,inthegeneralClausesAct,Xof1897,shouldbereferredto.Section
3(28)oftheGeneralClausesAct,Xof1897,asmodifiedbytheAdaptationOrder,1950,defines"India"asfollows:"India"shallmean,as
respectsanyperiodbeforetheestablishmentoftheDominionofIndia,BritishIndiatogetherwithallterritoriesofIndianRulersthenunder
thesuzeraintyofHisMajesty,allterritoriesunderthesuzeraintyofsuchanIndianRuler,andthetribalareasasrespectsanyperiodafter
theestablishmentoftheDominionofIndiaandbeforethecommencementoftheConstitution,allterritoriesforthetimebeingincludedinthat
DominionandasrespectsanyperiodafterthecommencementoftheConstitution,allterritoriesforthetimebeingcomprisedinthe
territoryofIndia".ArticleIoftheConstitutiondefines"India"asunder:"India,thatisBharat,shallbeaUnionofStates.TheStatesandthe
territoriesthereofshallbetheStatesandtheirterritoriesspecifiedinPartsA,BandCoftheFirstSchedule.TheterritoriesofIndiashall
comprisetheterritoriesoftheStatestheterritoriesspecifiedinPartDoftheFirstScheduleandsuchotherterritoriesasmaybe
acquired."
2.Pakistan
Omit'Indian'.For"thewholeofIndiaexcepttheStateofJammuandKashmir"read"alltheProvincesandtheCapitaloftheFederation."
3.ApplicationoftheActtoCourtsMartial
TheActappliestoalljudicialproceedingsinorbeforeanycourt.ItalsoappliestoproceedingsinIndianCourtsMartial,1butEuropean
CourtsMartial,constitutedundertheArmyActortheAirForceAct,arenotgovernedbytheIndianEvidenceActbutbytheEnglishlawof
Evidence.2TheActalsoappliestoproceedingsbeforeIndianMarineCourts.3
4.JudicialProceedings
Theterm'judicialproceedings"isnotdefinedbytheEvidenceAct,butitisdefinedbythesection4(m)ofthe4CriminalProcedureCodeas
a"proceedinginthecourseofwhichevidenceisormaybelegallytakenonoath."Anenquiryisjudicial,iftheobjectofitistodeterminea
juralrelationbetweenonepersonandanotherorgroupofpersons,orbetweenhimandthecommunitygenerally.5Proceedingsunderthe
IncometaxActarenotjudicialproceedingsinthesenseinwhichthephrase"judicialproceedings"isordinarilyused.6Contempt
proceedings,thoughjudicialproceedings,areoutsidethescopeofthissectionoftheAct.7Astoinstancesofjudicialproceedings,see
notestosections33and80.
5.StatementbyJudgeorPresidingOfficer
Astatementbythetrialjudgeastowhattookplaceatthetrialisconclusive.8AstatementofthePresidingOfficerofaTribunalisgenerally
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takentobecorrect.9
6.Courts
Thiswordincludesallpersons,exceptarbitrators,legallyauthorisedtotakeevidence.10ACommissionerappointedundertheCivil
ProcedureCodeorCriminalProcedureCode*isentitledtotakeevidenceand,istherefore,aCourt.11
7.Affidavits
Anaffidavitisadeclarationswornoraffirmedbeforeapersoncompetenttoadministeranoath.12Itisnotevidencewithinthemeaningof
section3.13Theonlybasisonwhichtheaffidavitofalivingperson,notcalledintothewitnessbox,canbeacteduponasadmissible
evidenceisthatitshouldbecapableofbeingregardedasastatementinwriting,complyingwiththeconditionsprescribedinsection32of
theAct.14TheCivilProcedureCodeprovidesthatacourtmayorderanyfacttobeprovedbyanaffidavit15andthereareprovisionsinthe
CivilandCriminalProcedureCodes*whichrequirecertainallegationsoffacttobesupportedbyaffidavits.16Itisthepracticeofcourtsin
certainothermatterstorequireanaffidavitinproofofanassertion.17Butaffidavitevidenceisnotadmissibleinordertoexplainanorder
passedbyacourt.18Therulesofevidencedonotapplytosuchaffidavitsforinstancetheadversepartyisnotentitledasofrightto
crossexaminethedeponent,thoughthecourtmay,initsdiscretion,requiretheproductionofthedeponentforcrossexaminationbythe
otherparty.19Again,asarule,evidenceisgivenbeforethecourtinwhichtheproceedingsarepending,butanaffidavitmaybesworn
beforeanotherpersonauthorizedtoattestaffidavits.Allevidence,undersection60oftheEvidenceAct,mustbedirectbutinanaffidavit
thedeponentcandeposetofactswhich,undertheAct,wouldbeexcludedashearsay,e.g.,statementsofbelief.Thishowever,applies
onlytoaffidavitsininterlocutoryapplications.20Thesafeguardsfortruthinaffidavitsarethepowerofthecourttorequirethedeponentto
beproducedforcrossexaminationandthefearofprosecutionundersection193,I.P.C.,forgivingfalseevidence.IfaMagistratehasno
powertoadministeranoathtoapersonmakingadeclarationintheformofanaffidavit,suchperson,cannot,onthefactsstatedinsuch
declaration,beprosecutedforcommittinganoffenceundersection193orsection199oftheIndianPenalCode.21Anaccusedpersonwho
makesafalsestatementinanaffidavitinsupportofanapplicationfortransferofacasecanbeconvincedundersection193,I.P.C.22
SincetheEvidenceActexpresslydoesnotapplytoaffidavits,provingafactbyanaffidavitisnotbarred.Contemptcanbeprovedby
affidavits.23AffidavitscannotbeusedasevidenceunderanyoftheprovisionsoftheIndianEvidenceAct.Affidavitscan,howeverbeused
asevidence,onlyunderOrderXIX,oftheCivilProcedureCode.24
8.Departmentalenquiries
IndepartmentalenquiriesthestrictlawsofevidenceaccordingtotheEvidenceActarenotapplicable.25Departmentalproceedingsarenot
inthesamecategoryascriminalprosecutionsorevencivilproceedingsincourt.TheprovisionsofthisActarenotapplicabletothese
departmentalenquiries.But,atthesametime,ordinaryprinciplesofproofandalsorulesofnaturaljusticemustbeapplied.
Inadepartmentalenquiry,thedelinquentconcernedisentitledtoanopportunitytodenyhisguiltandestablishhisinnocencewhichhecan
onlydoifheistoldwhatthechargeslevelledagainsthimareandtheallegationsonwhichsuchchargesarebasedanopportunityto
defendhimselfbycrossexaminingthewitnessesproducedagainsthimandbyexamininghimselforanyotherwitnessesinsupportofhis
defence,andanopportunitytomakehisrepresentationastowhytheproposedpunishmentshouldnotbeinflictedagainsthim,whichhe
canonlydo,ifthecompetentauthority,aftertheenquiryisoverandafterapplyinghismindtothegravityorotherwiseofthecharges
provedagainsthim,tentativelyproposestoinflict,andcommunicatesthesametothedelinquent.26Incasetheserulesofnaturaljustice,
aresatisfied,theenquiryisnotopentoattackonthegroundthattheprocedurelaiddowninthisActfortakingevidencewasnotstrictly
followed.ThiswasreiteratedinStateofMadhyaPradeshv.Chintaman.27
9.TheActisnotapplicabletoproceedingsbeforeanarbitrator
TheEvidenceActinitsrigourisnotintendedtoapplytoproceedingsbeforeanarbitrator.28Therefore,anarbitratorisnotboundbythe
strictrulesofevidenceanditisnotavalidobjectiontohisawardthathehasdepartedfromsometechnicalruleoftheAct.29Hisaward
canbesetasideonlywhenanyofthegroundsmentionedinsection30oftheArbitrationAct,1940,30ismadeout.Adeparturefromthe
rulesoftheActdoesnotperseamountto"judicialmisconduct",unlesstheruleofevidenceviolatedisonewhichisbasedonnatural
justice,andaninfringementofitis,therefore,repugnanttoone'ssenseofjusticeandfairness.Insuchacase,therefore,iftheawardisset
aside,itisnotbecausethearbitratorhasnotcompliedwiththeprovisionsoftheEvidenceAct,butbecausehisactoromissionamountsto
"misconduct"withinthemeaningofsection30oftheArbitrationAct,1940.31Thus,ifanarbitratorreceivestheevidenceofonepartyinthe
absenceoftheother,32ordoesnotgiveafairopportunitytoapartytoprovehiscase,33ordisallowsapartytocrossexaminehis
opponent'switnesses,34orbaseshisawardontheresultofaprivateinquiry,35oronhisownknowledgeandinformation,36hisawardwill
besetaside,astheruleofevidenceinfringedineachofthesecasesisbasedonnaturaljustice.Anarbitratormaybeamostrespectable
andhonestmanandyethemaybeguiltyoflegalmisconductvitiatinghisaward,ifhisconductcannotbereconciledtogeneralprinciples.37
Itisnowspecificallyprovidedinsubsection(1)ofsection19oftheArbitrationandConciliationAct,1996,thatthearbitratetribunalshallnot
beboundbytheIndianEvidenceAct,1872.Itseemsthatthewordsofsubsection(1)ofsection19donotprohibitthearbitratetribunal
fromdrawingsustenancefromthefundamentalprinciplesunderlyingtheIndianEvidenceAct,1872.
10.TheActisnotapplicabletoproceedingsundertheIncometaxAct
ItisonlyinrespectofcertainspecifiedmattersthattheIncometaxAuthoritiesareinvestedwiththepowersexercisablebyaCivilCourt
anditisonlyforalimitedpurposethatproceedingsbeforethemaredeclaredtobedeemedtobejudicialproceedings.Therefore,theIndian
EvidenceActdoesnotapplytoproceedingsundertheIncometaxAct.38
11.AdministrationofEvacueePropertyAct
ProceedingsheldbytheCustodianundertheAdministrationofEvacueePropertyActXXXIof1950havebeenheldtobeofaquasijudicial
nature.39
12.ElectionPetition
Undersection90(3)oftheRepresentationofthePeopleAct,XLIIIof1951,subjectonlytotheprovisionsofthatAct.Theprovisionsofthis
Acthavebeenmadeapplicableinallrespectstothetrialofanelectionpetition.
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13.ProceedingsbeforeIndustrialTribunal
Undersection11oftheIndustrialDisputesAct,1947,theIndustrialTribunalsarevestedwithsomepowersasaCivilCourtunderthe
CodeofCivilProcedure,1908,whentryingasuit,inrespectofcertainmattersofeveryinquiryisdeemedtobeajudicialproceedingwithin
themeaningofsections193and228oftheIndianPenalCode,1860.However,theproceedingsbeforeanIndustrialTribunalaremerely
quasijudicialandhencethissectiondoesnotmaketheEvidenceActapplicabletosuchproceedings.AnIndustrialTribunalisentitledto
proceedonthebasisoforalanddocumentaryevidencewhichmaynotbestrictlyadmissibleunderthisAct.40
InUnionofIndiav.T.R.Verma,AIR1957SC882,ithasbeenheldthattheEvidenceAct,1872hasnoapplicationtoenquiriesconducted
byTribunalseventhoughtheyareofjudicialcharacter.SuchTribunalsshouldobserverulesofnaturaljusticeintheconductofthe
enquiry.
14.EvidenceActandAdmiraltySuit
Inacaseanadmiraltywasreferredtoarbitrationundersection8ofArbitrationandConciliationAct,1996.Theorderinthesuitemphatically
statedthatallauthoritiesconcernedshallbeboundbytheorder.TheSupremeCourtobservedthattheproceedingsintheadmiraltysuit
areproceedingsinremandanyfindingsgiventhereinwillbeconclusiveupontheWorld.41
_________________________________________________
1.Seesection88ofActVIIIof1911.
2.44and45Vic,C58,section127.
3.ActXIVof1887,section68.
4SeenowCrPC1973.
5.Q.E.v.Tulja,12B36(42).
6.AnrajNarainDassv.CommissionerofIncometax,1952Punj46:20ITR562SethGurmukhSinghv.CommissionerofIncome?tax,
AIR1944Lah353(2):12ITR393(FB).
7.Sheorajv.A.P.Batra,1955A638.
8.Upendranath,19CWN653(FB).
9.UnionofIndiav.T.R.Verma,1957SC882:1958SCR499:60PunjLR126.
10.Seesection3post,andnotesthereto.
11.O.26,r.16,CPCandsections503505,CrPC.
12.Astopersonsbeforewhomaffidavitscanbesworn,seesections539and539A,CrPCandsection139,CrPC.
13.FederalIndiaAssuranceCo.v.AnandraoPandurangraoDixit,1944N161DominionofIndiav.RupchandHirachand,1953N169but
seesection510AoftheCodeofCriminalProcedure,underwhichevidenceofaformalcharactermaybegivenbyaffidavit.
14.MarneediSatyamv.MasimukkulaVenkataswami,1949M689:(1949)1MLJ434:62MLW256GooruNarayanav.VaikuntamChinna
Lakshmayya,1939M927:185IC421Warnerv.Moses,(1881)16ChD100.
15.O.19,r.1MarneediSatyamv.MasimukkulaVenkataswami,1949M689.
16.Seesections510A,526,539(A),CrPC,O.11,rr.8?20,O.5,rr.1819,O.32,r.3,O.38,rr.1&5andO.39,r.1,CPC.
17.E.g.,applicationsfortransferofcivilcases,stayofexecutionproceedingsorforextensionoftimeundersection5oftheLimitationAct
shouldbesupportedbyaffidavit.
18.KripashankarMishrav.AnunsinghBedi,1943N288:1953NLJ367.
19.O.19,r.2,CPC.
20.O.19,r.3,CPC.
21.IswarChanderGuho(inre:),14C653.
22.BadriPrasadv.Jhamman,55A114GhulamMohammadv.Crown,3L46Crownv.PirQadirBakshShah,6L34AllahWasalv.E.,
1926L12.
23.Sheorajv.A.P.Batra,1955A638Section510AofCrPC,permitsgivingofevidenceofformalcharacterbyanaffidavit.
24.Shamsunderv.BharatOilMills,65BomLR584(587).
25.SisirKumarDasv.State,1955C183:58CWN952.
26.KhemChandv.UnionofIndia,1958SCR1980:AIR1958SC300.
27.1961JabLJ702.
28.MunicipalCorporationofDelhiv.JaganNathAshok,(1987)4SCC497:AIR1987SC2316.
29.Suppuv.Govindacharyar,11M85Howardv.Wilson,4C231.
30.Seenowsection34ofTheArbitrationandConciliationAct,1996.
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31.Seenowsection34ofTheArbitrationandConciliationAct,1996.
32.AbdulHamidv.Muhammad,8L329:101IC153Bhaiyav.Jogeshwar,52A938:128IC4MuhammadAfzalv.AbdulHamid,88IC
161Chintalapudiv.Chintalapudi,73IC470DelhiCloth&GeneralMillsCo.Ltd.v.KidariPershadChediLal,64IC363:1921L396
CursetjiJahangirKhambattav.Crowder,18B299GangaSahaiv.LekhrajSingh,9A253Sheoduttv.Vishnudatta,1953N116.
33.MaHnineLev.MaNyeinBwin,1936R191:162IC772GangaSahaiv.LekhrajSingh,9A253(264)DeokiNandanv.Rajkumar,
AWN124.
34.Thiswillbeaclearinstanceofmisconduct.
35.AbdulHamidv.Muhammad,8L329:101IC153Bhaiyav.Jageshwar,52A938:128IC4MuhammadAfzalv.AbdulHamid,88IC
161Chintalapudiv.Chintalapudi,73IC470GangaSahaiv.BaldeoSingh,65IC779:1922A64.
36.LachhmiNarainv.SheoNathPandey,42A185:54IC443.
37.PayyavulaVengammav.PayyavulaKesanna,1953SC21:1952SCJ630.
38.SethGurmukhSinghv.CommissionerofIncome?tax,1944Lah353(23):12ITR393(FB)AnrajNarainDasv.Commissionerof
Income?tax,1952Punj46:20ITR562.
39.EbrahimAboobakerv.TekChandDolwani,1953SC298:1953SCJ411:1953SCR691.
40.HarchuraTeaEstatev.LabourAppellateTribunal,(1961)1LabLJ174.
41.OspreyUnderwritingAgenciesLtd.v.OilandNaturalGasCorporationLtd.,AIR1999Bom173.

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LawofEvidence,FourtheenthEdition
CommentaryonTheIndianEvidenceAct,1872
ByMonir
UniversalLawPublishingCo.PvtLtd.

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