• Evidence & Witness

  • In law a witness is someone who, voluntarily provides testimonial evidence, either oral or written, of what he or she knows about the matter before the Court and quasi-judicial Tribunals, Commissions and other Fora. In India, the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, governs the rules of evidence & witnesses’ examination and cross examination in the Court of law. There is an ample case law on the law of evidence, being pronounced by the High Courts of various States in India and the Hon’ble Supreme court Of India.

    Court & Fora

    [In Hierarchical Order]

    • Supreme Court Of India
    • High Courts Of Various States
    • District & Sessions Judge [D&SJ] 
    • Metropolitan Magistrates [MM]
    • Judicial Magistrates [JM] 
    • Senior Civil Judges 
    • Civil Judges
    • Family Courts

    Other Fora

    • Appellate Tribunals
    • Appellate Commission
    • Board
    • Commission  
    • Forum
    • Tribunal [CAT]

    Legislations Governing Evidence & Witness In India

    Indian Evidence Act, 1872

    (RELEVANT SECTIONS)

    • Section-3: Interpretation clause
    • Section-4: "May presume"
    • 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 or bodily feeling
    • Section-15: Facts bearing on question whether act was accidental or intentional
    • Section-16: Existence of course of business when relevant
    • Section-17: Admission defined
    • Section-18: Admission by party to proceeding or his agent by suitor in representative character
    • 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-22-A: 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
    • Section-32: Cases in which statement of relevant fact by person who is dead or cannot be found, etc., is relevant
    • Section-33: Relevancy of certain evidence for proving, in subsequent proceeding, the truth of facts therein stated
    • Section-34: Entries in books of account including those maintained in an electronic form] when relevant
    • Section-35: Relevancy of entry in public record or an electronic record made in performance of duty
    • Section-37.Relevancy of statement as to fact to public nature, contained in certain Acts or notifications
    • Section-38: Relevancy of statements as to any law contained in law-books
    • Section-39: What evidence to be given when statement forms part of a conversation, document, electronic record, book or series of letters or papers
    • 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 to 42, when relevant
    • Section-44: Fraud or collusion in obtaining judgment, or incompetency of Court, may be proved
    • Section-45: Opinions of experts
    • Section-46: Facts bearing upon opinions of experts
    • Section-47: Opinion as to handwriting, when relevant
    • Section-47-A: Opinion as to digital signature when relevant
    • Section-48: Opinion as to existence of right or custom, when relevan
    • Section-49: Opinion as to usages, tenets, etc., when relevant
    • Section-50: Opinion or relationship, when relevant
    • Section-51: Grounds of opinion, when relevant
    • Section-52: In civil cases character to prove conduct imputed, irrelevant
    • Section-53: In criminal cases, previous good character relevant
    • Section-54: Previous bad character not relevant, except in reply
    • Section-55: Character as affecting damages
    • 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
    • Section-59: Proof of facts by oral evidence
    • Section-60: Oral evidence must be direct
    • 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-65-A: Special provisions as to evidence relating to electronic record
    • Section-65-B: 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-67-A: Proof as to digital 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-73-A: Proof as to verification of digital signature
    • 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
    • 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-81-A: Presumption as to Gazettes in electronic forms
    • Section-82: Presumption as to document admissible in England without proof of seal or signature
    • Section-84:Presumption as to collections of laws and reports of decisions
    • Section-85: Presumption as to power-of-attorney
    • Section-87: Presumption as to books, maps and charts
    • Section-88: Presumption as to telegraphic messages
    • Section-88-A: 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-90-A: Presumption as to electronic records five years old
    • 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 term of document
    • Section-100: Saving of provisions of Indian Succession Act relating to wills
    • 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-108: Burden of proving that person is alive who has not been heard of for seven 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-111-A: Presumption as to certain offences
    • Section-112: Birth during marriage, conclusive proof of legitimacy
    • Section-113-A: Presumption as to abetment of suicide by a married woman
    • Section-113-B: Presumption as to dowry death
    • Section-114: Court may presume existence of certain facts
    • Section-114-A: Presumption as to absence of consent in certain prosecutions for rape
    • Section-115: Estoppel
    • Section-116: Estoppel of tenant; and of licensee of person in possession
    • Section-117: Estoppel of acceptor of bill of exchange, bailee or licensee
    • Section-118: Who may testify
    • Section-119: Dumb witnesses
    • 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
    • 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: Question 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 section 159
    • 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
    • Section-167: No new trial for improper admission or rejection of evidence.

    Prime Legal Provisions, As Provided In The Indian Evidence Act, 1872

    • Account-Books- [Entries in books of account including those maintained in an electronic form] when relevant- S-34].
    • Admission defined- S-17 [Proof of admissions against persons making them, and by or on their behalf- S-21]/ When oral admissions as to contents of documents are relevant- S-22]/ Admissions in civil cases, when relevant- S-23]/ [Admissions not conclusive proof, but may estop- S-31]/ [Facts admitted need not be proved- S-58]/ [Admissibility of electronic records- S-65-B]/ [Proof as to digital signature- S-67-A]/ [Admission of execution by party to attested document- S-70].
    • Character- [In civil cases character to prove conduct imputed, irrelevant- S-52]/ [In criminal cases, previous good character relevant- S-53]/ [Previous bad character not relevant, except in reply- S-54]/ [Character as affecting damages- S-55].
    • Comparison- [Comparison of signature, writing or seal with others admitted or proved- S-73].
    • Conduct: [Previous conduct-S-8] [Subsequent conduct- S-8]/ Confession by accused while in custody of police not to be proved against him- S-26]/  
    • Confession- Confession caused by inducement, threat or promise, when irrelevant in criminal proceeding- S-24]/ [Confession to police officer not to be proved- S-25]/ [Confession made after removal of impression caused by inducement, threat or promise relevant- S-28]/ [Confession otherwise relevant not to become irrelevant because of promise of secrecy, etc- S-29]/ [Consideration of proved confession affecting person making it and others jointly under trial for same offence- S-30].  
    • Court [S-3].
    • Cross Examination- [Examination-in-chief- S-137]/ [Order of examinations- S-138]/ [Cross-examination of person called to produce a document- S-139]/ [Leading questions- S-141]/ [When they must not be asked- S-142]/ [When they may be asked- S-143]/ [Cross-examination as to previous statements in writing- S-145]/ [Questions lawful in cross-examination- S-146]/ [When witness to be compelled to answer- S-147]/ [Court to decide when question shall be asked and when witness compelled to answer- S-148]/ [Question not to be asked without reasonable grounds-S- 149]/ Procedure of Court in case of question being asked without reasonable grounds- S-150]/ [Indecent and scandalous questions- S-151]/ [Questions intended to insult or annoy- S-152]/ [Exclusion of evidence to contradict answers to questions testing veracity- S-153]/ [Question by party to his own witness- S-154]/ [Impeaching credit of witness- S-155]/ [Question tending to corroborate evidence of relevant fact, admissible- S-156]/ [Refreshing memory- S-159]/  [Right of adverse party as to writing used to refresh memory- S-161].
    • Customs, Usage & Rights- Facts relevant when right or custom is in question-S-13].
    • Damages- [In suits for damages, facts tending to enable Court to determine amount are relevant-S-12].
    • Design: Common Design- [Things said or done by conspirator in reference to common design- S-10].
    • Document [S-3]- [Public documents- S-74]/ [Private documents- S-75]/ [Certified copies of public documents- S-76].
    • Electronic Record- When oral admission as to contents of electronic records are relevant- S-22-A]/ [Special provisions as to evidence relating to electronic record- S-65-A].
    • Estoppel- S-115- [Estoppel of tenant; and of licensee of person in possession- S-116]/ [Estoppel of acceptor of bill of exchange, bailee or licensee- S-117].
    • Evidence [S-3]- [Evidence may be given of facts in issue and relevant facts- S-5]/ [What evidence to be given when statement forms part of a conversation, document, electronic record, book or series of letters or papers- S-39]/ [Oral evidence must be direct- S-60]/ [Primary evidence- S-62]/ [Secondary evidence- S-63]/ [Cases in which secondary evidence relating to documents may be given- S-65]/ [Evidence of terms of contracts, grants and other dispositions of property reduced to form of document- S-91]/ [Exclusion of evidence of oral agreement- S-92]/ [Exclusion of evidence to explain or amend ambiguous document- S-93]/ [Exclusion of evidence against application of document to existing facts- S-94]/ [Evidence as to document unmeaning in reference to existing facts- S-95]/ [Evidence as to application of language which can apply to one only of several persons- S-96]/ [Evidence as to application of language to one of two sets of facts, to neither of which the whole correctly applies- S-97]/ [Evidence as to meaning of illegible characters, etc- S-98]/ [Who may give evidence of agreement varying term of document- S-99]/ [Evidence as to matters in writing- S-144]/ [Testimony to facts stated in document mentioned in section 159- S-160].
    • Fact [S-3]- [Facts in issue-S-3]/ [Facts which are the occasion, cause or effect of facts in issue- S-7]/ [Facts necessary to explain or introduce relevant facts- S-9].
    • Govt. Records- [Relevancy of entry in public record or an electronic record made in performance of duty- S-35]/ [Relevancy of statement as to fact to public nature, contained in certain Acts or notifications- S-37].
    • Intentional & Accidental- [Facts bearing on question whether act was accidental or intentional- S-15].
    • Judge & Judicial Notice- [Fact judicially noticeable need not be proved- S-56]/ [Facts of which Court must take judicial notice- S-57]/ [Court may presume existence of certain facts- S-114]/ [Judges and Magistrates- S-121]/ [Judge to decide as to admissibility of evidence- S-136]/ [Witnesses to character- S-140]/ [Judge's power to put questions or order production- S-165]/ [Power of jury or assessors to put questions- S-166]/ [No new trial for improper admission or rejection of evidence- S-167].
    • Laws & Law Books- [Relevancy of statements as to any law contained in law-books- S-38]/ [Previous judgments relevant to bar a second suit or trial- S-40]/ [Relevancy of certain judgments in probate, etc., jurisdiction- S-41]/ [Relevancy and effect of judgments, orders or decrees, other than those mentioned in section-41- S-42]/ [Judgments, etc., other than those mentioned in sections 40 to 42, when relevant- S-43]/ [Fraud or collusion in obtaining judgment, or incompetency of Court, may be proved- S-44].
    • Matrimonial- [Birth during marriage, conclusive proof of legitimacy- S-112]/ [Presumption as to abetment of suicide by a married woman- S-113-A]/ [Presumption as to dowry death- S-113-A]/ [Communications during marriage- S-122]/ [Evidence as to affairs of State- S-123].
    • Mind, Body, and Bodily Feeling- [Facts showing existence of state of mind, or of body or bodily feeling-S-14].
    • Motive [S-8]-
    • Notice to produce, Production & Refusal to produce- [Rules as to notice to produce- S-66]/ [Production of title-deeds of witness not a party- S-130]/ [Production of documents or electronic records which another person, having possession, could refuse to produce- S-131]/ [Order of production and examination of witnesses- S-135]/ [Production of documents- S-162]/ [Giving, as evidence, of document called for and produced on notice- S-163]/ [Using, as evidence, of document production of which was refused on notice- S-164].
    • Opinion- [Opinions of experts- S-45]/ [Facts bearing upon opinions of experts- S-46]/ [Opinion as to handwriting, when relevant- S-47]/ [Opinion as to digital signature when relevant- S-47-A]/ [Opinion or relationship, when relevant- S-50]/ [Opinion as to existence of right or custom, when relevant- S-48]/ [Opinion as to usages, tenets, etc., when relevant- S-49]/ [Grounds of opinion, when relevant - S-51].
    • Party to Suit- [Admission by party to proceeding or his agent by suitor in representative character- S-18]/ [Admissions by persons expressly referred to by party to suit- S-20].
    • Police Case- [Information as to commission of offences- S-125]/ [Accomplice- S-133].
    • Preparation [S-8]-
    • Presume/ Presumption: [May presume- S-4] [Presumption as to genuineness of certified copies- S-79]/ [Presumption as to documents produced as record of evidence- S-80]/ [Presumption as to Gazettes, newspapers, private Acts of Parliament and other documents- S-81]/ [Presumption as to Gazettes in electronic forms - S-81-A]/ [Presumption as to document admissible in England without proof of seal or signature- S-82]/ [Presumption as to collections of laws and reports of decisions- S-84]/ [Presumption as to power-of-attorney- S-85]/ [Presumption as to books, maps and charts- S-87]/ [Presumption as to telegraphic messages- S-88]/ [Presumption as to electronic messages- S-88-A]/ [Presumption as to due execution, etc. of documents not produced- S-89]/ [Presumption as to documents thirty years old- S-90]/ [Presumption as to electronic records five years old- S-90-A]/ [Presumption as to certain offences- S-111-A].
    • Professionals & Officials- [Official communications- S-124]/ [Professional communications- S-126]/ [Section 126 to apply to interpreters, etc- S-127]/ [Privilege not waived by volunteering evidence- S-128]/ [Confidential communications with legal advisers- S-129].
    • Proof- [Proof of facts by oral evidence- S-59]/ [Proof of contents of documents- S-61]/ [Proof of documents by primary evidence- S-64]/ [Proof of signature and handwriting of person alleged to have signed or written document produced- S-67]/ [Proof of execution of document required by law to be attested- S-68]/ [Proof where no attesting witness found- S-69]/ [Proof when attesting witness denies the execution- S-71]/ [Proof of document not required by law to be attested- S-72]/ [Proof as to verification of digital signature- S-73-A]/ [Proof of documents by production of certified copies- S-77]/ [Proof of other official documents- S-78]/ [Burden of proof- S-101]/ [On whom burden of proof lies- S-102]/ [Burden of proof as to particular fact- S-103]/ [Burden of proving fact to be proved to make evidence admissible- S-104]/ [Burden of proving that case of accused comes within exceptions- S-105]/ [Burden of proving fact especially within knowledge- S-106]/ [Burden of proving death of person known to have been alive within thirty years- S-107]/ [Burden of proving that person is alive who has not been heard of for seven years- S-108]/ [Burden of proof as to relationship in the cases of partners, landlord and tenant, principal and agent- S-109]/ [Burden of proof as to ownership- S-110]/ [Proof of good faith in transactions where one party is in relation of active confidence- S-111].
    • Proved [S-3]- [Disproved- S-3]- [Not proved- S-3]- [How much of information received from accused may be proved- S-27]/ [Former statements of witness may be proved to corroborate later testimony as to same fact- S-157]/ [What matters may be proved in connection with proved statement relevant under section 32 or 33- S-158].
    • Rape Cases- [Presumption as to absence of consent in certain prosecutions for rape- S-114-A].
    • Relevant [S-3]- [Relevancy of facts forming part of same transaction- S-6]/ Not otherwise Relevant- [When facts not otherwise relevant become relevant- S-11]/ [Existence of course of business when relevant- S-16]/ [Cases in which statement of relevant fact by person who is dead or cannot be found, etc., is relevant- S-32]/ [Relevancy of certain evidence for proving, in subsequent proceeding, the truth of facts therein stated- S-33].
    • Wills & Succession- [Saving of provisions of Indian Succession Act relating to wills- S-100].
    • Witnesses- [Who may testify- S-118]/ [Dumb witnesses- S-119]/ [Parties to civil suit, and their wives or husbands. Husband or wife of person under criminal trial- S-120]/ [Witness not excused from answering on ground that answer will criminate- S-132]/ [Number of witnesses - S-134].

    Judgments

    • Kothari Industrial Corporation Ltd. Versus Tamil Nadu Electricity Board & Anr., Civil Appeal No. 9748 Of 2003, Judgment Dated: , Bench: Markandey Katju & T. S. Thakur, JJ, Supreme Court Of India- Indian Evidence Act, 1872- Section-115- Whether the State would be estopped from altering/modifying the benefit of concessional tariff – Held, the principle of promissory estoppel would have no application to the case of the appellants so as to entitle the applellants any right to the continuation of the concessional tariff- Matter referred to a larger Bench [Judgment Dated- 01.10.2010] [Judgment Dated- 29.01.2016].
    • Ram Singh Versus State Of NCT Of Delhi, Crl. Rev.P.124/2013, Judgment Dated-7 th March, 2013, Bench-G.P.Mittal, J.- Confronting of PW, namely, the Complainant, with his previous Statement.
    • Shahid Khan Vs. State Of Rajasthan, (2016) 4 Scc 96- Eye Witnesses- Delay In Recording The Statements Of Eye Witnesses.
    • Shamsher Singh Verma  Vs. State of Haryana, Criminal Appeal No. 1525 OF 2015, Judgment Dated-24.11.2015, Bench- Dipak Misra, J & Justice P.C, Pant, J, Supreme Court Of India- Indian Evidence Act, 1872- Section-3- On The admissibility of CD as defence evidence.

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