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THE INDIAN EVIDENCE ACT, 1872

Title : THE INDIAN EVIDENCE ACT, 1872

Year : 1872

[Act, No. 1 of 1872]1*
[15th March, 1872]

PREAMBLE

WHEREAS it is expedient to consolidate, define and amend the law of Evidence, it is hereby enacted as follows:-

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1. The Act has been extended to Goa, Daman and Diu by Reg. 11 of 1963, section 3 and Schedule., extended to and brought into force in Dadra and Nagar Haveli by Reg. 6 of 1963, section 2 and Schedule 1 (w.e.f. 1-7-1965) and to the whole of Union territory of Lakshadweep by Reg. 8 of 1965 (w.e.f. 1-10-1967). The Act came into force in Pondicherry on 1-10-1963 vide Reg. 7 of 1963, section 3 and Schedule 1. The Act has been amended in West Bengal by West Bengal Act 20 of 1960 and in Tamil Nadu by Tamil Nadu Act 67 of 1979.

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This Act may be called the Indian Evidence Act, 1872.

It extends to the whole of India1*[except the State of Jammu and Kashmir] and applies to all judicial proceedings in or before any Court, including Courts-martial,2*[other than Court-martial convened under the Army Act] (44 & 45 Vict., c. 58)3*[the Naval Discipline Act (29 & 30 Vict., c. 109) or4[***] the Indian Navy (Discipline) Act, 1934 (34 of 1934)5*  6*[or the Air Force Act] 7*( Gco. 5, c. 51) but not to affidavits presented to any Court or Officer, not to7proceedings before an arbitrator;

And it shall come into force on the first day of September, 1872.

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1. Substituted by Act 3 of 1951, section 3 and Schedule, for "except Part B States".

2. Inserted by Act 18 of 1919, section 2 and Schedule I. See section 127 of the Army Act (44 and 45 Vict., c. 58).

3. Inserted by Act 35 of 1934, section 2 and Schedule.

4. The words "that Act as modified by" omitted by the A.O. 1950.

5 . See now the Navy Act 1957 (64 of 1957)

6. Inserted by Act 10 of 1927, section 2 and Schedule I.

7. As to Practice relating to affidavits, see, the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (Act 5 of 1908), section 30 (c)  and Schedule 1, Order XIX. See also the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (Act 2 of 1974), sections 295 and 297.

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[Rep. by the Repealing Act, 1938 (1 of 1938) section 2 and Schedule]




In this Act the following words and expressions are used in the following senses, unless a contrary intention appears from the context:-

"Court".-Court" includes all Judges1 and Magistrates, 2and all persons, except arbitrators, legally authorized to take evidence.
"Fact".-"Fact" means and includes-

(1) Any thing, state of things, or relation of things, capable of being perceived by the senses;

(2) Any mental condition of which any person is conscious.
Illustrations

(a) That there are certain objects arranged in a certain order in a certain place, is a fact.

(b) That a man heard or saw something, is a fact.

(c) That a man said certain words, is a fact.

(d) That a man holds a certain opinion, has a certain intention, acts in good faith or fraudulently, or uses a particular word in a particular sense, or is or was at a specified time conscious of a particular sensation, is a fact.

(e) That a man has a certain reputation, is a fact.
"Relevant".-One fact is said to be relevant to another when the one is connected with the other in any of the ways referred to in the provisions of this Act relating to the relevancy of facts.

"Facts in issue".-The expression "facts in issue" means and includes-any fact from which, either by itself or in connection with other facts, the existence, non-existence, nature or extent of any right, liability, or disability asserted or denied in any suit or proceeding, necessarily follows.

Explanation:-Whenever, under the provisions of the law for the time being in force relating to Civil Procedure,3* any Court records an issue of fact, the fact, to be asserted or denied in the answer to such issue is a fact in issue.

Illustrations

A is accused of the murder of B.

At his trial the following facts may be in issue:-

That A caused B's death;

That A intended to cause B's death;

That A had received grave and sudden provocation from B;
That A at the time of doing the act which caused B's death, was, by reason of unsoundness of mind incapable of knowing its nature.

"Document".-"Document"4 means any matter expressed or described upon any substance by means of letters, figures or marks, or by more than one of those means, intended to be used or which may be used for the purpose of recording that matter.
Illustrations

A writing5* is a document;

Words printed, lithographed or photographed are documents;
A map or plan is a document;

An inscription on a metal plate or stone is a document;
A caricature is a document.

"Evidence".-"Evidence" means and includes-

(1) All statements which the Court permits or requires to be made before it by witnesses, in relation to matters of fact under inquiry;
such statements are called oral evidence;

(2) 6*[All documents including electronic records produced for the inspection of the Court];

such documents are called documentary evidence.

"Proved".-A fact is said to be proved when, after considering the matters before it, the Court either believes it to exist, or considers its existence so probable that a prudent man ought, under the circumstances of the particular case, to act upon the supposition that it exists.

"Disproved".-A fact is said to be disproved when, after considering the matters before it, the Court either believes that it does not exist, or considers its non-existence so probable that a prudent man ought, under the circumstances of the particular case, to act upon the supposition that it does not exist.

"Not proved".-A fact is said to be not proved when it is neither proved nor disproved.

7*["India".-"India" means the territory of India excluding the State of Jammu and Kashmir.]

8*[the expressions "Certifying Authority", "9[electronic signature]", 10*[Electronic Signature Certificate],9[electronic form], "electronic records", "information", "secure electronic record", "secure [electronic signature]" and "subscriber" shall have the meanings respectively assigned to them in the Information Technology Act, 2000.]

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1. Cf. the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (Act 5 of 1908), section 2, the Indian Penal Code (Act 45 of 1860), section 19; and, for a definition of "District Judge", the General Clauses Act, 1897 (10 of 1897), section 3 (17).

2. Cf. the General Clauses Act, 1897 (10 of 1897), section 3 (32) and the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (Act 2 of 1974).

3. See now the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908) as to the settlement of issues, See Schedule I, Order XIV.

4. Cf. the Indian Penal Code (Act 45 of 1860), section 29 and the General Clauses Act, 1897 (10 of 1897), section 3 (18).

5. Cf. definition of "writing in the General Clauses Act, 1897 (10 of 1897), section 3 (65).

6. Substituted by Act 21 of 2000, section 92 and Schedule II, for "all documents produced for the inspection of the Court." (w.e.f. 17-10-2000).

7. Substituted by Act 3 of 1951, section 3 and Schedule, for the definition of "State" and "States", which was inserted by the A.O. 1950.

8. Inserted by Act 21 of 2000, section 92 and Schedule II (w.e.f. 17-10-2000).

9. Substituted for "digital signature" and "Digital Signature Certificate" by the Information Technology (Amendment) Act, 2008 (10 of 2009), S.52(a), w.e.f. 27.10.2009.

10. Substituted vide IT Amendment Act, 2008 prior text was "Digital Signature Certificate"

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Whenever it is proved by this Act that Court may presume a fact, it may either regard such fact as proved, unless and until it is disproved, or may call for proof of it.

"Shall presume".-Whenever it is directed by this Act that the Court shall presume a fact, it shall regard such fact as proved, unless and until it is disproved.

"Conclusive proof.-When one fact is declared by this Act to be conclusive proof of another, the Court shall, on proof of the one fact, regard the other as proved, and shall not allow evidence to be given for the purpose of disproving it.

Last updated on July, 2016

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