Begin typing your search above and press return to search.
Top Stories

Supreme Court Half Yearly Digest 2022 (Jan - Jun) EVIDENCE ACT- With Parallel Citations

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
18 Aug 2022 8:46 AM GMT
Supreme Court Half Yearly Digest 2022 (Jan - Jun) EVIDENCE ACT- With Parallel Citations
x

Evidence Act, 1872 - "Matters" - Matters are necessary, concomitant material factors to prove a fact. All evidence would be "matters" but not vice versa. In other words, matters could be termed as a genus of which evidence would be a species. Matters also add strength to the evidence giving adequate ammunition in the Court's sojourn in deciphering the truth. Thus, the definition of "matters" is exhaustive, and therefore, much wider than that of "evidence". However, there is a caveat, as the court is not supposed to consider a matter which acquires the form of an evidence when it is barred in law. Matters are required for a court to believe in the existence of a fact - Matters do give more discretion and flexibility to the court in deciding the existence of a fact. Rajesh Yadav v. State of U.P., 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 137 : 2022 (3) SCALE 135

Evidence Act, 1872 - A mere non -examination of the witness per se will not vitiate the case of the prosecution. It depends upon the quality and not the quantity of the witnesses and its importance. If the court is satisfied with the explanation given by the prosecution along with the adequacy of the materials sufficient enough to proceed with the trial and convict the accused, there cannot be any prejudice. Similarly, if the court is of the view that the evidence is not screened and could well be produced by the other side in support of its case, no adverse inference can be drawn. Onus is on the part of the party who alleges that a witness has not been produced deliberately to prove it. (Para 31) Rajesh Yadav v. State of U.P., 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 137 : 2022 (3) SCALE 135

Evidence Act, 1872 - Chance Witness - A chance witness is the one who happens to be at the place of occurrence of an offence by chance, and therefore, not as a matter of course. In other words, he is not expected to be in the said place. A person walking on a street witnessing the commission of an offence can be a chance witness. Merely because a witness happens to see an occurrence by chance, his testimony cannot be eschewed though a little more scrutiny may be required at times. This again is an aspect which is to be looked into in a given case by the court. (Para 26) Rajesh Yadav v. State of U.P., 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 137 : 2022 (3) SCALE 135

Evidence Act, 1872 - Classification of Evidence - Circumstantial evidence, corroborative evidence, derivative evidence, direct evidence, documentary evidence, hearsay evidence, indirect evidence, oral evidence, original evidence, presumptive evidence, primary evidence, real evidence, secondary evidence, substantive evidence, testimonial evidence, etc. Rajesh Yadav v. State of U.P., 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 137 : 2022 (3) SCALE 135

Evidence Act, 1872 - Definition of "Proved" - The definition of the word "proved" though gives an impression of a mere interpretation, in effect, is the heart and soul of the entire Act. This clause, consciously speaks of proving a fact by considering the "matters before it". The importance is to the degree of probability in proving a fact through the consideration of the matters before the court. What is required for a court to decipher is the existence of a fact and its proof by a degree of probability, through a logical influence. (Para 13) Rajesh Yadav v. State of U.P., 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 137 : 2022 (3) SCALE 135

Evidence Act, 1872 - Evidence Act is an "Adjective Law" highlighting and aiding substantive law - It is neither wholly procedural nor substantive, though trappings of both could be felt. (Para 12) Rajesh Yadav v. State of U.P., 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 137 : 2022 (3) SCALE 135

Evidence Act, 1872 - Hostile Witness - Testimony of a witness turning to depose in favour of the opposite party -A witness may depose in favour of a party in whose favour it is meant to be giving through his chief examination, while later on change his view in favour of the opposite side. Similarly, there would be cases where a witness does not support the case of the party starting from chief examination itself. This classification has to be borne in mind by the Court. With respect to the first category, the Court is not denuded of its power to make an appropriate assessment of the evidence rendered by such a witness. Even a chief examination could be termed as evidence. Such evidence would become complete after the cross examination. Once evidence is completed, the said testimony as a whole is meant for the court to assess and appreciate qua a fact. Therefore, not only the specific part in which a witness has turned hostile but the circumstances under which it happened can also be considered, particularly in a situation where the chief examination was completed and there are circumstances indicating the reasons behind the subsequent statement, which could be deciphered by the court. It is well within the powers of the court to make an assessment, being a matter before it and come to the correct conclusion. (Para 21) Rajesh Yadav v. State of U.P., 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 137 : 2022 (3) SCALE 135

Evidence Act, 1872 - Related Witness - A related witness cannot be termed as an interested witness per se. One has to see the place of occurrence along with other circumstances. A related witness can also be a natural witness. If an offence is committed within the precincts of the deceased, the presence of his family members cannot be ruled out, as they assume the position of natural witnesses. When their evidence is clear, cogent and withstood the rigor of cross examination, it becomes sterling, not requiring further corroboration. A related witness would become an interested witness, only when he is desirous of implicating the accused in rendering a conviction, on purpose. (Para 28) Rajesh Yadav v. State of U.P., 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 137 : 2022 (3) SCALE 135

Evidence Act, 1872 - The entire enactment is meant to facilitate the court to come to an appropriate conclusion in proving a fact. There are two methods by which the court is expected to come to such a decision. The court can come to a conclusion on the existence of a fact by merely considering the matters before it, in forming an opinion that it does exist. This belief of the court is based upon the assessment of the matters before it. Alternatively, the court can consider the said existence as probable from the perspective of a prudent man who might act on the supposition that it exists. The question as to the choice of the options is best left to the court to decide. The said decision might impinge upon the quality of the matters before it. (Para 17) Rajesh Yadav v. State of U.P., 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 137 : 2022 (3) SCALE 135

Evidence Act, 1872 - When the court is convinced with the quality of the evidence produced, notwithstanding the classification, it becomes the best evidence. Such testimony being natural, adding to the degree of probability, the court has to make reliance upon it in proving a fact. (Para 29) Rajesh Yadav v. State of U.P., 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 137 : 2022 (3) SCALE 135

Evidence Act, 1872 - When the court wants to consider the second part of the definition clause instead of believing the existence of a fact by itself, it is expected to take the role of a prudent man. Such a prudent man has to be understood from the point of view of a common man. Therefore, a judge has to transform into a prudent man and assess the existence of a fact after considering the matters through that lens instead of a judge. It is only after undertaking the said exercise can he resume his role as a judge to proceed further in the case. (Para 18) Rajesh Yadav v. State of U.P., 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 137 : 2022 (3) SCALE 135

Evidence Act, 1872 - While appreciating the evidence as aforesaid along with the matters attached to it, evidence can be divided into three categories broadly namely, (i) wholly reliable, (ii) wholly unreliable and (iii) neither wholly reliable nor wholly unreliable. If evidence, along with matters surrounding it, makes the court believe it is wholly reliable qua an issue, it can decide its existence on a degree of probability. Similar is the case where evidence is not believable. When evidence produced is neither wholly reliable nor wholly unreliable, it might require corroboration, and in such a case, court can also take note of the contradictions available in other matters. (Para 20) Rajesh Yadav v. State of U.P., 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 137 : 2022 (3) SCALE 135

Evidence Act, 1872 - Section 3 - Definition of "Evidence" - Factor or material, lending a degree of probability through a logical inference to the existence of a fact. (Para 12) Rajesh Yadav v. State of U.P., 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 137 : 2022 (3) SCALE 135

Evidence Act, 1872; Section 8 - Doctrine of Res Gestae - The essence of the doctrine is that a fact which, though not in issue, is so connected with the fact in issue "as to form part of the same transaction" that it becomes relevant by itself. A conduct of the accused after the incident may become admissible under Section 6 of the Evidence Act, though not in issue, if it is so connected with the fact in issue. (Para 36) Veerendra v. State of Madhya Pradesh, 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 480 : AIR 2022 SC 2396

Evidence Act, 1872; Section 27 - Accused's statement recorded on a DVD and played in Court - Such a statement is in the nature of a confession to a Police Officer and is completely hit by the principles of Evidence Act. If at all the accused were desirous of making confessions, the Investigating Machinery could have facilitated recording of confession by producing them before a Magistrate for appropriate action in terms of Section 164 of the Code. Any departure from that course is not acceptable and cannot be recognized and taken on record as evidence. (Para 20) Venkatesh @ Chandra v. State of Karnataka, 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 387

Evidence Act, 1872; Section 27 - Section 27 of the Evidence Act is an exception to Sections 24 to 26. Admissibility under Section 27 is relatable to the information pertaining to a fact discovered. This provision merely facilitates proof of a fact discovered in consequence of information received from a person in custody, accused of an offense. Thus, it incorporates the theory of "confirmation by subsequent facts" facilitating a link to the chain of events. It is for the prosecution to prove that the information received from the accused is relatable to the fact discovered. The object is to utilize it for the purpose of recovery as it ultimately touches upon the issue pertaining to the discovery of a new fact through the information furnished by the accused. Therefore, Section 27 is an exception to Sections 24 to 26 meant for a specific purpose and thus be construed as a proviso. (Para 31) Jafarudheen v. State of Kerala, 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 403: 2022 (6) SCALE 727

Evidence Act, 1872; Section 27 - Tendency on part of the Prosecuting Agency in getting the entire statement recorded rather than only that part of the statement which leads to the discovery of facts - In the process, a confession of an accused which is otherwise hit by the principles of Evidence Act finds its place on record. Such kind of statements may have a direct tendency to influence and prejudice the mind of the Court. This practice must immediately be stopped. (Para 19) Venkatesh @ Chandra v. State of Karnataka, 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 387

Evidence Act, 1872; Section 27 - The onus is on the prosecution to prove the fact discovered from the information obtained from the accused. This is also for the reason that the information has been obtained while the accused is still in the custody of the police. Having understood the aforesaid object behind the provision, any recovery under Section 27 will have to satisfy the Court's conscience. One cannot lose sight of the fact that the prosecution may at times take advantage of the custody of the accused, by other means. The Court will have to be conscious of the witness's credibility and the other evidence produced when dealing with a recovery under Section 27 of the Evidence Act. (Para 32) Jafarudheen v. State of Kerala, 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 403: 2022 (6) SCALE 727

Evidence Act, 1872; Section 30 - Extra judicial confession is a weak kind of evidence and unless it inspires confidence or is fully corroborated by some other evidence of clinching nature, ordinarily conviction for the offence of murder should not be made only on the evidence of extra judicial confession - The extra judicial confession made by the co-accused could be admitted in evidence only as a corroborative piece of evidence. In absence of any substantive evidence against the accused, the extra judicial confession allegedly made by the co-accused loses its significance and there cannot be any conviction based on such extra judicial confession of the co-accused. (Para 11-12) Chandrapal v. State of Chhattisgarh, 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 529 : AIR 2022 SC 2542

Evidence Act, 1872; Section 32 - Dying Declaration - Principles as to the circumstances under which a dying declaration may be accepted, without corroboration: (1) that it cannot be laid down as an absolute rule of law that a dying declaration cannot form the sole basis of conviction unless it is corroborated; (2) that each case must be determined on its own facts keeping in view the circumstances in which the dying declaration was made; (3) that it cannot be laid down as a general proposition that a dying declaration is a weaker kind of evidence than other pieces of evidence; (4) that a dying declaration stands on the same footing as another piece of evidence and has to be judged in the light of surrounding circumstances and with reference to the principles governing the weighing of evidence; (5) that a dying declaration which has been recorded by a competent Magistrate in the proper manner, that is to say, in the form of questions and answers, and, as far as practicable, in the words of the maker of the declaration, stands on a much higher footing than a dying declaration which depends upon oral testimony which may suffer from all the infirmities of human memory and human character, and (6) that in order to test the reliability of a dying declaration, the court has to keep in view, the circumstances like the opportunity of the dying man for observation, for example, whether there was sufficient light if the crime was committed at night; whether the capacity of the man to remember the facts stated, had not been impaired at the time he was making the statement, by circumstances beyond his control; that the statement has been consistent throughout if he had several opportunities of making a dying declaration apart from the official record of it; and that the statement had been made at the earliest opportunity and was not the result of tutoring by interested parties. State of U.P. v. Veerpal, 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 111 : (2022) 4 SCC 741

Evidence Act, 1872; Section 32 - Dying Declaration - There can be a conviction solely based upon the dying declaration without corroboration - If the Court is satisfied that the dying declaration is true and voluntary it can base its conviction on it, without corroboration. State of U.P. v. Veerpal, 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 111 : (2022) 4 SCC 741

Evidence Act, 1872; Section 32 - Dying Declaration - There is no absolute proposition of law that in a case when at the time when the dying declaration was recorded, there was no emergency and/or any danger to the life, the dying declaration should be discarded as a whole (Para 6) - Merely because the weapon used is not recovered cannot be a ground not to rely upon the dying declaration. (Para 9) State of Uttar Pradesh vs Subhash @ Pappu, 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 336 : AIR 2022 SC 1651 : (2022) 6 SCC 508

Evidence Act, 1872; Section 32 - Dying Declaration - There is no absolute proposition of law that in a case when at the time when the dying declaration was recorded, there was no emergency and/or any danger to the life, the dying declaration should be discarded as a whole (Para 6) - Merely because the weapon used is not recovered cannot be a ground not to rely upon the dying declaration. (Para 9) State of Uttar Pradesh vs Subhash @ Pappu, 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 336 : AIR 2022 SC 1651 : (2022) 6 SCC 508

Evidence Act, 1872; Section 32(1) - Penal Code, 1860; Sections 498A, 304B, 302, 306 - Dying Declaration - In some circumstances, the evidence of a deceased wife with respect to cruelty could be admissible in a trial for a charge under Section 498A of the IPC under Section 32(1) of the Evidence Act , subject to meeting certain necessary pre­conditions (1) That her cause of death must come into question in the matter - For instance, matters where along with the charge under Section 498A of the IPC, the prosecution has also charged the accused under Sections 302, 306 or 304B of the IPC - As long as the cause of her death has come into question, whether the charge relating to death is proved or not is immaterial with respect to admissibility. (2) Prosecution will have to show that the evidence that is sought to be admitted with respect to Section 498A of the IPC must also relate to the circumstances of the transaction of the death. How far back the evidence can be, and how connected the evidence is to the cause of death of the deceased would necessarily depend on the facts and circumstances of each case. No specific straitjacket formula or rule can be given with respect to this. Surendran v. State of Kerala, 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 482 : AIR 2022 SC 2322

Evidence Act, 1872; Section 32(1) - Test for Admissibility - The cause of death must come into question in that case, regardless of the nature of the proceeding, and that the purpose for which such evidence is being sought to be admitted should be a part of the 'circumstances of the transaction' relating to the death - The test is not that the evidence to be admitted should directly relate to a charge pertaining to the death of the individual, or that the charge relating to death could not be proved. (Para 17) Surendran v. State of Kerala, 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 482 : AIR 2022 SC 2322

Evidence Act, 1872 - Section 33 - Section 33 is an exception to the general rule which mandates adequate facility for cross examining a witness. However, in a case where a witness after the completion of the chief examination and while subjecting him to a substantial and rigorous cross examination, did not choose to get into the witness box on purpose, it is for the court to utilize the said evidence appropriately. The issues over which the evidence is completed could be treated as such by the court and then proceed. Resultantly, the issues for which the cross examination is not over would make the entire examination as inadmissible. Ultimately, it is for the court to decide the aforesaid aspect. (Para 24) Rajesh Yadav v. State of U.P., 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 137 : 2022 (3) SCALE 135

Evidence Act, 1872; Sections 45, 47, 73 - Appeal against Orissa High Court judgment which quashed the order taking cognizance passed by the Sub-Divisional Judicial Magistrate, under Sections 467 and 471 of the Indian Penal Code, on the ground that the opinion of the handwriting expert on the disputed signatures was non-conclusive - Allowed. Manorama Naik v. State of Odisha, 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 297

Evidence Act, 1872; Sections 45, 47, 73 - Opinion of the handwriting expert is not the only way or mode of providing the signature and handwriting of a person - The signatures and handwriting of the person can also be proved under Sections 45, 47 and 73. Manorama Naik v. State of Odisha, 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 297

Evidence Act, 1872; Section 65B(4) - Certificate under Section 65B(4) is a mandatory requirement for production of electronic evidence - Oral evidence in the place of such certificate cannot possibly suffice. (Para 20-21) Ravinder Singh @ Kaku v. State of Punjab, 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 461 : AIR 2022 SC 2726

Evidence Act, 1872 - Section 106 - Section 106 is not intended to relieve the prosecution from discharging its duty to prove the guilt of the accused - Burden could not be shifted on the accused by pressing into service the provisions contained in section 106 of the Evidence Act when the prosecution could not prove the basic facts as alleged against the accused. (Para 15 - 16) Satye Singh v. State of Uttarakhand, 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 169 : (2022) 5 SCC 438

Evidence Act, 1872; Section 106 - Although Section 106 is in no way aimed at relieving the prosecution from its burden to establish the guilt of an accused, it applies to cases where chain of events has been successfully established by the prosecution, from which a reasonable inference is made out against the accused. Moreover, in a case based on circumstantial evidence, whenever an incriminating question is posed to the accused and he or she either evades response, or offers a response which is not true, then such a response in itself becomes an additional link in the chain of events. Sabitri Samantaray v. State of Odisha, 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 503 : AIR 2022 SC 2591

Evidence Act, 1872; Section 106 - Last Seen Theory - When 'last seen' evidence is cogent and trustworthy which establishes that the deceased was lastly seen alive in the company of the accused; and is coupled with the evidence of discovery of the dead body of deceased at a far away and lonely place on the information furnished by the accused, the burden is on the accused to explain his whereabouts after he was last seen with the deceased and to show if, and when, the deceased parted with his company as also the reason for his knowledge about the location of the dead body. (Para 31) Pappu v. State of Uttar Pradesh, 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 144 : 2022 (3) SCALE 45

Evidence Act, 1882; Section 106 - Last Seen Together - Once the theory of "last seen together" was established, the accused was expected to offer some explanation as to under which circumstances, he had parted the company of the victim -Section 106 of the Evidence Act does not shift the burden of the prosecution on the accused, nor requires the accused to furnish an explanation with regard to the facts which are especially within his knowledge, nonetheless furnishing or non-furnishing of the explanation by the accused would be a very crucial fact, when the theory of "last seen together" as propounded by the prosecution is proved against him, to know as to how and when the accused parted the company of the victim. (Para 26) Mohd Firoz v. State of Madhya Pradesh, 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 390 : AIR 2022 SC 1967

Evidence Act, 1872; Section 114 - If a man and a woman live together for long years as husband and wife, there would be a presumption in favour of wedlock. Although, the presumption is rebuttable, a heavy burden lies on him who seek to deprive the relationship of legal origin to prove that no marriage took place. (Para 15 -20) Kattukandi Edathil Krishnan v. Kattukandi Edathil Valsan, 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 549 : AIR 2022 SC 2841


Next Story