top of page

Indian Evidence Act (Landmark Judgement)

Updated: May 4


Indian Evidence Act (Landmark Judgement)
Indian Evidence Act (Landmark Judgement)

Landmark Judgement on Indian Evidence Act Topics:-



GENERAL PRINCIPLES


Khushi Ahmed v. State ofJ&K, (2018) 7 SCC 429

While analysing the evidence on record the court should not adopt a hyper technical approach. The court should not reject the evidence on minor contradictions.


Kameshwar Singh v. State of Bihar, (2018) 6 SCC 433 

The maxim falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus is not applicable in India. It is the duty of the court to separate the grain from the chaff.


It is the duty of the court to find the truth. Minor contradictions and omissions in the evidence are to be ignored if there is a ring of truth in the testimony of the witness.


Mahendran v. State of Tamil Nadu, (2019) 5 SCC 67

The Supreme Court reiterated the well settled position that the maxim falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus has no application in India. Court held that if the testimony of the witness is found to be unreliable in respect of part of the statement, then the other part of the statement cannot be made basis to convict the accused. 


Abdul Razak v. State (1969) 2 SCC 234

Discovery of a fact with the help of a tracker dog is scientific evidence.


Kuna v. State ofOdisha, (2018) 1 SCC 296 

The expression ‘proved’, ‘disproved’ and ‘not proved’ lays down the standard of proof, namely, about the existence or non-existence of circumstances from the point of view of a prudent man, so much so that while adopting the said requirement as an appropriate concrete standard to measure ‘proof, full effect has to be given to the circumstances or conditions of probability or improbability. 


Municipal Corporation, Delhi v. Jagan Nath Ashok Kumar, AIR 1987 SC 2316

Arbitrators have to follow the principles of natural justice but they are not bound by the law of evidence.


Ganesh K Gulve v. State of Maharashtra, AIR 2002 SC 3068 

Evidence is required to be appreciated to find out what part of it represents the true and correct state of things. It is a function of separating grain from the chaff. 


Ashish Batham v. State ofM.P., (2002) 7 SCC 317 

In civil cases a matter is said to be proved when the balance of probability suggests it but in criminal cases the court requires the proof beyond reasonable doubt. 


Ronny v. State of Maharashtra. (1998) 3 SCC 625

Evidence obtained in investigation of other crimes can also constitute good evidence in any other case provided it is relevant.


Bain v. White Raven and Furness Junction, (1850)3HLCl

Law of evidence is a lex fori which governs the courts.


R.Jayapal v. State of Tamil Nadu, (2019) 8 SCC 342

It is the duty of the court to separate the grain from the chaff. Where the chaff can be separated from grain it would be open to the court to convict the accused. However, if the grain and chaff cannot be separated then the prosecution version has to be rejected in toto. 


Rajesh Dhiman v. State ofH.P., (2020) 10 SCC 740

The term ‘reasonable doubt’ does not mean that proof is so clear that no possibility of error exists. The evidence must only be so conclusive that all reasonable doubts are removed from the mind of an ordinary person. It refers to the degree of certainty required by the court before it can make a legally valid determination of the guilt of the accused.


Parminder Kaur v. State of Punjab, (2020) 8 SCC 811

It is the duty of the prosecution to lead the best evidence in its possession. Failure to do so ought to lead to adverse inference. 


Sunil v. State ofM.P., (2017) 4 SCC 393

Failure to conduct DNA tests of samples taken from the accused or to prove the report of DNA profiling, would not necessarily result in failure of prosecution case. Conviction may still be possible based on the remaining evidence.

 

Kathi David Raju v. State ofA.P., (2019) 7 SCC 769

Direction for identification of a person by DNA test should be based on satisfaction of police authorities on some material collected on the basis of substantial investigation. DNA tests cannot be requested or directed as a step towards roving fishing inquiry.

 
 

RELEVANT FACTS


Basanti v. State of Himachal Pradesh, (1987J3SSC227

When shortly after murder, the person suspected of murder described the absence of the deceased by saying that he had left the village, the court held that statement as part of the same transaction and thus relevant.


R. v. Foster (1834)6 C&P 325

The witnesses had seen only speeding vehicles and not the accident. The injured person explained to him the nature of the accident. He was allowed to give evidence of what the deceased said because it was part of res gestae.


G. Vijay Vardhan Rao v. State of Andhra Pradesh, AIR 1996 SC 2971

For a statement to be part of a transaction, it must be spontaneous and must be contemporaneous with the fact If the statement is made after the act is over and its maker has had time for reflection then it is not relevant.


Gentela Rao v. State of Andhra Pradesh, (1996) 6 SCC 241

The rule of res gestae is an exception to the general rule that hearsay evidence is not admissible. The rationale in making certain statements admissible or fact admissible under Section 6 is on account of the spontaneity and immediacy of such statements or facts in relation to the fact in issue.


Sukhar v. State ofU.P., (1999) 9 SCC 507

Section 6 is an exception to the general rule that hearsay evidence is not admissible. For bringing hearsay evidence within the provision of Section 6 it must be established that the act was contemporaneous with fact in issue and there should not be an interval which would allow fabrication.


Harendra Rai V. State of Bihar, 2023

Accused was instrumental in making all possible efforts to wipe out the evidence against him and the Prosecution machinery as also the Presiding Officer of the Trial Court, if we may say so, was used as a tool of his highhandedness.


The obvious question pops up in the mind of any prudent person, as to why he was instrumental, when he was not guilty of the offence to which he was being tried. The obvious answer to this would reasonably come to mind of any prudent person that his guilty mind was fearful about the result.


All these aspects leave no room for doubt that the subsequent conduct of the accused is one of the major circumstances pointing towards his guilt for the incident.


Ram Lochan v. State of West Bengal AIR 1963 SC 1074

Superimposed photograph of the deceased over the skeleton of the human body was admissible to prove that skeleton was that of the deceased. 


Jadunath Singh v. State ofU.P. AIR 1971 SC 363

Holding a test identification parade is not compulsory. Failure to hold it is not fatal to the prosecution case where the accused persons were previously known to the witness. 


Abdul WaheedKhan v. State ofA.P., (2002) 7 SCC 175

It is desirable that identification parades should be conducted soon after the arrest of the accused.


Surendra Narain v. State ofU.P., AIR 1998 SC 3031 

Holding of identification parade is not compulsory even when the accused demands it. Prosecution is not bound to do so.


Malkhan Singh v. State ofM.P., (2003) 5 SCC 746 

Identification parade is a weak sort of evidence. It is not substantive evidence. The failure to hold an identification parade would not make the evidence of 1 identification inadmissible in court.

 
 

Rajesh v. State of Haryana, (2020) SCC OnLine SC 900

The identification in the course of a TIP is intended to lend assurance to the identity of the accused. The finding of guilt cannot be based purely on the refusal of the accused to undergo an identification parade. Supreme Court summarised the following principles:- 


  •  The purpose of conducting a TIP is that persons who claim to have seen the offender at the time of the occurrence identify them from amongst the other individuals without tutoring or aid from any source. An identification parade, in other words, tests the memory of the witnesses, in order for the prosecution to determine whether any or all of them can be cited as eyewitness to the crime;

  • Identification parades belong to the stage of the investigation of crime and there is no provision which compels the investigating agency to hold or confers a right on the accused to claim a TIP; 


  • Identification parades are governed in that context by the provision of Section 162 of the CrPC; 


  • A TIP should ordinarily be conducted soon after the arrest of the accused, so as to preclude a possibility of the accused being shown to the witnesses before it is held;


  • Facts which establish the identity of the accused person are treated to be relevant under Section 9 of the Evidence Act;


  •  A TIP may lend corroboration to the identification of the witness in court, if so required;


  • As a rule of prudence, the court would, generally speaking, look for corroboration of the witness’ identification of the accused in court, in the form of earlier identification proceedings. The rule of prudence is subject to the exception when the court considers it safe to rely upon the evidence of a particular witness without such, or other corroboration.


  • Since a TIP does not constitute substantive evidence, the failure to hold it does not ipso facto make the evidence of identification inadmissible,


  •  The weight that is attached to such identification is a matter to be determined by the court in the circumstances of that particular case;


  • The court in fact may, in the context and circumstances of each case, determine whether an adverse inference should be drawn against the accused for refusing to participate in a TIP. However, the court would look for corroborating material of a substantial nature before it enters a finding in regard to the guilt of the accused.



Chunthuram v. State of Chhattisgarh, (2020) 10 SCC 733 

Test identification evidence is not substantive evidence It can only be used for the purpose of corroboration. When identifications are held in police presence, resultant communications tantamount to statements made by identifiers to a police officer in the course of investigation and they fall within the ambit of Section 162 Cr.P.C. 


Sukhpal Singh v. State of Punjab, (2019) 15 SCC 622

The inability of the prosecution to establish motive in a case of circumstantial evidence is not always fatal to the prosecution case, held by the Supreme Court. 


Dudh Nath Pandey v. State ofUJL (1981) 2 SCC 166

Plea of alibi postulates the physical impossibility of the presence of the accused at the scene of crime by reason of his presence at another place.


Kamal Prasad and Others v. State of M.P. (2023)

  • It is not a part of the General Exceptions under the IPC and is instead a rule of evidence under Section 11 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872.


  • Further, the burden to establish the plea is on the person taking such a plea. The same must be achieved by leading cogent and satisfactory evidence;


  • It is required to be proved with certainty so as to completely exclude the possibility of the presence of the accused at the spot of the crime. In other words, a standard of 'strict scrutiny' is required when such a plea is taken.

 
 

Kehar Singh v. Delhi Administration, AIR 1980 SC 1883

Only a prima facie case of conspiracy has to be made out to bring Section 10 into operation.


Badri Rai v. State of Bihar, AIR 1958 SC 953 

Section 10 has been enacted to make acts/statements of co-conspirator admissible against the whole body of conspirators, because of the nature of the crime.


Sardul Singh v. State of Bombay, AIR 1957 SC 747 

Underlying principle on which Section 10 is based is the principal of agency. It confines the principle of agency in criminal matters to the acts of the conspirator within the period during which it can be said that the acts were in reference to their common intention. 


Mirza Akbar v. King Emperor, AIR 1940 PC 176 

Under Section 10 the words common intention’ signify a common intention existing at the time when the thing was said, done or written by one of them.


Things said, done or written while the conspiracy was on foot are relevant as evidence of the common intention. Any statement, narrative or confession made after the common intention or conspiracy was no longer operating is not admissible under Section 10.


C.B.I. v. V.C. Shukla, AIR 1998 SC 1406 

Ordinarily a person cannot be made responsible for the acts of others, unless they have been instigated by him or done with his knowledge or consent. Section 10 provides an exception to this rule by laying down that an overt act, committed by one of the conspirators is sufficient on the principles of agency.


 Sardul Singh v. State of Bombay, AIR 1957 SC 747

The principle underlying evidence under Section 10 is the ‘theory of agency’


R.M. Malkani v. State of Maharashtra, AIR 1973 SC 157

Tape recorded conversation is admissible provided that the conversation is relevant to the matters in issue and there is identification of the voice and that the accuracy of the conversation is proved by eliminating the possibility of erasing the tape record.


RELEVANCY & ADMISSIBILITY


Ram Bihari Yadav v. State of Bihar, (1994)4SSC517

The Supreme Court held that terms ‘relevancy’ and ‘admissibility’ are not co-extensive or interchangeable terms. Their legal incidents are different. All admissible evidence is usually relevant, but all relevant evidence is not admissible.


Sahoo v. State ofU.P,, AIR 1966 SC 40

There is a distinction between admissibility of evidence and the weight attached to it. The court must apply the double test - First, whether the confession was perfectly voluntary and second, if so, whether it is true and trustworthy. 


Dhanpat v. Sheo Ram, (2020) 16 SCC 209 

Objections regarding admissibility and proof of evidence is to be decided by the court at the final stage. Whenever an objection is raised during evidence taking stage regarding the admissibility of any material, the trial court can make note of such objection and decide it at the stage of final judgement.


ADMISSION and CONFESSION


Bharat Singh v. Bhagirathi, AIR 1966 SC 405

The Supreme Court held that admission is substantive evidence of the fact admitted and admission duly proved are admissible irrespective of whether the party making them appears as a witness or not.


Hanumant Narain v. State of M.P., 1975 AIR 1083 SC

Admission cannot be used in parts. It can be either used as a whole or rejected as a whole.


Bharat Singh v. Bhagirath, AIR 1966 SC 405

An admission is a substantive piece of evidence of the fact admitted and the admission duly proved are admissible evidence.


CBI v. V.C. Shukla, (1998) 3 SCC 410

An admission is not evidence against others. An admission may become evidence against others only if it amounts to a confession. It may then be used as evidence under Section 10 or under Section 30 as confession of a co-accused. 


 Biswanath Prasad v. Dwatka Prasad, AIR 1974 SC 117

There is a distinction between the party who is the author of the prior statement and a witness who is examined and is sought to be discredited by use of his prior statement. In the first case the admission by a party is substantive evidence if it fulfils the requirements of Section 21.


In the second case the prior statement is used to discredit the credibility of the witness and does not become substantive evidence.


Pakla Narayan Swami v. Emperor AIR 1939 PC 47 

The term ‘confession’ was defined by Lord Atkin. The definition given by the Privy Council was approved by the Indian Supreme Court in Palvinder Kaur's case. The court held that ‘a confession must either admit in terms the offence, or at any rate substantially all the facts which constitute the offence’. 


Abdul Rashid v. State of Bihar, AIR 2001 SC 2422

The court held that confession made by the accused to the Superintendent of Excise under provisions of Bihar and Orissa Excise Act held to be inadmissible because the Excise officer was held to be a police officer within the meaning of Section 25. 


Aghnoo Nagesia v. State of Bihar, AIR 1966 SC 119 

The Supreme Court held that the statement that the accused had committed the offence or that he had hidden the object at some place are not admissible. What is admissible is only that portion of the statement that reveals the information about the place of hiding of the object.


Mohd. Inayatullah v. State of Maharashtra, AIR 1976 SC 483

The Supreme Court held that it is essential to prove that the object was discovered from a place of hiding. If the object is lying in an open place, there are chances that others may know about it and it will be difficult to prove that the object was discovered at an instance of information provided by the accused. The Supreme Court held that Section 27 is an exception to Section 24 to 26. 


Manoj Kumar Soni vs State of Andhra Pradesh, 2023

Although disclosure statements hold significance as a contributing factor in unriddling a case, in our opinion, they are not so strong a piece of evidence sufficient on its own and without anything more to bring home the charges beyond reasonable doubt.


 NishikantJha v. State of Bihar, AIR 1952 SC 1033

The Supreme Court held that there is nothing wrong in relying on a part of the confessional statement and rejecting the rest. When there is enough evidence to reject the exculpatory part, the court may rely on the inculpatory part.


Pyare Lal v. State of Rajasthan, AIR 1963 SC 1094

The Supreme Court held that a retracted confession may form the basis of conviction if the court is satisfied that it was true and voluntarily made. Therefore as a matter of law, corroboration is not necessary if the court is convinced about the truthfulness and voluntary nature of confession; however prudence requires that retracted confession should not be acted upon without corroboration. 


State of Punjab v. Gurdeep Singh, (1999) 7 SCC 714

Extra judicial confession is admissible in evidence and the court in appropriate cases, can rely on it and convict the accused. 


State of Karnataka v. P. Ravi Kumar, (2018) 9 SCC 614

Extra-judicial confession is a weak piece of evidence and it cannot form the basis for conviction, unless supported by other substantive evidence. 


Ashish Jain v. Makrand Singh, (2019) 3 SCC 770

The Supreme Court observed that there is no evidentiary value to an involuntary confessional statement made under undue pressure and compulsion from the investigating officer, even when it leads to the recovery of material objects in relation to a crime. 


State (N.C. T of Delhi) v. Navjot Sindhu, (2005) 11 SCC 600

Confessions are considered highly reliable because no rational person would make an admission against himself unless prompted by his conscience to tell the truth. 


Palvinder Kaur v. State of Punjab, AIR 1952 SC 354

Confession must either be accepted as a whole or rejected as a whole.


State of Punjab v. Gurdeep Singh, (1999) 7 SCC 714

Extra judicial confession is admissible in evidence and the court can rely on it as substantive evidence and convict the accused.


Mohd. Inayatullah v. State of Maharashtra, AIR 1976 SC 483

Supreme Court laid down the following propositions w.r.t. Section 27-


  1. There should be a discovery of fact in consequence of the information received from a person accused of an offence. 

  2. Discovery of such fact must be deposed to

  3. At the time of receipt of the information the accused must be in the custody of police. 

  4. Only so much of the information as it relates to the fact discovered is admissible.


Bal Kishan v. State of Maharashtra, AIR 1981 SC 379

The primary test for determining whether an officer is a police officer or not is whether the officer concerned (under Special Act) has been conferred all the powers of investigation including the power to initiate prosecution by submitting a charge-sheet.


Raj Kumar Karwal v. Union of India, AIR 1991 SC 45

Important feature of a police officer is that he must not only have the power of investigation but also to file a report against the accused. Unless he has the power to investigate and file a charge sheet he cannot be called a police officer within the meaning of Section 25. 


Pulukuri Kottaya v. Emperor, AIR 1947 PC 67

‘Fact discovered’ means the place from which the object is produced and the knowledge of the accused as to this. The information permitted to be admissible in evidence is confined to that portion of information which distinctly relate the fact discovered.

 
 

Kehar Singh v. State, AIR 1988 SC 1883

Confession recorded by a Magistrate will be admissible in evidence only if it is recorded in compliance with the provisions of Section 164 CrPC. If there is any irregularity in the recording the confession will be admissible only if the irregularities are curable under Section 463 CrPC. 


Kushal Toppo v. State of Jharkhand, (2019) 13 SCC 676

An extra judicial confession is a weak piece of evidence. It should not be relied upon in absence of corroborative evidence. An extra judicial confession cannot be treated as a substantive piece of evidence against the co-accused. 


Devi Lal v. State of Rajasthan, (2019) 19 SCC 447

Extra judicial confession is on the face of it weak evidence and court is reluctant in the absence of a chain of cogent circumstances to rely on it for the purpose of recording a conviction. As a matter of caution it is advisable for the court to look for corroboration with other evidence on record.


Manoharan v. State, (2020) 5 SCC 782

On conjoint reading of the confessional scheme comprising Section 164 Cr.P.C and Section 24 of Indian Evidence Act, in case of retraction of confessional statement, the courts adopt the rule of prudence and reduce the probative value of such confessionary statements and seek corroborating evidence.


Somasundaram v. State, (2020) 7 SCC 722

A statement under Section 27 of the Evidence Act is not only about the thing as such which is discovered consequent upon the statement but the knowledge attributable to the person who makes the statement about the matter discovered based on the statement. 


DYING DECLARATION 


Uka Ram v. State of Rajasthan, AIR 2001 SC 1814

No person will die with a lie on his lips. The Supreme Court held that a sense of impending death produces in man’s mind the same feeling as that of a virtuous man under oath and chances of falsehood are totally nullified. 


Pakla Narayan Swami v. Emperor AIR 1939 PC 47 

The court held that the statement made by the deceased to his wife that he was going to the accused’s place to collect money from him was admissible under Section 32(1).


Kaushal Rao v. State of Bombay (1958) SCR 552

There is neither rule of law nor prudence which states that dying declaration cannot form the sole basis of conviction unless it is corroborated by independent evidence. A true and voluntary declaration needs no corroboration.


Queen Empress v. Abdullah (1885) 7 A11 385 FB

It was held that dying declarations made by signs and nods are also relevant.


Sanjay v. State of Maharashtra, (2007) 9 SCC148

If there are apparent discrepancies in two dying declarations, it would be unsafe to convict the accused. 


K Ramachand Reddy v. Public Prosecutor, (1976) 3 SCC 104

When the injured person lodged F.I.R. and then died it can be held as relevant dying declaration.

Laxman v. State Maharashtra, (2019) 11 SCC 512

Dying Declaration can be oral or in writing and any adequate method of communication, by words or otherwise will suffice provided that indications are definite and positive. 


Kashmira Devi v. State of Uttarakhand, (2020) 11 SCC 343

In case of multiple dying declarations each one of them has to be considered independently on its own merit as to its evidentiary value and one cannot be rejected because of the content of another. The court has to consider each of them in its correct perspective and satisfy itself which of them reflects the true state of affairs.


Purshottam Chopra v. State (NCT of Delhi), (2020) 11 SCC 489

If a particular statement satisfies all the criteria of dying declaration it cannot be discarded merely because it has not been recorded by a Magistrate or police officer and did not obtain attestation by any person present at the time of making the statement.


EXPERT EVIDENCE


Gopala Reddy v. State of Andhra Pradesh, AIR 1996 SC 2184

The Supreme Court held that expert evidence is a weak type of evidence. Courts do not consider it as conclusive and therefore, it is not safe to rely upon it without seeking independent and reliable corroboration.


Darshan Singh v. State of Haryana, AIR 1997 SC 364

The Supreme Court held that where there is inconsistency between eye witnesses on the point of how the injury was caused, the evidence of the doctor cannot override the unimpeachable testimony of the eyewitness.


Fakhruddin v. State of M.P., AIR 1967 SC 1326

It was held that handwriting may be proved by the evidence of a witness in whose presence the writing was done and this would be direct evidence and if it is available then evidence of any other kind is rendered unnecessary.


Ashish Jain v. Makrand Singh, (2019) 3 SCC 770

The Supreme Court observed that merely due to the absence of a magisterial order authorising the police to obtain fingerprints of the accused, it cannot be held that the fingerprint evidence was illegally obtained. 


Murari Lal v. State of M.P., AIR 1980 SC 531

There is no rule of law or prudence which says that opinion of the expert must never be acted upon unless corroborated. In appropriate cases corroboration must be sought.


Musheer Khan v. State ofM.P., AIR 2010 SC 762

The evidence of a fingerprint expert is not substantive - evidence. It can only be used to corroborate some items of substantive evidence which are on record.


M. Siddiq v. Suresh Das, (2020) 1 SCC 1

The weight to be ascribed to the expert evidence is based on the nature of the science on which it is based. Where the science in question possesses essential ingredients of verifiability and objective analysis, expert evidence would to that extent require some deference. The more developed and more perfect a science, the less is the chance of incorrect opinion and rafTraz. 


Maharaja Agrasen Hospital v. Rishabh Shanna, (2020) 6 SCC 501

Evidence of experts is not always conclusive. There is a hazard in accepting the opinion of experts not because an expert is not reliable as a witness but because human judgement is fallible. Court is not bound by the evidence of an expert which is advisory in nature. Duty of an expert witness is to furnish the court with necessary scientific criteria for testing the accuracy of the conclusions so as to enable the court to form independent opinions.


State of Uttarakhand v.Darshan Singh, (2020) 12 SCC 605

Where the evidence of the witnesses for the prosecution is totally inconsistent with the medical evidence or the evidence of the ballistic expert, it amounts to a fundamental defect in the prosecution case. It is sufficient to discredit the entire case unless such inconsistency is sufficiently explained. 


Palani v. State of Tamil Nadu, (2020) 16 SCC 401

If there is variance between medical evidence and ocular evidence, the ocular evidence should be given primacy. Medical evidence is basically opinionative. The testimony of eyewitnesses cannot be thrown out on the ground of inconsistency. 

 
 

DOCUMENTARY & ORAL EVIDENCE


Roop Kumar v. Mohan Thedani, (2003) 6 SCC 595 

Section 91 and 92 are based on recognition of the jural act of integration in case of written instruments and applies even on a third party seeking to establish a contract.


R, Janakiraman v. State, (2006) 1 SCC 697

Section 92 applies when a party to the instrument seeks to disprove its terms. It does not apply when anyone, including a party to the instrument, seeks to establish that the instrument itself is a sham and fictitious. 


Arjun Panditrao Khotkar v. Kailash Kishanrao Gorantyal And Ors. (2020) 7 SCC 1

The certificate required under Section 65B(4) is a condition precedent to the admissibility of evidence by way of electronic record. Where the requisite certificate has been applied for from the person or the authority concerned, and the person or authority either refuses to give such certificate, or does not reply to such demand, the party asking for such certificate can apply to the court for its production under the provisions of the Evidence Act, CPC or CrPC.


The court also held that the required certificate under Section 65B(4) is unnecessary if the original document itself is produced.


Dhanpat v. Sheo Ram, (2020) 16 SCC 209

Under Section 68 of the Evidence Act at least one of the attesting witnesses is required to be examined to prove his attestation and the attestation by another witness and its execution by the testator. 



PRESUMPTION & BURDEN OF PROOF 


Smriti Debbarma (D) vs Prabha Ranjan Debbarma, 2022

Onus of proof, no doubt shifts and the shifting is a continuous process in the evaluation of evidence, but this happens when in a suit for title and possession, the plaintiff has been able to create a high degree of probability to shift the onus on the defendant. In the absence of such evidence, the burden of proof lies on the plaintiff and can be discharged only when he is able to prove title. The weakness of the defence cannot be a justification to decree the suit.


Gautam Kundu v. State of W.B., AIR 1993 SC 2295

The Supreme Court held that the only way to rebut presumption under Section 112 is by proving non-access and biomedical evidence like blood test, DNA test etc. cannot be allowed.


Smt Kanti Devi v. Poshi Ram, AIR 2001 SC 2226

It was held that conclusive proof of legitimacy once raised under Section 112 cannot even be rebutted by a genuine DNA test. If the husband and wife were living together during the time of conception but DNA tests reveal that the child was not born to the husband the conclusiveness in lav/ would remain un-rebutted.


NandLal Wasudeo Badwaick v. Lata Nandlal Badwaik, (2014) 4 SCC (Cri) 65

The Supreme Court opined that conclusive proof under Section 112 is final and in general cannot be rebutted by any other fact. However DNA testing is an accurate science and once a DNA test report is available, it can rebut the presumption of Section 112.


Rabindra Kumar Dey v. State of Orissa, (1976) 4 SCC 233

The Evidence Act does not contemplate that an accused should prove his case with the same strictness and vigour as prosecution. It is sufficient if he proves his case under Section 105 by the standard of preponderance of probabilities.


Sanjay Dutt v. State, (1994) 5 SCC 410

When the presumption of innocence is reversed by statutory provision, the burden should not be as heavy as that of prosecution.


P. Narsimha Rao v. State of Andhra Pradesh, AIR 2001 SC 318

Section 114 of Evidence Act gives absolute discretion to the court to presume the existence of certain facts in manners specified therein. While inferring existence of a fact the court is required to apply a process of intelligent reasoning about what a prudent man would do under similar circumstances.


Shailendra Rajdev Pasvan v. State of Gujarat, (2020) 14 SCC 750

Last seen evidence may be relied upon when the lapse of time between the point when the accused and deceased were seen together and when the deceased was dead ought to be so minimal so as to exclude the possibility of any intervening event involving the death at the hands of some other person. 


Pratap Singh v. Shiv Ram, (2020) 11 SCC 242

presumption is not in itself evidence but only makes a prima facie case for the party in whose favour it exists. The rules of presumption are deduced from enlightened human knowledge and experience and are drawn from the connection, relation and coincidence of facts and circumstances.


Nagar Parishad, Ratnagiri v. Gangaram Narayan Ambedkar, (2020) 7 SCC 275

Initial burden is always on the plaintiff to substantiate his cause with adequate pleadings and evidence. Weakness of defence cannot be the basis for grant of relief to the plaintiff and to shift the burden of proof on defendants. 


M. Siddiq v. Suresh Das, (2020) 1 SCC 1

Section 110 is based on the principle that title follows possession. That is why the provision postulates that where a person is shown to be in possession and a question arises as to whether that person is the owner, the law casts the burden of disproving ownership on the individual who affirm that the person in possession is not the owner.


Paul v. State of Kerala, (2020) 3 SCC 115

The burden of proving that the case falls within exceptions under Section 300 IPC is on the accused. Even without adducing any evidence it may be possible for the accused to discharge the said burden with reference to the materials appearing by virtue of prosecution evidence which includes cross examination of prosecution witnesses. The test is based on preponderance of probabilities.


PRIVILEGED COMMUNICATIONS


Union of India v. Orient Engineering and Commercial Co, (1978) 1 SCC 10

The privilege under Section 121 is also available to an arbitrator. 


Ram Bharose v. State of U.P,9 AIR 1954 SC 704

The court held that under Section 122 the acts or conducts of spouses apart from communications are not protected. A wife can testify as to what her husband did on a certain occasion, though not as to what he said to her. 


Queen Empress v. Donoghue ILR(1899)22Mad.l 

The question was whether a communication sent by the accused to his wife recovered by police during a search of the house is admissible. It was held it can be relied upon as the wife was not being examined in the case and was neither compelled to disclose nor being permitted to do so.


M.C. Verghese v. TJ Ponnan AIR 1970 SC 1876

It was held that the bar under Section 122 is only applicable on spouses and not on third persons. Further the bar under Section 122 would even continue after dissolution of marriage. The status at the time of communication has to be seen rather than the status at time of giving evidence. 


State of UP v. Raj Narain, AIR 1975 SC 865

Section 123 is based on the maxim ‘salus populi est suprema lex3 , which means that regard for public welfare is the highest law. With respect to Section 123 the court held that the foundation of law is based on public interest. Public interest which demands evidence to be withheld must be weighed against public interest.

 
 

WITNESSES


Bhagwan Singh v. State of M.P. AIR 2003 SC 1088

The Supreme Court held that the evidence of a child is required to be evaluated carefully because he is an easy prey for tutoring. Therefore, the court always looks for adequate corroboration from other evidence to his testimony. 


Krishna Pillai v. State of Kerala, AIR 1981 SC 1237

Evidence of an interested witness should be scrutinised carefully. However, where such scrutiny establishes reliability, evidence ought not to be rejected.


Dagdu V. State of Maharashtra, AIR 1997 SC 1579

The Supreme Court held that there is no antithesis between Section 133 and illustration (b) of Section 114. Illustration uses the word 'may therefore, the discretion lies with the court. The court has to look into the facts and circumstances of the case to see whether the accomplice is reliable or not. 


Rabinder Kumar Dey v. State of Orissa, AIR 1977 SC 170

The Supreme Court held that the whole testimony of an accomplice need not be rejected nor such witness can be regarded as a wholly unreliable witness. The court can rely upon that part of the testimony which inspires confidence and credit. 


R. v. Baskerville (1916)2K.B. 658

The court held that it is not necessary that there should be independent confirmation in every detail of the crime related by the accomplice. It is sufficient if there is confirmation as to material circumstance of the case.


Sukhwant Singh v. State of Punjab, AIR 1995 SC 1601

The court held that a witness cannot be thrown open to cross examination unless he is first examined-in-chief. Where the prosecution did not examine its witness and offered him to be cross-examined, it was held that this amounted to abandoning one's own witness. Such an approach can seriously affect the credibility of the prosecution case. 


Ganapathi v. State of Tamil Nadu, (2018) 5 SCC 549

A witness may be called an ‘interested witness’ only when he or she derives some benefit from the result of the litigation. Therefore, ‘related witness’ is not equivalent to ‘interested witness’. 


Chacko v. State of Kerala, (2004) 12 SCC 269

One credible witness outweighs the testimony of a number of other witnesses of indifferent character.


Leela Srinivasa Rao v. State of Andhra Pradesh, AIR 2004 SC 1720

The fact that some of the witnesses have been declared to be hostile does not result in automatic rejection of their evidence. Even the evidence of the hostile witness if it finds support from other evidence may be taken into account.


Ravasaheb @ Ravasahebgouda Etc. v. State of Karnataka, 2023

Corroborated part of the evidence of a hostile witness regarding the commission of offence is admissible. Merely because there is deviation from the statement in the FIR, the witness's statements cannot be termed totally unreliable;


a) the evidence of a hostile witness can form the basis of conviction.


b) The general principle of appreciating the evidence of eye-witnesses is that when a case involves a large number of offenders, prudently, it is necessary, but not always, for the Court to seek corroboration from at least two more witnesses as a measure of caution. Be that as it may, the principle is quality over quantity of witnesses. 


Ramchander v. State of Haryana, AIR 1981 SC 1036 

It is the duty of the presiding judge to explore every avenue of justice. For that purpose, he is expressly invested with Section 165 with the right to put questions to witnesses. This right is so wide that he may ask any question he pleases, in any form, at any time, about any fact, relevant or irrelevant.


Rohtas v. State of Haryana, (2019) 10 SCC 554

Undue importance should not be attached to minor discrepancies which do not go to the heart of the matter and do not shake the basic version of prosecution witness. This is particularly true when the prosecution case is corroborated by medical and forensic evidence


Mohd. Rojali Ali v. State of Assam, (2019) 19 SCC 567 

A related witness cannot be said to be ‘interested witness’ merely by virtue of being a relative of the victim. A witness may be called interested only when he or she derives some benefit from the result of the litigation, which in the context of criminal case would mean that witness has direct or indirect interest in seeing accused punished due to prior enmity or other reasons and thus has a motive to falsely implicate the accused. 


Parvat Singh v. State ofMJP., (2020) 4 SCC 33

There can be conviction relying on the basis of evidence of a sole witness. Evidence of a sole witness can be relied upon provided it is found to be trustworthy and reliable and there is no material contradiction or omissions in case of prosecution. 


Somasundaram v. State, (2020) 7 SCC 722 

The combined result of Section 133 read with Illustration (b) to Section 114 is that the courts have evolved as a rule of prudence the requirement that it would be unsafe to convict an accused solely on uncorroborated testimony of an accomplice.


In the common run of the case, accomplices to be believed must be corroborated in material particulars. Evidence to corroborate an accomplice need not to be direct evidence and can be in form of circumstantial evidence


Pradeep vs State of Haryana (2023)

Corroboration of the testimony of a child witness is not a rule but a measure of caution and prudence. A child witness of tender age is easily susceptible to tutoring. However, that by itself is no ground to reject the evidence of a child witness. The Court must make careful scrutiny of the evidence of a child witness.


The Court must apply its mind to the question whether there is a possibility of the child witness being tutored. Therefore, scrutiny of the evidence of a child witness is required to be made by the Court with care and caution


Union of India & Ors v Dilip Paul, 2023

Inquiries in respect of sexual harassment must be examined on broader probabilities keeping in mind the entire background of the case. The courts should not get swayed by insignificant discrepancies or hyper-technicalities.


If Section 165 of the Evidence Act permits a Judge to put questions to the parties or to the witnesses in order to discover or obtain proper proof of relevant facts and this provision being widely used by the judges throughout the country, we fail to understand as to how the complaints committee after being equated with a judge in a judicial proceeding be denied that privilege.


However, it would be a different situation if a specific case of personal bias is made out against the members of the committee. After all, the very purpose of the disciplinary proceedings is to reach to the bottom of the fact while affording adequate opportunities to the affected party.


Thus, the High Court was not correct in taking the view that the proceedings stood vitiated because the Central Complaints Committee put questions to the prosecution witnesses.

 
 


3 views0 comments

Comments


bottom of page