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LAW OF EVIDENCE

Mr. M.K. Sahu

Introduction of the course


In every civilized legal system we can be classified the laws in two categories 1. Substantive Law
2. Procedural laws. The Law of evidence is one of the most important part of the procedural
law. The law of evidence plays a very important role in the effective functioning of the judicial
system. The law of evidence is an indispensable part of both substantive and procedural laws. It
imparts credibility to the adjudicatory process by indicating the degree of veracity to be
attributed to 'facts' before the forum. This paper enables the student to appreciate the
concepts and principles underlying the law of evidence and identify the recognized forms of
evidence and its sources. The subject seeks to impart to the student the skills of examination
and appreciation of oral and documentary evidence in order to find out the truth. The art of
examination and cross-examination, and the shifting nature of burden of proof are crucial
topics. The concepts brought in by amendments to the law of evidence are significant parts of
study in this course.

Total No. of Lectures - 65


Evaluation
Attendance
Research Projects
Mid Semester Examination
End Semester Examination
Two Snap Tests
Total

: 05
: 25
: 20
: 40
: 10
: 100

Contents
1. Introductory (7 Lectures)
1.1

Preamble

1.2

Short title, Extent and Commencement

1.3

Acts which deal with evidence

1.4

Applicability of Evidence Act.

1.4.1 Judicial proceedings


1.4.2 Court
1.4.3 Court martial.
1.4.4 Tribunals.
1.4.5 Commissions of inquiry
1.4.6 Arbitration
1.4.7 Affidavits
1.4.8 Contempt of court
This chapter deals with history of statutory Evidence Law in India Pre and post Indian
Evidence Act, 1872 realities Role of Judiciary, particularly the appellate judiciary in up-dating
the Evidence Law rules by judicial creativity, general issues relating to law of evidence and also
deals with object of the Act and applicability of the Act.
2. Central Conceptions in Law of Evidence (7 Lectures)
2.1.

Facts: Definition (Section 3)

2.2.

Evidence: Meaning and kinds (Section 3)

2.3.

Presumption (Section 4)

2.4.

"Proved", "Disproved" and "Not proved (Section 3)

2.5.

Witness

2.6.

Appreciation of evidence

This chapter deals with understanding of the concepts such as, Facts, Facts in issue, Relevant
Fact, Evidence-Oral and Documentary, Proved, Disproved and Not Proved under section 3
and 4 of the Act.
3. Relevancy of Facts (7- Lectures)
3.1.

Doctrine of res gestae (Section 6, 7, 8, 10)

3.2.

Evidence of common intention (Section 10)

3.3.

Facts not otherwise relevant (Section 11)

3.4.

Relevant facts for proof of custom (Section 13)

3.5.

Facts concerning bodies & mental state (Section 14, 15)

This Chapter puts its emphasis on: Logically relevant facts sections 5-9, 11and also deals with
Special class of relevant facts relating to Conspiracy section 10

4. Admissions and confessions (8- Lectures)


4.1.

General principles regarding admission (Section 17, 23)

4.2.

Differences between "admission" and "confession"

4.3.

Non-admissibility of confessions caused by "any inducement, threat or promise'


(Section 24)

4.4.

Inadmissibility of confession made before a police officer (Section 25)

4.5.

Admissibility of custodial confessions (Section 26)

4.6.

Admissibility of "information" received from accused person (Section 27)

4.7.

Confession by co-accused (Section 30)

4.8.

Admissions are not the conclusive proof of the matters admitted (Section 31)

The Chapter 4 explains the relationship between law of Evidence and substantive laws (Criminal
and Civil laws) and procedural laws (Code of Criminal Procedure and Civil Procedure Code).
Cases:Bhuboni Sahu v. The King, AIR 1949 PC 257 158;
Haroon Haji Abdulla v. State of Maharastra, AIR 1975 SC 856 163;
Ravinder Singh v. State of Haryana, AIR 1975 SC 856 169

5. Dying Declarations (3- Lectures)


5.1.

Relevancy of dying declarations (Section 32)

5.2.

Judicial standards regarding evidentiary value of dying declarations.

6. Relevancy of Judgments (2- Lectures)


6.1.

General principles

6.2.

Admissibility of judgments in civil and criminal matters (Section 43)

6.3.

"Fraud" and "Collusion" (Section 44)

7. Expert Testimony (3- Lectures)


7.1.

General principles

7.2.

Who is an expert? : Types of expert evidence

7.3.

Opinion on relationship especially proof of marriage (Section 50)

7.4.

The problems of judicial defence to expert testimony.

8. Relevancy of Character (2- Lectures)


8.1

In civil cases (Section 52)

8.2

In civil criminal cases (Section 53)

8.3

Previous bad character (Section 54)

9. Oral and Documentary Evidence (5- Lectures)


9.1.

General principles concerning oral evidence (Sections 59-60)

9.2.

General principles concerning Documentary Evidence (Sections 67-90)

9.3.

General Principles Regarding Exclusion of Oral by Documentary Evidence

9.4.

Special problems: re-hearing evidence

9.5.

Issue estoppel

9.6.

Tenancy estoppel (Section 116)

Cases:R. S. Maddanappa v. Chandramma (1965) 3 SCR 283 114


Madhuri Patel v. Addl. Commissioner, Tribal Development, AIR 1995 SC 94 120
Sanatan Gauda v. Berhampur University, AIR 1990 SC 1075 131
M.C. Vergheese v. T.J. Ponnan, AIR 1970 SC 1876 136
State of U.P. v. Raj Narain, AIR 1975 SC 865 140

10. Burden of proof (5- Lectures)


10.1. The general conception of onus probandi (Section 101)
10.2. General and special exceptions to onus probandi

10.3. Presumption as to certain offences


10.4. Presumptions as to abetment of suicide by a married women (Section 113-A)
10.5. Presumption as to dowry death (Section 113-B)
10.6. Presumptions as to absence of consent in certain prosecution of rape
11. Estoppel (5-Lectures)
11.1. Estoppel: General Principle (Section 115)
11.2.

Estoppel, res judicata and waiver and presumption

11.3.

Estoppel by deed

11.4.

Estoppel by conduct

11.5.

Equitable and promissory estoppel

12. Witnesses (4- Lectures)


12.1.

Competent witness (Section 118)

12.2.

State privilege (Section 123)

12.3.

Professional privilege (Section 126, 127, 128)

12.4.

Accomplice (Section 133)

13. Examination and Cross Examination of witnesses (6- Lectures)


13.1. General principles of examination and cross examination (Section 135-166)
13.2. Leading questions (Section 141-143)
13.3. Lawful questions in cross-examination (Section 146)
13.4. Compulsion to answer questions put to witness
13.5. Hostile witness (Section 154)
13.6. Impeaching of the standing or credit of witness (Section 155)

General Bibliography
Prescribed Books:
1.

Sarkar and Manohar, Sarkar on Evidence (1999), Wadha & Co., Nagpur

2.

Indian Evidence Act, (Amendment up to date)

3.

Ratan Lal, Dhiraj Law: Law of Evidence (2006, Wadhwa, Nagpur

4.

Polein Murphy, Evidence (5th Edn. Reprint 2000), Universal, Delhi.

5.

Albert S.Osborn, The Problem of Proof (First Indian Reprint 1998), Universal, Delhi.

6.

Avtar Singh, Principles of the Law of Evidence (1992), Central Law Agency, New

7.

Vepa P. Sarathi, Law of Evidence (6th ed., 2006)

8.

M. Monir, Law of Evidence (14th ed., 2006)

Case Laws
1.

State of Maharashtra v. Prafulla B. Desai (Dr.) (2003) 4 SCC 601 1

2.

R. M. Malkani v. State of Maharashtra, AIR 1973 SC 157 10

3.

Mirza Akbar v. Emperor, AIR 1940 PC 176 17

4.

Badri Rai v. State of Bihar, AIR 1958 SC 953 23

5.

Mohd. Khalid v. State of W.B. (2002) 7 SCC 334 26

6.

Jayantibhai Bhenkerbhai v. State of Gujarat (2002) 8 SCC 165 39

7.

Bishwanath Prasad v. Dwarka Prasad, AIR 1974 SC 117 46

8.

Central Bureau of Investigation v. V.C. Shukla, AIR 1998 SC 1406 49

9.

Veera Ibrahim v. State of Maharashtra, AIR 1976 SC 1167 59

10.

Aghnoo Nagesia v. State of Bihar, AIR 1966 SC 119 64

11.

Pulukuri Kottaya v. Emperor, AIR 1947 PC 67 70

12

Bodhraj v. State of J. & K. (2002) 8 SCC 45 76

13.

Khushal Rao v. State of Bombay, AIR 1958 SC 22 86

14.

Sudhakar v. State of Maharashtra (2000) 6 SCC 671 95

15.

Patel Hiralal Joitaram v. State of Gujarat (2002) 1 SCC 22 101

16.

Laxman v. State of Maharashtra (2002) 6 SCC 710 108

17.

Ram Narain v. State of U.P., AIR 1973 SC 2200: (1973) 2 SCC 86 111

18.

State of Bihar v. Laloo Prasad (2002) 9 SCC 626 176

Prescribed Legislation:
1.

The Indian Evidence Act, 1872

2.

Indian Penal Code 1860

3.

Information Technology Act 2000

4.

Civil Procedure Code 1908

5.

Criminal Procedure Code 1973

IMPORTANT NOTE:
1. The topics and cases given above are not exhaustive. The teachers teaching the course shall
be at liberty to add new topics/cases.
2. The students are required to study the legislations as amended up-to-date and consult the
latest editions of books.
3. The Question Paper shall include one compulsory question consisting of five parts out of
which four parts will be required to be attempted. The sample of question papers set for the
examinations held during 2007-08 are printed below for guidance of the students.
4. The Lectures indicated against each topic are the minimum teaching hours.