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INTRODUCTION

The

expressions

relevancy

and

admissibility

are

often

taken

to

be

synonymous. But they are not the same. Their legal implications are different. All
admissible evidence is relevant but all relevant evidence is not admissible.
Relevancy is the genus of which admissibility is the species.
Generally the term "Relevant" in the context of facts means that any two facts
when applied together are so related to each other. In any ordinary course of
events, one fact either taken by itself or in connection with other facts, proves or
renders possible the past, present or future existence or non-existence of the
other. in other words, relevant is having some reasonable connection with, and in
regard to evidence in trial, having some value or tendency to prove a matter of
fact significant to the case.
Fact in issue means the matters which are in dispute or which form the subject of
investigation. When a case comes before the court, it is most important that the
facts in controversy should first be determined as because the evidence
tendered must be relevant and pertinent to the points in issue. Evidence of
collateral facts which have no connection with the principal transaction must be
excluded.
Facts in issue are those facts which are--a) Alleged by one party and denied by the other in the pleadings in a civil case or
b) Alleged by the prosecution and denied by the accused in a criminal case.
Facts in issue are those facts out of which some legal right, liability or disability
involved in the enquiry, necessarily arises and upon which a decision must be
arrived at.
What facts are facts in issue in a particular case is a question to be determined
by the substantive law or by the branch of law of procedure which regulates the
law of pleadings, civil or criminal. It is the main fact which controls the case and
its proof often depends on the relevant facts.
In civil cases the matters in dispute are sorted out and framed into issues. They
become facts in issue in civil suits. So the facts in issue are determined by the
process of framing of issues. In criminal cases, the ingredients of the offences

become the facts in issue as they are alleged by the prosecution and denied by
the accused. The charge constitutes and includes facts in issue.

Relevant

according to Sec.2 of the Act

It defines relevant as, "one fact is said to be relevant to other 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." i.e. The Act does not give any specific
definition of relevancy or relevant fact. It simply describes when one fact
becomes relevant to another fact.
While Sec.5 to Sec.55 of Indian Evidence Act provides several ways in which one
fact may be connected with the other fact and therefore the concept of relevant
fact can be meted out. One fact is relevant to another fact if they are connected
with each other in any of the ways as described in Sec.5 to Sec.55. If a fact is not
so connected, it is not a relevant fact. All facts are relevant which are capable of
affording any reasonable presumption as to fact in issue or the principal matter
in dispute.
Sir Stephen says that the relevancy means connection of events as cause and
effect. Generally the facts relevant to an issue are those facts which are
necessary for proof or disproof of a fact in issue. Such facts may be given in
evidence directly or inferentially. What is really meant by relevant fact is a fact
that has a certain degree of probative force. A fact is relevant when it is so
related to the fact in issue, that they render the fact in issue probable or
improbable. They themselves are not facts in issue but may affect the probability
of fact in issue.

Relevant Fact
"Relevant facts' are facts so connected with each other as to prove or disprove
the facts in issue. They are not themselves issues before court but they are
useful inference regarding the facts in issue. A fact may be relevant as it has
connection with the fact in issue, but still it may not be admissible. For example,
communication

made

by

spouses

during

marriage

or

professional

communication, communication made in official capacity relating to affairs of


state etc. are not admissible though they may be relevant.
However, it is important to distinguish "facts in issue" and "relevant facts". The
distinction between the two is that facts in issue are facts that are in dispute and
which form the subjects of decision in a case. Relevant facts are connected facts,
because of their connection with the principal fact, they lead to an inference as
to the existence or non-existence of the facts in issue. What are relevant facts
are set out from Section 5 to Section 55 of the Act and are exhaustive. They will
not be treated as relevant facts unless it falls into one of the sections mentioned
above.

Relevant Evidence
Relevant Evidence is evidence that makes a fact more or less likely to be true
than it would be without the evidence (looking for probative value). Relevant
evidence may be excluded for unfair prejudice, confusion, or waste of time.
Relevant evidence is generally admissible and irrelevant evidence is never
admissible1.

Relevancy
"Relevancy" refers to the degree of connection between a fact that is
given in evidence and the issue to be proved. It is the tendency of a fact
offered as evidence in a lawsuit to prove or disprove the truth of a point in
issue. A relevant fact under section 5 to 55 may not be admissible if the
other Sections of the Act do not permit it to be received by the Court.
According to Janabs Key to Evidence, relevancy refers to the degree of
connection and probative value between a fact that is given in evidence and the
issue to be proved. Relevancy of facts had been provided from Section 5 to 55 of
Evidence Act 1950.
By referring to the illustration (a) provided in Section 5 where A is tried for the
murder of B by beating him with a club with the intention of causing his death.
1
http://www.wcl.american.edu/sba/outline_databank/outlines/Evidence_Cook_1.pdf
> accessed 11 March 14.

There are three facts in issue to be proved that As beating B with the club, As
causing Bs death by the beating and As intention to cause Bs death.
A fact is relevant when it is so related to the fact in issue, that they render the
fact in issue probable or improbable. For example, to prove the third facts in
issue in the example just now, the facts that A and B was having quarrel before
the murder happens is relevant to prove the third facts in issue which is As
intention to cause Bs death.
All relevant facts may not be admissible (they may be ruled out due to prejudice,
paucity of time, confusion) but all admissible facts are relevant. While relevancy
is based on logic, admissibility only relies on lawful pertinence, i.e., whether a
fact can be permitted in court on the basis of the Evidence Act. A fact could
appear sensibly pertinent, however may not be admissible in court. For example,
police confessions, hearsay statements, privileged communications, etc are
relevant, but not admissible.

Logical Relevance vs. Legal Relevance


On the basis of logic and not of law it can be ascertained whether a
particular fact is reasonably connected with the main issue or not. So
logical relevancy signifies reasonable connection between facts. But
logical relevancy is not the sole test of admitting such fact on the record
of a court. A fact is said to be logically relevant to another when it bears
such a causal relation with the other as to render probable the existence
or non-existence.
One fact is said to be legally relevant to another, only when the one is
connected with the other in any of the ways referred to in Sec. 5 to 55 of
the Evidence Act.
Logical relevancy is wider than legal relevancy; every fact which is legally
relevant is logically relevant, but every fact which is logically relevant is
not necessarily legally relevant. Thus, a confession made to a police

officer may appear to be logically relevant, but such a confession is not


legally relevant, for Sec. 25 of the Act declares that it cannot be used as
evidence against the person making it. From Sec. 5 to 55 of the Act, what
facts are relevant; but the mere fact of logical relevancy does not ensure
the admissibility of a fact. Very often, public considerations of fairness and
the practical necessity for reaching speedy decisions necessarily cause
the rejection of much of the evidence which may be logically relevant.
Thus, all evidence that is admissible is relevant, but all that is relevant is
not necessarily admissible. Relevancy is the genus of which admissibility
is a species. Thus, oral statements which are hearsay may be relevant,
but not being direct evidence, are not admissible.
Legal relevancy is, for the most part, based upon logical relevancy, but it
is not correct to say that all that is logically relevant is necessarily legally
relevant and vice versa. Certain classes of facts which, in ordinary life, are
relied upon as logically relevant are rejected by law as legally irrelevant.

Admissibility
Admissibility means that the facts which are relevant are only admissible
by the Court. According to section 136 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872,
however, the final discretion on the admissibility of evidence lies with the
judge.
It states that Court has to decide as to admissibility of Facts. Therefore, it
is easily understand that Court has the power to determine the
admissibility of certain facts, and this power is given under Evidence Act.

However, the issue further discuss is whether power of section 136 can be
exercised by the court before a proposed witness begins to give evidence?
Where a party applies for summoning a person as is witness to give
evidence in the case, a duty is cast by section 136 of the Evidence Act on
the court to inquire from the party summoning the witness in what
manner the evidence of the witness would be relevant for the purpose of
the case. The court should only issue summons it if thinks fit that the
evidence would be relevant for the decision and not in mechanical manner
Sankaran v Dr Ambulakshan Nair2 The objective of this discretion power of
the court is to ensure that evidence confined to relevant facts and does
not stray beyond the proper limits of the issue of trial (Augustine Paul).
Shortly, section 5 has to read together with section 136 and the power of
court to determine the admissibility of facts has extend to allow or
disallow a proposed witness to give statement in the court.
The essential ingredients of the above section are:

It is the judge who decides the questions of relevancy and

admissibility.
When a party proposes to adduce evidence of any fact, the judge
may ask the party to clarify in what manner the fact would be
relevant.

The judge would admit the particular adduced fact only if he is satisfied
with the answer of the party that it is, indeed, relevant under one or the
other provisions of S. 6 to 55. Thus the consideration of relevancy comes
first and of admissibility later and the judge will admit the fact only if it is
relevant.3
Admissibility involves the process whereby the court determines whether the Law of Evidence
permits that relevant evidence to be received by the court. The concept of admissibility is often
distinguished from relevancy. Relevancy is determined by logic and common sense, practical or
2 [1989] 2 KLT 570)
3 Dr. V. N. Rao, The Indian Evidence Act (1st, LexisNexis Butterworths Wadhwa, Haryana 2012) 41.

human experience, and knowledge of affairs. On the other hand, The admissibility of evidence,
depends first on the concept of relevancy of a sufficiently high degree of probative value, and
secondly, on the fact that the evidence tendered does not infringe any of the exclusionary rules that
may be applicable to it. relevancy usually known as logical relevancy while admissibility is known as
legal relevancy. Relevancy is a question of fact which is the duty of lawyers to decide whether to
tender such evidence in the court. On the other hand, admissibility is the duty of the court to decide
whether an evidence should be received by the court according to Augustine Paul JC in the case of
Public Prosecutor v. Dato Seri Anwar bin Ibrahim.

Evidence generally is not admissible in the court as it is forbidden by the


Law of Evidence. Section 60 stated that oral evidence must be direct. The
witness who testifies in court must be the person who perceived the facts
with his own sense. For instance, a confession obtained by any
inducement, threats or promise is not admissible under Section 24. A
confession to the police officer below the rank in Inspector is not
admissible under Section 25. Confession by accused while in custody of
police is also not admissible under Section 26 even though it is logically
relevant.
In the recent case of Ram Bihari Yadav v. State of Bihar 4, the Supreme
Court

observed that More often the expressions relevancy and

admissibility are used as synonyms but their legal implications are


distinct and different from for more often than not facts which are relevant
are not admissible; so also facts which are admissible may not be
relevant, for example questions permitted to put in cross examination to
test the veracity or impeach the credit of witnesses, though not relevant
are admissible. The probative value of the evidence is the weight to be
given to it which has to be judged having regards to the fact and
circumstances of each case.
Section 9 of the Law of Evidence Act, 1872, lays down some facts which
can be treated as relevant. In the case of Lakshmandas Chaganlal Bhatia
v. State5, the court laid down the following to be relevant facts:
Facts necessary to explain or introduce a fact in issue or relevant fact;
4 [1998] AIR 1859 (SC).

Facts which support or rebut an inference suggested by a fact in

issue or a relevant fact.


Facts which establish the identity of anything or person whose

identity is relevant.
Facts which fix the time and place at which any fact in issue or

relevant fact happened


Facts which show the relation of parties by whom any fact in issue or
relevant fact was transacted.

Another section of the Evidence Act which deals with admissibility is the
Section 11. Section 11 deals with those facts which are not otherwise
relevant but become relevant if they are inconsistent with any relevant
fact or they make the existence or non-existence of any relevant fact
highly probably or improbable
In the case of Bibi Khaver v. Bibi Rukha6 the court held that in order that
a collateral fact may be admissible as relevant under this section, the
requirements of the law are that:

The collateral fact must itself be established by normally conclusive

evidence and
It must, when established, afford a reasonable presumption or
inference as to the matter in dispute.

However, there are limitations to Section 11. According to R. v.


Prabhudas7, the court must use exercise a sound discretion and see
that the connection between the fact to be proved and the fact sought
to be given under S.11 to prove it, must be so immediate as to render
the co-existence of the two highly probable. The section makes
admissible only those facts which are of great weight in bringing the
court to a conclusion as regards the existence or the non-existence of
5 [1968] 69 AIR 807 (Bom).
6 [1904] 6 AIR 983 (BLR)
7 [1874] 11 AIR 90 (BHCR)

the fact in question. The admissibility under this section must, in each
case, depend on how near is the connection of the facts sought to be
proved with facts in issue and to what degree do they render facts in
issue probable or improbable when taken with the other facts in case.
Another limitation mentioned in the case Bela Rani v. Mahabir8 is that
sec .11 is also controlled by sec .17 to 39. And as to the admissibility
of depositions made by a person since deceased, it has been held that
unless they are admissible under ss.32 and 33, s.11 will not avail to
make them evidence.

8 [1912] 34 AIR 341 (SC).

CONCLUSION
In this project, I have dealt with the terms logically relevant and legally
relevant. To summarize: logically relevant: the dictionary meaning of
the term relevancy is given as the relation of something to the matter
at hand, pertinence, connection, materiality etc. If one fact is
connected to the other logically, it is called logical relevancy and it may
be based on several factors. For instance if a severed dead body is
found on a railway track, it can be inferred that the death occurred
because of the train running over the person. On a closer observation,
it is found that there is no haemorrhage near the body, the first
inference is then replaced by another inference that the person was
killed elsewhere and the dead body was thrown on the railway track to
create the misleading impression that he was run over by the train.
Here the inferences are drawn on the basis of logic based on cause and
effect. If two or more persons have committed the offence at the same
time and place, it can be inferred that they were acting with common
intention.
While logical relevance is certainly an important factor in determining
the probative value of facts, it so happens that the facts may be
connected to each other by varying degrees of logical proximity and
immediate causes and effects, and remote, indirect and even
conjectural causes and effects. Hence, the courts should let in only
those facts which have a high degree of probative value that would
help the courts to decide one way or the other with relatively greater
certainty.
Consequently, the Evidence Act adopted the device of declaring as
relevant in section 6 to 55 only those logically connected facts which
are considered to have a high probative value. Thus, facts which may
be connected to each other so remotely that they cannot be considered
to have high probative value are kept outside the purview of the

provisions of ss. 6 to 55. Facts legally relevant under the Evidence Act
means, simply, facts declared to be relevant under section 6 to 55 and
this is part of the legislative and not judicial determination. Hence, all
logically relevant facts are not legally relevant and all legally relevant
facts may not be logically relevant.
Relevancy is a test for admissibility. The question of admissibility is one
of law and is determined by the Court. In Section 136 of Evidence Act
1950, a distinction is made between relevancy and admissibility, if it
can be shown that the evidence would be relevant if proved, the court
shall admit evidence of it.