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By: Souvik Chatterji.


if any. (or electronic records) may be proved by oral evidence. One is by producing witnesses of fact. which is called oral evidence. § And the other is by producing a document which records the fact in question called documentary evidence. § The statement may be made by any method by which the witness is capable of making it.Modes of proof § A fact may be proved either by oral evidence of the fact or by documentary evidence. That means that there are two methods of proving a fact. § A witness who cannot speak may communicate his knowledge of the facts to the court by signs or by writing and in either case it will be regarded as oral evidence. § Section 59 – All facts except the contents of documents. § Oral evidence includes the statements of witnesses before the Court which the Court either permits or requires them to make. .

(1836). If it refers to a fact which could be perceived by any other sense or in any manner.Section 60 § Oral evidence must in all cases be direct. If it refers to a fact which could be heard. it must be the evidence of a witness who says he heard it. The section excludes hearsay evidence. . but who had only heard about it. it must be the evidence of a witness who says he perceived it by that sense or in that manner. Dryden. Hearsay evidence means the statement of a witness not based on his personal knowledge but on what he heard from others. it must be the evidence of a witness who says he saw it. Stobart v. 130 ER 531 – In a mortgage transaction the question was whether the mortgage deed had been fraudulently altered by one of the attesting witness to the effect that he had fraudulently altered the deed. § If it refers to a fact which could be seen. The evidence was held to be inadmissible . It was not that of a person who had himself seen the deed altered.

or by more than one of those means. § The Court held that tape-recorded conversation can only be relied upon as corroborative evidence of conservation deposed by any of the parties to the conversation. or which may be used. . AIR 1982 SC 1043 – The case involved the eviction of a tenant on the ground of sub-letting. Surinder Kaur. figures or marks.Documentary evidence § Document means any matter expressed or described upon any substance by means of letters. § The Supreme Court had also held that after recording the tape should have been kept in proper custody. for the purpose of recording that matter. The finding of the Rent Controller that there was subletting. § In the absence of any such evidence. intended to be used. the tape cannot be used as evidence in itself. was based upon tape-recorded conversation between the tenant and the husband of the landlady. § Mahabir Prasad v.

the Court said that such document could not be accepted in evidence. AIR 2003 Bom 444 – Where the document carried adhesive stamps which belonged to a period prior to six months from the date of purchase. each part is primary evidence of the document. It would have been admissible if it was not creative of any rights in favour of any party and merely recorded something. Punjab and Sind Bank. § Section 62 – Primary evidence means the document itself produced for the inspection of the Court. § Tex India v. .Section 61 § Proof of contents of documents – The contents of document may be proved either by primary or by secondary evidence. § The following four are included in the expression primary evidence. § (ii) Where a document is executed in several parts. § (i) The original document itself produced for the inspection of the Court.

like printing. or photography. each counterpart is primary evidence against the party signing it. § (d) counterparts of documents as against the parties who did not execute them . § (b) copies made from the original by mechanical processes which in themselves insure the accuracy of the copy. each is primary evidence of the contents of document. § Secondary evidence means (a) certified copies given under the provisions contained. § (iv) where a number of documents are all made by one uniform process. § Section 63 – Secondary evidence. and copies compared with such copies. § (c ) copies made from or compared with the original.Section 62 § (iii) where document is executed in counterparts.

§ Section 64 – Documents must be proved by primary evidence except in the cases hereinafter mentioned. . § The Supreme Court agreed to look at the news items in view of the public importance of the matter.Secondary evidence § (v) oral evidence of the contents of a document given by some person who has himself seen it. The action was to restrain the telecasting of the serial “Tamas” which was based upon a book. § Ramesh v. § Section 65 –Cases in which secondary evidence relating to documents may be given. Union of India. (1988) 1 SCC 668 – Newspaper report of an interview with the author of a book is not relevant for the purpose of proving the contents of a book.

The defendant did not prove that the original was lost and he had lodged a complaint with police. When original is not easily movable. When the original is a public document.Section 65 § (i) when original is shown or appears to be in the possession of (a) a person against whom the document is sought to be proved. the plaintiff sought for permission to tender photostat copy of the agreement because the defendant had failed to produce the original document which was in his possession. § (b) of any person out of reach of. (c ) any person legally bound to produce it. . Plaintiff was allowed to produce photostat copy. AIR 2004 Cal 204 – In a suit for specific performance of an agreement for sale. or not subject to the process of the court. etc.

§ (d) when the adverse party has the original in court. should be given notice to produce. . § Section 68 . § (c ) when it appears that the party has obtained possession of the original by fraud or force. § (b) when the nature of the case makes it clear to the party in possession that he will be required to produce it. § Such notice is not required (a) when the document is a notice by itself.Section 66 § Rules as to notice to produce – Section 66 provides that party who has possession of the original. or his attorney or pleader. etc.Proof of execution of document required by law to be attested.

Section 68 § If a document is required by law to be attested. § No attesting witness need be called in the case of a document not being a will which has been registered under Indian Registration Act. § The sub-registrar who registered the will was not produced. § State of Haryana v. it shall not be used as evidence until one attesting witness at least has been called for the purpose of proving its execution. AIR 2001 P &H 322 – The original will was not produced. It was held that the will was not proved to the satisfaction of the court. The sole attesting witness had no recollection and neither there was any explanation as to why natural heirs were excluded in favour of the nephews. Raj Kaur. if there be an attesting witness alive and subject to the process of the Court and capable of giving evidence. . 1908.