Indian Evidence Act, 1872
54. Previous bad character not relevant, except in reply
In criminal proceedings the fact that the accused person has a bad character is irrelevant, unless evidence has been given that he has a good character, in which case it becomes relevant.
Explanation 1 — This section does not apply to cases in which the bad character of any person is itself a fact in issue.
Explanation 2 - A previous conviction is relevant as evidence of bad character.]