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442. Depositions to be received in evidence when witness cannot be produced.-

(1) Whenever, in the course of any legal proceeding under this Act instituted at any place in India before any 4[court or Judicial Magistrate of the first class or Metropolitan Magistrate] or before any person authorised by law or by consent of parties to receive evidence, the testimony of any witness is required in relation to the subject-matter, and the defendant or the person accused (as the case may be), after being allowed a reasonable opportunity for so doing, does not produce the witness before the 5[court or Judicial Magistrate of the first class or Metropolitan Magistrate] or person so authorised, any deposition previously made by the witness in relation to the same subject-matter before any Court,6[or justice or Judicial Magistrate of the first class or Metropolitan Magistrate] in any other place in India or, if elsewhere before a Marine Board or before any Indian consular officer, shall be admissible in evidence-

(a) if the deposition is authenticated by the signature of the presiding officer of the Court or of the 7[justice or Judicial Magistrate of the first class or Metropolitan Magistrate] or Marine Board or consular officer, before whom it is made;

(b) if the defendant or the person accused had an opportunity by himself or his agent of cross-examining the witness;

(c) if the proceeding is criminal, on proof that the deposition was made in the presence of the person accused.

(2) It shall not be necessary in any case to prove the signature or official character of the person appearing to have signed such deposition; and a certificate by such person that the defendant or person accused had an opportunity of cross-examining the witness, and that the deposition, if made in a criminal proceeding was made in the presence of the person accused, shall, unless the contrary is proved, be sufficient evidence that he had that opportunity and that it was so made.



Merchant Shipping (Amendment) Act, 1986 Back




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