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Report No. 185

Section 160

This Section bears the heading 'Testimony to facts stated in document mentioned in Section 159'. It reads as follows:

"160. A witness may also testify to facts mentioned in any such document as is mentioned in Section 159, although he has no specific recollection of the facts themselves, if he is sure that the facts were correctly recorded in the document."

There is an illustration below Section 160 and it reads as follows:

"A book-keeper may testify to facts recorded by him in books regularly kept in the course of business, if he knows that the books were correctly kept, although he has forgotten the particular transactions entered."

This Section deals with cases where the memory cannot be revived. We have, in a way, referred to the difference between Section 159 and this Section, while dealing with Section 159.

Section 160 uses the word 'document' and we have recommended the word 'document' to be used in Section 159 also.

The Supreme Court in Kanti v. Purshottamdas, AIR 1969 SC 851 while overruling certain judgments of the High Court held that it is not necessary that a witness should specifically state that he has no specific recollection of the facts and that he is sure that the facts were correctly recorded in the document before the document can be used. It is enough if it appears from his evidence that these conditions are established.

Section 160 permits a witness to testify the facts mentioned in the document referred to in Section 159, although he has no recollection of fact themselves if he is sure that facts were correctly recorded in the document and the horoscope in the case (Savitri Bai v. Sitaram, AIR 1986 MP 218).

In Ziyauddin v. Brij Mohan, AIR 1975 SC 1788, it was held that full shorthand transcript made by those who heard the speeches can be used to refresh their memory. In Laxminarayan v. Returning Officer, AIR 1974 SC 66, it was held that the writing does not become inadmissible merely because the adverse party cannot decipher it.

The special diary of a police officer may be used by him but not by other witnesses: R v. Mannu, ILR 19 All 390 (FB) approved in Dalsingh v. R, AIR 1917 PC 25.

Reading over the police statement to the witness before he enters the witness box does not amount to contravention of the prohibition in Section 162(1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, though the fact of reading of the statement may affect the probative value of the evidence of the witness (Nathu v. State, AIR 1978 Guj 49 (FB)). (See discussion under Section 154)

In para 91.6 of the 69th Report, it was observed that Section 160 does not require any change. We agree.

Review of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 Back

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