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Report No. 185

Section 23

(I) In the 69th Report, the Commission pointed out that the section protects only admissions in (i) and express agreement prohibiting the giving of evidence, or (ii) circumstances from which such an agreement can be implied. This requirement may not cover 'all statements made for negotiations. It would be fair to provide that statements made with a view to, or in the course of negotiations for a settlement should always fall within the section. It recommended insertion of an Explanation below section

"Explanation 2: Where an admission is made for the purpose of or in the course of negotiation of a settlement of compromise of a disputed claim, the parties shall be deemed to have agreed together that evidence of the admission shall not be given".

We agree respectfully that such a provision is necessary but instead of an Explanation, the following words can be added after the words "upon express condition that evidence of it is not to be given"- "or if it is made for the purposes of or in the course of a settlement of compromise of a disputed claim." We may also refer to the observation in the 69th Report that this Explanation does not affect the operation of Order 23 R 3, Code of Civil Procedure 1908, since the compromise in writing can be proved.

We have recommended insertion of a new section 132A for disclosure of source of information contained in a publication. According to this proposed provision, a person in certain circumstances may be required to disclose source of information contained in a publication. There is a need to exempt provision of section 23, in case a person who made a publication, from giving evidence of any matter of which he may be required to give evidence under proposed section 132A. In this regard, reference may be made to the discussion made under proposed section 132A.

Therefore we recommend that section 23 should upon such amendments, read as follows:

"23. Admission in civil cases when relevant.- (1) In civil cases, no admission is relevant:

(a) if it is made either upon an express condition that evidence of it is not to be given; or

(b) if it is made for the purposes of or in the course of a settlement of compromise of a disputed claim; or

(c) under circumstances from which the Court can infer that the parties agreed together that evidence of it should not be given, unless the party who made the admission and the party in whose favour the admission is made agree that evidence be given, or evidence as to the admission becomes necessary to ascertain if there was at all a settlement or compromise or to explain any delay where a question of delay is raised;

(2) Such an admission which is not relevant under sub-section (1) may be relevant in so far as it touches upon an issue between the person who made the admission and a third party to the admission.

(3) Nothing in this section shall exempt;

(a) any legal practitioner from giving evidence of any matter of which he may be compelled to give evidence under section 126; or

(b) a person who made a publication, from giving evidence of any matter of which he may be required to give evidence under section 132 A.

Explanation I.- 'legal practitioner' as used in this section shall have the meaning assigned to it in Explanation 2 to section 126.

Explanation II.- 'publication' as used in this section shall have the meaning assigned to it in para (a) of the Explanation to section 132 A."



Review of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 Back




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