Report No. 185
(A) The 69th report suggested to add Explanations below clause(1) of section 57 on the basis of which, we recommend that the following two explanations be added:-
"Explanation I.- Where, by virtue of this section, the Court is bound to take judicial notice, and the question relates to the existence, extent, commencement of the terms of a statutory instrument, the Court shall, for the purpose of deciding the question, resort for its aid to appropriate books or documents of reference, if such books or documents are readily available, before calling upon the party concerned to produce such books or documents.
Explanation II.-'Statutory instrument' means a rule, notification, bye-law, order, scheme, or other instrument made under an enactment"
(B) Clauses (2) to (6) of section 57:
The 69th Report suggested the revision of clauses (2),(4), (5) and (6) of section 57(see para 21.49).
We agree with the 69th Report that clauses (2),(4), (5) and (6) of section 57 be revised as follows:-
"(2) All public Acts passed by Parliament of the United Kingdom before the fifteenth day of August 1947 and local and personal Acts directed by Parliament of the United Kingdom before that date, to be judicially noticed;"
"(4) The course of proceeding of Parliament of the United Kingdom before the fifteenth day of August 1947, of the Constituent Assembly of India, of Parliament and of legislatures established under any laws for the time being in force in a Province before the said date or in the States;
(5) The accession and sign manual of the Sovereign for the time being of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in relation to any act done before the fifteenth day of August 1947;
(6) The following seals, that is to say,
(a) All seals of which English Court take judicial notice in relation to any act done before the fifteenth day of August 1947:
(b) The seals of all Courts in India;
(c) Seals of all Courts out of India, established by the authority of the Central Government;
(d) Seals of law Courts established by the authority of the Crown Representative in relation to any act done before the fifteenth day of August 1947.
(e) Seals of Courts of Admiralty and Maritime Jurisdiction and Notaries Public; and
(f) All seals which any person is authorized to use by an Act of Parliament of the United Kingdom in relation to any act done before the fifteenth day of August 1947 or by the Constitution of India or an Act or Regulation having the force of law in India;"
(C) Clause (7) of Section 57 :
As Clause (7) of Section 57 did not refer to offices holding office in India, it was recommended in the 69th Report (para 21.50), that the matter should be added and Clause (7) of Section 57 be revised as follows to which we agree:
"(7) The accession to office, names, titles, functions, and signatures of the persons filling for the time being any public office in India or any State, if the fact of their appointment to such office is notified in any Official Gazette;"
(D) Clauses (8) to (13) of section 57:
We agree with the 69th Report that no amendment is called for in these clauses.
(E) Second Para of Section 57:
This para refers to the powers of the court to refer to appropriate literature for reference and does not require any amendment. We agree with para 21.53 of the 69th Report.
(F) Third Para of Section 57:
This para confers a discretion of the court to refuse to take judicial notice in the absence of sufficient material. We agree that this paragraph does not also require any amendment.
Proposed Section 57A
We agree with the recommendations in para 22.13 of the 69th Report for deleting section 87 A (2) from the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 and for insertion of section 57A in the Evidence Act, as stated hereinbelow: [this will be sub-section (1)]
In addition, we further recommend that a procedure for a certificate as in section 5 (1) and (2) of the Foreign Jurisdiction Act, 1947 be added as sub-section (2) and (3). The proposed section 57A will read as follows:-
"57A. Court to take judicial notice of certain matters relating to foreign states.-
(1) Every Court shall take judicial notice of the fac.-
(a) that a State has or has not been recognized by the Central Government;
(b) that a person has or has not been recognized by the Central Government as head of a State.
(2) If, in any Court, questions with reference to sub-section (1) arise, the Secretary to the Government of India in the appropriate department shall, on the application of the Court, forward to the Court, the decision of the Central Government on the question, and that decision shall, for the purpose of the proceeding, be final.
(3) The Court shall forward to the said Secretary, in a document under the seal of the Court and signed by a Judge of the Court, questions framed so as properly to raise the question, and sufficient answers to those questions shall be returned to the Court by that Secretary and those answers shall, on production thereof, be conclusive evidence of the matters therein contained."