Report No. 185
In the 69th Report, after an elaborate discussion, it was recommended (see para 37.27) that the following words in section 79 be omitted.
"or by any officer in the State of Jammu and Kashmir, who is duly authorized thereto by the Central Government."
We agree with the recommendation
Yet another recommendation (see para 37.9) refers to Parliamentary proceedings. A Committee on Privileges of Lok Sabha (Report F No. 3(1)/55.L.C. Part I, S.No.5) (vide Notes of Ministry of Home Affairs F.No. 22/4/58-Judl) (Ministry of Law, U.O.No.20(1)58-Leg.II, dated 21.7.59) recommended that normally, when documents connected with Parliament are to be produced in a court of law, certified copies should be considered sufficient evidence of such documents, and that, if necessary, the Evidence Act may be amended to that extent.
Under section 78(2) of the Evidence Act, the proceedings of the legislatures can be proved by journals of the legislatures or published Acts or abstracts, or by copies purporting 'to be printed by the order of the Government concerned'. This is so far proceedings of legislatures which are published. Question remains regarding proceedings of legislatures which are not published. They may (according to para 37.8 of the 69th Report) be classified as follows:
(a) documents which form 'the acts and records of acts' of Parliament, and
(b) documents which do not form the acts or records of acts of Parliament.
(a) The Law Commission in the 69th Report pointed out (para 37-8) that category (a) would fall under 'public document' referred to in section 74(1)(iii), so that certified copies can be given under section 76 and such certified copies can, under section 77, be accepted in evidence without production of the original under section 77.
(b) In regard to the (b) category, the Law Commission said (see para 37.9) that the only question to be considered was the extension of the beneficial provisions of section 79 (presumption as to the genuineness of certified copies), to certified copies of such documents. The Commission recommended accordingly.
Therefore section 79 should be amended as follows:-
For the words "duly certified by any officer of the Central Government or of a State Government or by any officer in the State of Jammu and Kashmir, who is duly authorized thereto by the Central Government," the following shall be substituted, namely:-
"duly certified by any officer of the Central Government or of a State Government or by the presiding officer of the legislature concerned or of the Chairman or head of the Committee of the legislature concerned."
In section 80, after the words 'taken in accordance with law,', the following words be added:
"or to be a statement recorded by a Magistrate under section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973."