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Report No. 185

Section. 47:

This sections speaks of 'opinions as to handwriting, when relevant' and reads as follows:

"47. When the court has to form an opinion as to the person by whom any document was written or signed, the opinion of any person acquainted with the handwriting of the persons by whom it is supposed to be written or signed that it was or was not written or signed by that person, is a relevant fact.

Explanation.- A person is said to be acquainted with the handwriting of another person when he has seen that person write, or when he has received documents purporting to be written by that person in answer to documents written by himself or under his authority and addressed to that person, or when, in the ordinary course of business, documents purporting to be written by that person, have been habitually submitted to him".

There is an illustration below section 47.

In the 69th Report, it was mentioned that section 47 is clear enough and does not require any change.

Phipson (15th Ed. P.999, para 3733) also says that a non-expert's evidence may be relevant when the person has knowledge of somebody's handwriting (a) by having at any time seen the party to write (b) by the receipt of written communication or (c) by having observed, in the ordinary course of business, documents purporting to be in that person's handwriting.

We agree with the recommendation in the 69th Report that no amendment is necessary in Section 47.

Section 47A:

The section was inserted by Act 21/2000 w.e.f. 17.10.2000 and says 'opinion as to digital signature, when relevant'. It reads as follows:

"47A. When the court has to form an opinion as to the digital signature of any person, the opinion of the certifying authority which has issued the digital signature certificate is a relevant fact."

We may refer to sect. 4 which says that the expression 'Certifying Authority', 'Digital Signature', 'Digital Signature Certificate' shall have the same meaning as given to these words in the 'Information Technology Act, 2000".

This new section does not require any further amendment.



Review of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 Back




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