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Report No. 185

Section 55

This section refers to relevance of 'Character' as affecting damages. It reads as follows:

"55. In Civil cases, the fact that the character of any person is such as to affect the amount of damages which he ought to receive, is relevant.

Explanation: In sections 52, 53, 54 and 55, the word 'character' includes both reputation and disposition; but except as provided in Section 54, evidence may be given only of general reputation and general disposition and not of particular acts by which reputation or disposition were shown."

It will be seen that the Explanation is indeed an Explanation to ss. 52, 53, 54 and 55.

In the 69th Report, it was suggested (see p.358) that as to 'Libel action', in a suit for damages for defamation for injury to reputation of a person, evidence of character should relate to that aspect of that person's character to which the libel relates and that this recommendation is in furtherance of the approach of the 69th Report to Section 12 (see para 8.40 of the Report).

On a consideration of this aspect, we are of the opinion that the above aspect is indeed a matter on facts in each case, and that no special provision need be made in Section 55 to cover cases of libel. We are, therefore, differing from the recommendation given in the 69th Report in this behalf. We do not suggest any modification in the provision.

Review of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 Back

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