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Report No. 94

2.3. Categories of countries-The first category.-

As stated above, the differing approaches prevalent in various countries as to evidence obtained illegally or improperly seem to comprise four broad categories. In the first place, the strictest approach is adopted by certain countries (India included),1 where the illegality or impropriety employed in the collection of evidence does not (in the absence of a specific statutory or constitutional provision on the subject), render the evidence so obtained legally inadmissible, though such illegality or impropriety might possibly affect its weight.

The statement made in the preceding sentence about the Indian position should, of course, be taken as subject to the qualification that the expanding scope of Article 21 of the Constitution, and the ever-widening interpretation placed on the words "procedure established by law" as occurring in that article might possibly alter the position in this respect; so far as could be ascertained, courts in India have not yet directly and squarely dealt with the question whether, in any particular circumstances, the use of illegal or improper methods in collecting evidence would constitute a breach of the requirement of "procedure established by law" laid down in Article 21.

1. Chapter 3, infra, discusses the Indian law.

Evidence Obtained Illegally or Improperly - Proposed Section 166a of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 Back

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