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Report No. 88

1.12. The significance of privilege.-

In fact, such privileges raise several important issues of policy transcending mere technical issues. Privileged communications enjoy protection for a unique reason. The law of evidence generally seeks accuracy in fact finding by receiving relevant evidence thought to be reliable, while rejecting that which is thought to be insufficiently probative or trustworthy.1 But privileged communications, which (by usual evidentiary standards) may be highly probative as well as trustworthy, are excluded because their disclosure is inimical to a principle or relationship (predominately non-evidentiary in nature) that society deems worthy of preserving and fostering. Quite often, the evidence that could be derived from these protected sources would be admissible if judged by the usual standards of probative value and trustworthiness. Nevertheless, it is excluded for reasons of policy.

1. Graham C. Lilly An Introduction to the Law of Evidence, (1978), p. 317.

Governmental Privilege in Evidence - Sections 123, 124 and 162 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 and Articles 74 and 163 of the Constitution Back

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