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Report No. 88

10.16. Class-content distinction.-

According to some of the earlier English cases, the production of a document may be withheld in public interest either on account of its contents or else because it belongs to a class which, on grounds of public policy must, as a class, be withheld from production. The latter ground of production is usually raised when some ground other than the national security is at stake.1

However, the trend in modern times, so far as the privilege claimed on the ground of affairs of State or public interest is concerned, is to apply one uniform test, the governing consideration being the simple (though abstract) one of injury to public interest. Relevant evidence must be excluded if the reception would be contrary to State interests.2

1. Cross on Evidence, (1979), p. 307.

2. Cross on Evidence, (1979), p. 306.

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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