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Report No. 87

3.20. Earlier recommendation as to section 73, Evidence Act.-

Section 73 was considered at length by the Law Commission in its Report on the Evidence Act.1-2 The Commission discussed in detail the conflict of decisions on the question whether section 73 could be invoked at the stage of Investigation. The Commission noted that the Evidence Act applies only to 'judicial proceedings' and observed that it would be inconsistent with the general scheme of the Act to provide in a section of the Act for a power exercisable at an earlier stage, and recommended that it should be made clear that the power under section 73 operates only after the Court has taken cognisance of a matter. The Commission recommended the following re-draft of section 73:

"73. (1) In order to ascertain whether a signature, writing, or seal is that of the person by whom it is alleged to have been written or made, any signature, writing or seal admitted or proved to the satisfaction of the Court to have been written or made by that person may be compared by or under the orders of the Court with the one which is to be proved, although that signature, writing or seal has not been produced or proved for any other purpose.

(2) The Court may direct any person present in Court to write any words or figures for the purpose of enabling comparison of the words or figures so written with any words or figures alleged to have been written by such person.

(3) This section applies also, with any necessary modifications, to finger impressions, palm impressions, foot-prints and typewriting.

Explanation.-Nothing in this section applies to a criminal court before it has taken cognizance of an offence."

1. Law Commission of India, 69th Report (Indian Evidence Act, 1872, May 1977), Chapter 33

2. Law Commission of India. 69th Report (Indian Evidence Act, ,1872, May 1977), para. 33.40.

Identification of Prisoners Act, 1920 Back

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