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Report No. 74

6. Section 33 how far applicable-Nature of proceedings before Commissions of Inquiry.-

No individuals are arrayed as formal parties in proceedings before a Commission appointed under the Commissions of Inquiry Act and no findings recorded by a Commission can be enforced proprio vigore. As the law stands at present, consequently a statement made by a deceased witness in proceedings under the Commissions of Inquiry Act cannot be used against another person in subsequent civil or criminal proceedings. The question which needs consideration is as to whether as a result of amendment such a statement can be made admissible. On general principles the Law Commission is against the use of such a statement in the course of subsequent civil or criminal proceedings, except in one limited contingency.

In case a Commission appointed under the Commissions of Inquiry Act has proceeded under section 8B of that Act because it considered it necessary to inquire into the conduct of a person or because it was of the opinion that the reputation of that person was likely to be prejudicially affected by that inquiry and if, further, that person has had the right and has been afforded all reasonable opportunity to cross-examine the deceased witness as contemplated by section 8C and, further also, it the questions in issue before the Commission were substantially the same as at the subsequent civil or criminal proceedings, in such an event there appears to be no objection to making suitable amendment in law to make the statement of the deceased witness relevant and admissible at the subsequent civil or criminal proceedings against that person. Apart from this limited contingency, the Commission is not in favour of any proposal for making such a statement admissible by amendment of law.

Proposal to amend the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 so as to render admissible certain statements made by witnesses before Commissions of Inquiry and other Statutory Authorities Back

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