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Report No. 69

IV. Corroboration

13.16. Corroboration.-

We may now consider the aspect of corroboration required under the Corroboration. section. Books of account when not used to charge a person with liability (civil or criminal)1 may be used as independent evidence requiring no corroboration. But, when sought to be so used, they must be corroborated by other substantive evidence2.

1. R. v. Hurdeep, (1875) 23 WR Cr 27 (Cal).

2. Dwarka v. Sant, 1895 ILR 18 All 92.

13.17. And in this sense, books of accounts under the present Act, as under the repealed Act.- cannot be used as sufficient evidence of the payment or other items to which the entry refers. Section 34 only lays down that a plaintiff cannot obtain a decree by merely proving the existence of certain entries in his hooks of account, even though those books are shown to be kept in the regular course of business. He will have to show further, by some evidence, that the entries represent real and honest transactions.

13.18. As to the nature of the evidence required to corroborate the entries that become relevant under section 34, decided cases furnish some illustrations. It would appear on a study of those cases that there is hardly any scope for laying down hard and fast rules on the subject. Although, in some of the cases, the expression "independent evidence" is met with in this context, that does not seem to be the intention of the section, and all that can be said with reference to the present section is that no presumption of correctness attaches to the entries taken by themselves.

13.19. Thus, no particular form or kind of evidence in addition to the entries is required. Any relevant facts which can be treated as evidence within the meaning of the Evidence Act would be sufficient corroboration of the evidence furnished in the books of account, if true.1

1. Yesuvadivan v. Subba, 52 IC 704 (Mad).

13.20. Evidence of Plaintiff.-

It has been held by several High Courts-e.g. Allahabad1, Rajasthan2 and Andhra Pradesh3 and Punjab4-that the evidence of the plaintiff himself on oath can suffice to corroborate the, entries relevant under section 34. Of course, no categorical rules can be laid down, and regard has to be had to the circumstances of each case when determining the sufficiency of the the plaintiff's statemen.- or, for that matter, the sufficiency of any other relevant fac.- as corroborative evidence under section 34. But the point to be made is that the plaintiff's evidence can also qualify and suffice as corroborative evidence.

1. (a) Narain Das v. Firm Ghasi Ram, AIR 1938 All 353. (b) Kar Dei v. Sri Kishan (Mst.), AIR 1932 All 60 (DB).

2. Balmukand v. Jagannath, AIR 1963 Raj 212 (216), para. 13.

3. D.K. Aswathanarayana v. Md. Hussain, 1965 AP 33 (36), para. 36.

4. Kaka Ram v. Firm Thakar Das, AIR 1962 Punj 27 (30), para. 11.

Indian Evidence Act, 1872 Back

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