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Report No. 69

XXI. Relevant

6.50. Section.-"facts in issue".-

Then we come to the definition of "relevant". One fact is said to be relevant to another when the one is connected with the other in any of the ways referred to in the provisions of this Act relating to the relevancy of facts. The expression1 "relevant" occurs mainly in sections.-55. Expressions cognate thereto occur in sections 8, 32, clause (8), 132, 135, 137, 148 and 153. The expression "irrelevant" occurs in sections 24, 29, 43. 52, 54 and 165. The definition needs no change. It may be noted that the concept of relevance is linked up with the definition of 'fact in issue' in the scheme of the Act

1. The enumeration is not exhaustive.

6.51. Section.-"fact in issue".-

The expression "facts in issue", as defined, means and includes-

"any fact from which, either by itself or in connection with other facts, the existence, non-existence, nature or extent of any right, liability or disability, asserted or denied in any suit or proceeding, necessarily follows."

Where under the provisions of the law for the time being in force relating to Civil Procedure, any Court records an issue of fact, the fact to be asserted or denied in the answer to such issue is a fact in issue.

The expression "facts (or 'fact') in issue" occurs in sections 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 17, 21-ill. (d), 33, 36, 43; "questions in issue" occurs in section 33; "matters in issue" in section 132.

Illustrations to the definitions are as follows:-

A is accused of the murder of B. At his trial the following facts may be in issue;

That A caused B's death;

That A intended to cause B's death;

That A had received grave and sudden provocation from B;

That A, at the time of doing the act which caused B's death, was, by reason of unsoundness of mind, incapable of knowing its nature.

6.52. and 6.53. In the definition of "facts in issue" also, we recommend that the words "and includes" should be removed, as unnecessary and confusing.

XXII. Proved

6.54. Section.-Definitions of "proved", "disproved", and "not proved".-

We now come to the definition of the expressions 'proved', 'disproved' and "not proved". These three expressions have been thus defined.

"Proved"-A fact is said to be proved when, after considering the matters before it, the Court either believes it to exist, or considers its existence so probable that a prudent man ought, under the circumstances of the particular case, to act upon the supposition that it exists.

"Disproved"-A fact is said to be disproved when, after considering the matters before it, the Court either believes that it does not exist, or considers its non-existence so probable that a prudent man ought, under the circumstances of the particular case, to act upon the supposition that it does not exist.

"Not proved"-A fact is said not to be proved when it is neither proved nor disproved.

6.55. Proof.-

Whether an alleged fact is a fact in issue or a relevant fact, the Court can draw no inference from its existence, till it believes it to exist. "Evidence" of a fact and "proof" of a fact are not synonymous terms. A judgment is to be based on facts duly proved1. "Proof", in strictness, marks merely the effect of evidence.

Proof considered as the establishment of material facts in issue in each particular case by proper and legal means to the satisfaction of the Court is effected2 by (a) evidence of statements of witriesses,3 admissions or confessions of parties, and production of documents4and also previous statements;5 (b) presumptions;6 (c) Judicial7-8 notice; (d) inspection-which has been defined as the substitution of the eye for the ear in the reception of evidence,9-as in the case of observation of the demeanour of witness.10 local investigation,11 or the inspection of instruments used. for the commission of a crime.12

1. Section 165.

2. Stephen Digest, Article 58.

3. Sections 3,.-55, 58, 60 (oral proof).

4. Sections 61-100 (documentary proof)

5. Sections 157-158, sections 32-33; R. v. Ashootosh, 1878 ILR .Cal 492.

6. Sections 4, 79-90, 112-114.

7. Sections 56, 57

8. See R. v. Ashootosh, 1878 ILR 4 Cal 492.

9. Wartoh Evidence, section 345, quoted by Woodroffe.

10. Order 18, Rule 12, Code of Civil Procedure, 1908.

11. Joy v. Bundhoolall, ILR 9 Cal 363.

12. See discussion as to real evidence under section 'evidence'.

6.56. It may be noted that the expression 'not proved' does not appear to occur anywhere in the Act. However, the definition is useful for explaining the concept of 'not proved', and the expression has come in handy in the understanding of the general scheme of the Act. It need not, therefore, be disturbed. We may point out that the words "matters before it" in the definition of 'proof' are wide enough to cover matters which are not 'evidence', as defined1 in the Act. Those words are not confined to 'oral' and 'documentary evidence'.

1. See discussion as to section 3, 'Evidence', supra.

6.57. Section.-'India".-

"India" is defined in the Act as meaning the territory of India excluding the State of Jammu & Kashmir. The definition of 'India' should be deleted. In the substantive sections, the expression "territories to which this Act extends" should be substituted with such consequential changes, if any, as may be required. The reasons which have been set out in our Report on the Stamp Act1 are applicable to the definition in the Act under consideration also.

1. Report on the Stamp Act, discussion as to the definition of "India".

Indian Evidence Act, 1872 Back

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