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Report No. 69

D. Definition Suggested by Mayne

6.71. Definition by Mayne.-

We may now refer to the definition suggested by Mayne. The definition of "judicial proceedings" suggested by Mayne1 is-"any step in the lawful administration of justice in which evidence may be legally recorded for the decision of the matter in issue in the case, or on a question necessary for the decision or final disposal of such matter."

The definition given by Mayne is, in substance, satisfactory, for the purpose of the Evidence Act. The definition given in the Code of Criminal Procedure2 is, no doubt, satisfactory so far as that Code is concerned. But it is of no use in the Evidence Act, in view of section 1 of the Act, which makes the very applicability of the Act dependent on the existence of a 'judicial proceeding'.

1. Mayne Criminal Law of India, 2nd Edn., p. 565, cited in Woodroffe and Ameer Ali, Law of Evidence, (1957), Vol. I, p. 108 and also in Tanaji Rao's case, 71 Born LR 732 (733).

2. Cited above.

6.72. Test of step in the lawful administration of justice.-

It has been said in one earlier Bombay case, AIR 1921 Bom 366 that 'judicial proceedings' mean nothing more or less than a step taken by a court in the course of administration of justice in connection with a case. This agrees, in substance, with the definition given by Mayne.

In a Madras case, Queen v. Venkatachalam Pillar, (1864) 2 Mad HCR 43, Scotland C.J. accepted the definition of 'judicial proceeding' given by Mayne. In Question-Empress v. Tulja, 1887 ILR 12 Bom 36 (42) though the Bombay High Court was principally concerned with the question as to whether a sub-Registrar of Assurances was a 'Court' within the meaning of section 195 of the Criminal Procedure Code, the Court has explained what is meant by 'Judicial inquiry':

"An inquiry is judicial if the object of it is to determine a jural relation between, one person and another, or a group of persons: or between him and the Community generally; but, even a judge, acting without such an object in view, is not acting judicially."

Indian Evidence Act, 1872 Back

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