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Report No. 69

G. Conclusion

6.81. Function of administration of justice essential.-

If a definition of "judicial proceeding" were necessary the function of administration of justice should be emphasised, in this context, as has been done by Mayne. Essentially, it is for proceedings held in exercise of this function of the State that the Act is primarily intended. The mention of "court" in section 1, in juxtaposition to judicial proceedings, also lends support to this approach. In fact, at one stage we thought that the following definition should be inserted in section 3:-

" 'Judicial Proceeding' means any step in the administration of justice according to law in which evidence may be legally recorded for the decision of the matter in issue in the case, or of a question necessary for the decision or final disposal of such matter."

However, since we are re-defining the expression "court", no definition of "judicial proceeding" is now required.

6.82. At present, though "court" is defined widely, the expression 'judicial proceeding' is understood somewhat narrowly, and in section 1 the net effect of the double requirement that there must be "court" and a "judicial proceeding", is that the Act applies only to proceedings before courts proper. In other words, the apparently wide scope for applying the Act, created by the present definition of "court", is cut down by the requirement that the proceeding must be a "judicial proceeding". Since we are recommending a more precise definition of "court" than at present, it is not necessary to make any change by way of clarification in regard to the expression "judicial proceeding".

Indian Evidence Act, 1872 Back

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