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Report No. 156

Clause 11

12.06. The existing section 29 defines a document and there are two Explanations. Section 3 of the Evidence Act and section 3(18) of the General Clauses Act also define the word document'. A reading of these three sections would show that the main idea in all the three Acts is the same and the emphasis is on the matter which is recorded. The Law Commission in its 42nd Report examined the provisions in all these Acts and recommended an amendment. It also observed that the existing definition with its Explanations is wide enough to cover every type of document.

A doubt was expressed whether it includes mechanical records of sound or image like tape recording etc., which are in frequent use. Taking these aspects into consideration, the Law Commission suggested slight alteration in the language of the definition to make its intention clear. It is on this basis, in clause 11, the words "particularly expressed, described or recorded" and the words "figures, images, marks or sounds" are sought to be substituted.

A detailed discussion on this aspect can be found in Chapter XI entitled "Document-Scope of its Definition". In view of the changes in the audio and video technology and computers, it is recommended that another Explanation (3) can be added to the existing section. So we recommend that Explanation (3) namely, "The term document also includes any disc, tape, sound track or other device on or in which any matter or image or sound is recorded or stored by mechanical or other means"

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