“Ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat”
~ “The burden of proof is on the one who declares, not on the one who denies.”
This research paper is about the most important piece of legislature that is present in the Indian judicial system right now. Yet, not given much importance when compared to other criminal legislations and codes such as IPC, Cr.P.C. evidences are all those facts and circumstances which when combined can make a situation clear regarding a given problem or a situation. In this study and critical analysis of one of the most important gospels of the evidence system, we will learn about the evidence which is improper and not admissible in the court of law and the factors relating to the Admission and Confession.
The Indian Evidence Act, of 1872 crystallizes all the statutory details of the same stated above. In furtherance to that we are going to be talking about the clear rejection of the Evidence and on what grounds those evidences are deemed to be non – admissible in the Hon’ble court of law. This study is based on the real based situations which are currently in practice at the time and what is the procedure used for the same.
KEYWORDS: Evidence, Facts, Corroboration, Admission, Confession
“Take nothing on its looks; take everything on evidence. There is no better rule.”
The Indian Evidence Act, of 1872 was passed to guarantee a free and fair trial and to provide justice based on evidence and not based on caste, creed, gender, power, position or money.
This act applies to all courts and all civil and criminal cases to clarify the principles of evidence, its weightage and what evidence are admissible and what evidence is not admissible in the Hon’ble Court of Law to have a fair and speedy trial of the suit and not squander the precious time of the court.
“Admission” in very basic language can be defined easily as “A STATEMENT OF A PERSON THROUGH WHICH THE OTHER PERSON CAN DRAW A RESULT FOR A FACT OR A CIRCUMSTANCE”.
Admission primarily is of 2 types that can be in documented form or can be in oral form as well (electrical forms are also valid admission)
In other words, admission means any kind of evidence made so that the court can draw a final opinion on a particular subject matter. Not all statements of a person can be deemed as an admission for a particular situation, are taken as a whole in a court of law and cannot be examined independently.
Confession is understood as a crystal-clear statement of a person for a fact to draw the inference that a particular act was committed by him or another person related to a point or a situation. The only thing that sets apart confession from admission is the intent of the person to do it voluntarily or not as based on the same, other factors like plea bargaining are also affected.
In Pakala Narayan Swami V. Emperor, Lord Atkin defined Confession as the admission in the context of a substantial fact to inaugurate the offence proceedings. Confession is a statement which always proves the man stating it guilty. Confessions are always used against the confessor only.
Admission of evidence is the most important factor in the determination of disproving or proving a fact or a relevant fact entangled in a specific situation. Thus, the admission of evidence should be don’t carefully by the court and only the evidence which can be useful in the determination of a specific situation and help the court in fair dealing of the case has to be admitted. Also, the Evidence that is to be admitted must not be tampered with and shall be gained primarily from a primary source and not from an unauthentic source which cannot be dependent upon. Therefore, only those pieces of evidence which can be fully trusted are deemed to be admitted in a court of law.
The most important factor while admitting Evidence in a court of law is the reputation of the Advocate and the Hon’ble court as it takes a lot of time and effort which goes in the vein once the Evidence is rejected because there lies no corroboration with the facts of the suit.
This study is primarily based on secondary sources like journals, newspapers, books, and guides and is referred from some other the most famous seminars conducted across the globe.
The objective of this Research Paper is to examine and crystalise the comprehensive functioning of the courts related to the evidence which are admissible and the evidence which are non – acceptable in a court of law. Also, the grounds on which the Evidence can be rejected and what bar is created about them. Also, the objective is clear and straightforward to let the readers gain immense knowledge about the Admissibility of the evidence and on what grounds the Evidence can be rejected. In furtherance, to know about the legal consequence of the Evidence being rejected in the practicality of the courts.
CRITICAL EXAMINATION OF IMPROPER ADMISSION AND REJECTION OF EVIDENCE UNDER INDIAN EVIDENCE ACT, 1872
Not all evidence is admissible, and not all evidence is made to submit in the court of law only those evidence directly relates to the facts or circumstances proving or disproving a particular thing are admitted in the court. Admissibility depends on whether the feature of the particular evidence can be corroborated in the practical situation or not. Only if, the evidence can be corroborated to prove one thing or disprove another in a particular situation then only will be entertained by the court. The evidence to be classified as admissible evidence needs to be related and “RELEVANT” to the situation concerned.
“RELEVANT FACT” can only be admitted as evidence in a court of law as per Section 2(e) of the Indian Evidence Act. All other evidences are non-admissible. Now, the relevancy of the Evidence is dependent on a simple factor known as “CORROBORATION.’ This is the connecting factor between a statement and evidence to prove that stand-alone statement to clarify and to give unbiased judgment upon it. Also, the relevant fact shall be legally relevant, but it may not be logically relevant.
Section 65B of the Indian Evidence Act, of 1872 also gives the admissibility of the evidence in its electronic form. It states that any evidence kept in the form of paper, stored, recorded, or copied will be deemed as a document. Moreover, as stated in the case of Shaf Mdh v/s state of HP it widened the scope of section 65B and thus included audio and video records in the provisions.
Now let us talk about Admission and confession in the formal language as mentioned under the Indian Evidence Act, of 1872.
Under the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 refers to any statement made by a party to the proceedings, either in written or oral that suggests any “inference” or result to any fact in issue or a relevant fact. Admission can be in the form of expressed or implied, an express admission is a direct acknowledgement of a particular fact and on the other hand, implied admission can be made from the behavior of a person. Admission made by co-conspirators can also be considered that was made during the same.
Let us now talk about another important provision under the Indian Evidence Act, of 1872 which is “Confession”
It is considered the most crucial piece of evidence in criminal cases. Like Admission, confession is also inadmissible when it is strictly caused by a threat, a promise or an inducement. Also, it is important to know that the confession which is made to police officers on duty and in jail is inadmissible until a dutiful magistrate is present or in the presence of an appointed magistrate, then an Admission is considered to be admissible.
It is very crucial to know that in furtherance to this rule under Indian Evidence Act, 1872, “ANY CONFESSION WHICH LEADS TO DISCOVERY OF A FACT WHICH LEADS TO EVIDENCE OF GUILT, IT PURELY BECOMES ADMISSIBLE”. Further, the confession. Made by one accused, cannot be treated as admissible against the other accused unless tried together in a case.
There are circumstances and situations where an admission is considered improper. Thus, it is considered inadmissible as evidence. The admission which is done by threat, inducement, undue influence, coercion or promise of some benefit or a promise is improper and is not considered admissible evidence. Further, involuntary confessions which are made by torture or not the free will of the person making it is considered inadmissible. Only the admission made to a magistrate is admissible otherwise, the admission or confession made to a police officer or in remand, is not considered admissible unless it meets certain conditions.
Now, Under the Provisions of Indian Evidence Act, 1872 certain provisions allow the rejection of a few types of evidence. Those pieces of evidence which are not relevant to the particular suit or proceedings or an ongoing fact and are not logically connected are rejected. Also, the evidence which cannot be corroborated to the fact or the suit or in simpler terms, the evidence which does not prove or disprove a fact or relevant fact is simply rejected by the court to not waste the time and to dispense justice.
Another piece of evidence which is rejected unless some conditions are imposed in special circumstances is the “hearsay evidence” which indicates that the person was not at the time present in the court and is represented through another person or the person who is not directly involved or does not perceive the current fact primarily and that is done secondary which cannot be fully trusted and the weightage of such are very low in the eyes of law.
The evidence which is taken illegally or is taken through unlawful processes is directly rejected and can be taken as tainted in a court of law. Evidence those are lacking pure authenticity may be rejected by a court of law. Documents which are fettled with or to the documents which are not priorly verified thus are rejected.
The court cannot be a jack of all trades. The court cannot hold expertise in all different kinds of cases that are filed for judicial interruption. The court alone cannot possess all the expertise. Thus, to dispense justice and deliver justice speedily and judicially without any confusion “EXPERT” opinion is needed for the same. The court takes the opinion of the experts to a great extent as they have expertise in those particular scenarios. The experts have spent most of their life dealing with that specific subject matter. Thus, the Hon’ble Court gives a lot of weightage to the expert’s opinion. But where his opinion is without the proper expertise and the expertise conditions imposed by the court are directly inadmissible. Thus, opinions to be considered admissible need to be by “PROPER EXPERT WITH COMMANDING KNOWLEDGE OF THE SUBJECT MATTER.”
Indian Evidence Act, of 1872 is one of the most important laws relating to judicial investigation and due process of law. But, there are a lot of loopholes that can be exploited in favour of the accused and the victim may remain unpleased. The main factor about the loopholes is the fact that the act is not amended with the dynamic and ever-changing society and is socially backward when considered to other criminal laws. Criminal amendments have been done to the Indian Penal Code after “the Nirbhaya Rape Case” but the Indian Evidence Act, of 1872 substantially remains unchanged.
When a Statute remains unchanged it leads to many social problems. Though it has been transformed with the help of many precedents and judicial judgements they are not currently present in the statute.
CRITICAL EXAMINATION OF LOOPHOLES OF INDIAN EVIDENCE ACT, 1872
As discussed in the above study, the INDIAN EVIDENCE ACT, of 1872 plays a very important role in providing justice and increases the focus on due process of law. But, with great power, comes great responsibility and nothing in this world is perfect. Like other statutes The Indian Evidence Act, of 1872 is also full of a few desired things left unsaid. Section 112 of the Indian Evidence Act, of 1872 considers the legitimacy of the child Born out of wedlock, but the drawback is that it does not consider the facts like adultery in the marriage. Thus, deemed a little unfair towards the parties involved. Also, as the Act has not been amended with a technological and scientific enhancement so it is not inclusive of the DNA test. Due to this, there is a failure to govern the DNA test and there is no specific legislation for the same which creates a hurdle in dispensing justice.
One of the most evident problems in the Act has been considered with the part of “EXPERT OPINION” the court takes the expert opinion and values it a lot. But another loophole lies in this specific provision as there are no certain qualifications described by the Act for the appointment of the EXPERT in the court of law. Though the court is free to appoint more than one expert on a particular matter there lie contradicting statements or opinions. Again, the whole situation is left to the judge or the court to decide. Thus, it destroys the whole concept of appointing an expert when in the end, the judge or the court is the one to decide the specific situation when the opinions are contradictory and the judgement in the first place has little or no experience with regards to a particular subject matter in the suit or the proceedings.
Another loophole or we can say that the disadvantage of non-amendment of the statutes is that any case relating to electronic forms is subject to serious investigation and scrutiny. But, the evidence act being untouched is the most severe problem for the technologically established India. Though, as stated in the study these cases are taken with the help of judicial development and precedents and the judgement is logically made based on circumstantial developments. The IT Act, of 2000 plays a supporting role due to the backlog of the Indian Evidence Act, of 1872. The Hon’ble Court takes the help of IT for justice delivery and truly is a friend of the court when the cases are related to the evidence in electronic form. The Ministry of Electronics and information technology is also given priority in such cases where the evidence is related to electronic form.
Information Technology Act, of 2000 also empowers the court to appoint special kinds of officers who are appointed specifically for investigating the evidence in electronic form. These kind of officers are specially appointed and their opinion is given a lot of weightage. Also, unlike the evidence act the appointment qualifications of these officers are mentioned for proper and smooth dispersion of justice and no potholes to be found. These officers are known as the “EXAMINERS OF ELECTRONIC EVIDENCE” and are appointed under section 79A of the IT Act, 2000.
The issue of the legitimacy of the electronic evidence arises in all the cases and the solution is not easy. The courts work day and night for uplifting the integrity of the Constitution of India as well as the statutes passed and also make a balance between the justice delivery. The court cannot just avoid a particular section and declare it void. Rather, makes changes and interprets in such a way that it may be useful in some case or another. This is a commonly used Law of Interpretation principle and thus the court consciously respects it.
CONCLUSION & SUGGESTIONS
Thus, through this study, we can understand what provisions are followed regarding the admissibility of the evidence in a court of law. Also, we can understand comprehensively how Admission and Confessions are classified as per their provisions under the law. The admissions and confessions can be rejected based on certain provisions under the law unless given special circumstantial provisions by the court. The court can reject the evidence based on a few crystallized provisions. Thus, in clear terms, the evidence that is to be submitted in the court of law should be corroborative. This means that only the evidence which helps the court in dispensing justice and upholding legal validity will only be allowed to be accepted in the court of law. Not only this, if the evidence does not conscience with the present fact or relevant fact, it must be rejected.
Thus, the only suggestion to be made can be the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 to be amended with time and to meet the needs of technologically advanced India. Like other statutes which have been amended and updated with time and based on new judgments passed. Though there are many supporting legislations like the IT Act 2000, and other criminal acts which are amended with time and with the help of precedents, the Indian Evidence Act, of 1872 has remained purely on the roots of the same. Thus, lagging in the dispensing of justice. If the Indian Evidence Act is amended taking into concern the technological enhancements, then surely there be a great addition to the justice and judicial system as a whole as the loopholes may be covered.
Amity Law School, Noida
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