Author: Preeti Singh Bhadoria
Evidence Act, 1872 (Section 151- 166)
“If you’ve ever wondered why the concept of Evidence Act came into existence and what is the need for different sections of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872. This whole article deals with the Concept of Indian evidence and its different sections i.e. from Section 151 to Section 166.
Evidence Act means the act which deals with the admissibility of evidence in the court as per the set of rules and issues which governs the admissibility of evidence. It is meanwhile clear by the name of the act itself. If we talk about the evidence in law it means that any type of proof is presented in front of the court to help the jury to decide the case in the favor of anyone who is entitled so.
Evidence is also categorized into different parts based on which the evidence is admissible in the court. As such only four types of evidence are admissible in the court and recognized by the Indian Judiciary. The four types of evidence which is admissible in the court are mentioned below–
- Demonstrative Evidence
- Real Evidence
- Testimonial Evidence
- Documentary Evidence
The first one is Demonstrative Evidence which is used to demonstrate the testimony given by the witness by the help of a diagram, map, and other things which in order helps to correctly testify the testimony of the witness. The second one is Real Evidence which means that anything which is used or present in that case or has some connection with the case is presented before the court to testify the witness.
Testimonial evidence is considered in almost every case for the demonstration of testimony given by witnesses. In this evidence, there is no requirement of additional data or proof in the court, only mere presence and any statement said by the witnesses in the court. The last one is Documentary evidence which is considered as most relevant by the court to give the judgment. In this, any type of document is admissible in the court which helps in the testification of the witnesses statement given in the court.
Section 151 of the Evidence Act
Section 151 of the Evidence Act, 1872 deals with the “Indecent and Scandalous questions”. According to this act, the court can prohibit any question or inquiries which is considered as obscene and dishonorable although the prohibition has some bearing on questions before the court until and unless they show that the question or inquires made by them on which court had made prohibition is related to the facts or related to matter to decide the judgment of the case.
Section 152 of the Evidence Act
Section 152 of the Evidence Act deals with the “Questions that were intended to insult or considered as offensive.” According to this section, the court can prohibit those questions which are considered offensive and with clear intention to insult. Any questions raised by lawyers during cross-questioning in court are found abusive and offensive which is against the procedure or rule of court, then that question will be forbidden by the court.
Section 153 of the Evidence Act
Section 153 of the Evidence Act mentions “Exclusion of evidence to contradict answers to questions testing veracity.” According to this section, when any question has been asked and a witness has answered that question and answer has been found contradictory to testify the truthfulness or veracity of the evidence.
There are a total of two exceptions mentioned under Section 153 of the Evidence Act, 1872, and both exceptions are mentioned below.
- If a witness is asked about the conviction of that witness, he denies it and in this case, evidence may be given of his previous conviction.
- If a witness is asked questions to impeach his impartiality and the witness denies it, he may be contradicted.
Section 154 of the Evidence Act
Section 154 of the Evidence Act talks about “Questioning by the party to his witness.” According to this section, the court may in discretion allow the party to question his witness. The court may allow the same witness to be questioned by the party who calls him and asks the questions which may be asked by the other party.
Section 155 of the Evidence Act
Section 155 of the Evidence Act talks about “Impeaching the credit of the witness.” According to this section, the credit of the witnesses is charged by the opposite party by putting allegations that the witnesses are bribed for other reasons. If we go according to the interpretation of the Evidence Act, it says that the credit of a witness may be impeached by the opposite party by the following ways–
- By the evidence of persons who testify that they, from their knowledge of the witness, believe him to be unworthy of the credit.
- By the proof that the witness brings into the court is bribed to give false testimony.
- By bringing the proof of the statement made earlier by the statement which is a contradiction to the present testimony.
- Which is omitted under the Indian Evidence Act, 1872.
Section 156 of the Evidence Act
Section 156 of the Evidence Act deals with “Questions which tend to confirm evidence of the facts which is considered as relevant by the court and which is admissible in the court.” In this section, if the facts are from the given point of view of the judgment in that case then, the witness is questioned by the parties to confirm or corroborate the facts which are given in the court and admissible in the court.
Section 157 of the Evidence Act
Section 157 of the Evidence Act considered as the most relevant one to test the relevance and truthfulness of the evidence. This section mentions that the “Former statements of witnesses may be checked to confirm the testimony which is given in the later phase on the same fact. According to this section, for the confirming of the statement made or testimony of the witness, the earlier statement made by the witness may be proved.
Section 158 of the Evidence Act
Section 158 of the Evidence Act talks about “What matters may be proved in connection with the proved statement under Section 32 or Section 33 of the Evidence Act. According to this section of the Evidence act, whenever any statement made by the witness is considered as relevant under Section 32 or Section 33 of the Evidence Act then whole matters may be proved to confirm the statement made and to check the creditworthiness of the person by whom this statement is made which is relevant under Section 32 or section 33 only if the same person called as a witness and he denies from his statement.
Section 159 of the Evidence Act
Section 159 of the Evidence Act talks about “Refreshing memory of the witness.” This Section helps witness a lot by providing them a chance of refreshing their memory before giving testimony or cross-questioning. According to this section of the Evidence Act, a witness during the examination may refresh their memory with the help of written documents, or any documents which are signed by him and are now questioned in front of the court.
Before referring to the documents to refresh their memory the witness has to take the prior permission of the court to refresh memory by referring to the documents which are questioned now.
Section 160 of the Evidence Act
Section 160 of the Evidence Act deals with “the testimony to facts which are stated in documents mentioned in Section 159 i.e. Refreshing memory by the witness. According to this section of the evidence act, a witness may testify to facts mentioned in any document which is referred by the witness for refreshing memory under Section 159 of the Evidence Act, 1872 and the testification is based on the security of the witness because there is no collection of that document.
Section 161 of the Evidence Act
Section 161 of the Evidence Act talks about the “Right of an adverse party to look at the documents which are referred by the witness for refreshing memory under Section 159 of the Evidence Act. According to this section of the evidence act, any writing or documents which are referred by the witness in the previous two sections should be provided to the opposite party if the opposite party demands it while cross-examination.
Section 162 of the Evidence Act
According to Section 162 of the Evidence Act, 1872 “Production of the document in front of the court is mandatory except when the objection raised for not producing the documents in front of the court is admissible by the court.” A witness is summoned or called upon on any particular date to produce the documents relevant to the facts of the case and which is under the possession of the witness.
Section 163 of the Evidence Act
Section 163 of the Evidence Act deals with “the documents which are given earlier and now produced by the party on notice.” According to this section, an adverse party gives notice to another party to produce and after the production of the document by the party on the notice, the same is examined and inspected by the adverse party who issues notice for production of documents.
Section 164 of the Evidence Act
According to Section 164 of the Evidence Act when any party refuses to produce the demanded documents for the production by the adverse party then, in that case, the party who refuses to produce the documents is now not entitled to produced that documents in the court and he can produce only if there is the consent of the court and the adverse party.
Section 165 of the Evidence Act
According to Section 165 of the Evidence Act, the court can ask any questions from any party or any witness or can demand the production of any document which he found relevant. The Judge can ask for any type of question, any time, and in any form whatever he feels relevant for the case from the witness and parties of the case and they can not refuse from that in any circumstances.
Section 166 of the Evidence Act
Section 166 of the Evidence Act, 1872 deals with the “Power of Jury or assessors to put forward questions during the trial.” According to this section of the Evidence Act, while the cases are tried under Jury or assessors and in those circumstances the jury or assessors can ask any questions which they found suitable from the witnesses and the witness has to answer the questions raised by the Jury or assessors.
These all sections from Section 151 to Section 166 helps in identifying the little bit procedure of the court including the examination of witnesses and cross-examination and many other relevant rules of the court while the testification of the witness statement.