SC: Merely making exhibit of a document does not prove it automatically

The Hon’ble Supreme Court, on 13th May 2020, in the matter of Jagmail Singh & Anr. v. Karamjit Singh & Ors.  pronounced that merely the admission in evidence and making exhibit of a document does not prove it automatically unless the same has been proved in accordance with the law.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court observed that:

A perusal of Section 65 of the Indian Evidence Act makes it clear that secondary evidence may be given with regard to existence, condition or the contents of a document when the original is shown or appears to be in possession or power against whom the document is sought to be produced, or of any person out of reach of, or not subject to, the process of the Court, or of any person legally bound to produce it, and when, after notice mentioned in Section 66 such person does not produce it. (Para 11)

For secondary evidence to be admitted foundational evidence has to be given being the reasons as to why the original Evidence has not been furnished. (Para 11)

Under the Evidence Act, 1872 facts have to be established by primary evidence and secondary evidence is only an exception to the rule for which foundational facts have to be established to account for the existence of the primary evidence. (Para 14)

(H. Siddiqui (dead) by LRs Vs. A. Ramalingam [2011 (4) SCC 240]) Where original documents are not produced without a plausible reason and factual foundation for laying secondary evidence not established it is not permissible for the court to allow a party to adduce secondary evidence. (Para 14)

Merely the admission in evidence and making exhibit of a document does not prove it automatically unless the same has been proved in accordance with the law. (Para 17)

Copy of judgement: Judgement_13-May-2020

-Adv. Tushar Kaushik

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