Indian Evidence Act
- Mahendran v. State of Tamil Nadu, (2019) 5 SCC 67
The Supreme Court, reiterated the well settled position that the maxim falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus has no application in India. Court held that if the testimony of the witness is found to be unreliable in respect of part of the statement, then the other part of the statement cannot be made basis to convict the accused.
- Kuna v. State of Odisha, (2018) 1 SCC 296
The expression ‘proved’, ‘disproved’ and ‘not proved’ lays down the standard of proof, namely, about the existence or non-existence of circumstances from the point of view of a prudent man, so much so that while adopting the said requirement as an appropriate concrete standard to measure ‘proof, full effect has to be given to the circumstances or conditions of probability or improbability.
- Basanti v. State of Himachal Pradesh, (1987) 3 SSC 227
The Court held that when shortly after murder, the person suspected of murder described the absence of the deceased by saying that he had left the village, the court held that statement as part of the same transaction and thus relevant.
- Sukhar v. State of U.P., (1999) 9 SCC 507
Section 6 is an exception to general rule that hearsay evidence is not admissible. For bringing hearsay evidence within the provision of Section 6 it must be established that the act was contemporaneous with fact in issue and there should not be an interval which would allow fabrication.
- Har Nath Singh v. State of M.P., AIR 1970 SC 1619
Police has to hold the identification parade for the purpose of enabling the witnesses to identify the properties which are subject matter of the offence or to identify the persons who are concerned with it. Identification parade has following twin objects:
1. To satisfy the investigating authorities that certain persons not previously known to the witnesses were involved in the crime,
2. To furnish the evidence to corroborate the testimony of the witness before the court.
RELEVANCY & ADMISSIBILITY
- Ram Bihari Yadav v. State of Bihar, (1994) 4 SSC 517
The Supreme Court held that terms ‘relevancy’ and ‘admissibility’ are not co-extensive or interchangeable terms. Their legal incidents are different. All admissible evidence are usually relevant, but all relevant evidence are not admissible.
- Collector of Gorakhpur v. Palakdhari Singh (1890) ILR 12 All 1
Where a judge is in doubt as to the admissibility of a particular piece of evidence he should declare in favour of admissibility rather than inadmissibility.
- Sahoo v. State of U.P., AIR 1966 SC 40
There is a distinction between admissibility of evidence and the weight attached to it. The court must apply the double test – First, whether the confession was perfectly voluntary and second, if so whether it is true and trustworthy.
DIRECT & CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE
- State of U.P. v. Ravindra Prakash Mittal, AIR 1992 SC 2045
Ganpat Singh v. State of M.P., (2017) 16 SCC 353
Sometimes it is very difficult to get direct evidence. In such cases the courts rely on circumstantial evidence. They provide evidence from the surrounding circumstances of the case. Supreme Court has held that while appreciating circumstantial evidence following points must be kept in mind:
1. The circumstances from which the conclusion is drawn should be fully established.
2. Circumstances should be conclusive in nature.
3. All the facts so established should be consistent only with the hypothesis of guilt and inconsistent withinnocence.
4. The circumstances should, to a moral certainty, exclude the possibility of any person other than the accused.
ADMISSION AND CONFESSION
- Pakla Narayan Swami v. Emperor AIR 1939 PC 47
- Palvinder Kaur v. State of Punjab AIR 1952 SC 352
he term ‘confession’ was defined by Lord Atkin. The definition given by Privy Council was approved by Indian Supreme Court in Palvinder Kaur’s case. The court held that ‘a confession must either admit in terms the offence, or at any rate substantially all the facts which constitute the offence’.
- Abdul Rashid v. State of Bihar, AIR 2001 SC 2422
The Court held that confession made by accused to Superintendent of Excise under provisions of Bihar and Orissa Excise Act held to be inadmissible because Excise officer was held to be police officer within meaning of Section 25.
- AghnooNagesia v. State of Bihar, AIR 1966 SC 119
Supreme Court held that the statement that the accused had committed the offence or that he had hidden the object at some places are not admissible. What is admissible is only that portion of the statement that reveals the information about the place of hiding of the object.
- Mohd. Inayatullah v. State of Maharashtra, AIR 1976 SC 48
Supreme Court held that it is essential to prove that the object was discovered from a place of hiding. If the object is lying in an open place, there are chances that others may know about and it will difficult to prove that object was discovered at a instance of information provided by the accused. Supreme court held that 27 is an exception to section 24 to 26.
- Pyare Lal v. State of Rajasthan, AIR 1963 SC 1094
Supreme Court held that a retracted confession may form the basis of conviction if the court is satisfied that it was true and voluntarily made. Thereby as a matter of law, corroboration is not necessary if court is convinced about truthful ness and voluntary nature of confession; however, prudence requires that retracted confession should not be acted upon without corroboration.
- Biswanath Prasad v. Dwarka Prasad, AIR 1974 SC 117
There is a distinction between party who is the author of the prior statement and a witness who is examined and is sought to be discredited by use of his prior statement. In first case the admission by a party is a substantive evidence if it fulfills the requirements of Section 21. In the second case the prior statement is used to discredit the credibility of the witness and does not become substantive evidence.
- State of H.P. v. Jeet Singh, AIR 1999 SC 1293
Statement under Section 27 does not become inadmissible merely because the recovery was made from any place which is open or accessible to others. Object can be concealed in places which are open and accessible to others. The crucial question is that whether the object was ordinarily visible to others, if not then it is immaterial that whether the place was accessible to others or not.
- Pakla Narayan Swami v. Emperor AIR 1939 PC 47
The court held that the statement made by the deceased to his wife that he was going to the accused’s place to collect money from him was admissible under Section 32(1).
- Kaushal Rao v. State of Bombay, (1958) SCR 552
There is neither rule of law nor prudence which states that dying declaration cannot form the sole basis of conviction unless it is corroborated by independent evidence. A true and voluntary declaration needs no corroboration.
- Queen Empress v. Abdullah (1885) 7 A-11 385 FB
It was held that dying declaration made by signs and nods is also relevant.
- Suresh Chandra Jana v. State of W.B., (2017) 16 SCC 466
There is no absolute rule that the dying declaration cannot form the sole basis of conviction unless it is corroborated. Rule requiring corroboration is merely a rule of prudence.
- Sanjay v. State of Maharashtra, (2007) 9 SCC 148
If there are apparent discrepancies in two dying declarations, it would be unsafe to convict the accused.
- Kaushal Rao v. State of Bombay, AIR 1958 SC 22
There is no absolute rule of law that a dying declaration cannot be a sole basis of conviction unless corroborated. It is not a weaker kind of evidence than any other evidence. It stands on a same footing as any other evidence.
- Abdul Rahman v. State of Mysore, (1972) GLJ 407
The opinion of a professional goldsmith as to the purity of the gold in question was held to be relevant as the opinion of an expert, though he had no formal qualifications. His only qualification was experience.
- Fakhraddin v. State of M.P., AIR 1967 SC 1326
It was held that handwriting may be proved by the evidence of a witness in whose pesence the writing was done and this would be direct evidence and if it is available then evidence of any other kind is rendered unnecessary.
- State of H.P. v. Jai Lal and others, (1999) 7 SCC 280
In order to bring the evidence of a witness that of an expert it has to be shown that he has made a special study of the subject or acquired a special experience or in other words he is skilled and has an adequate knowledge of the subject.
- Musheer Khan v. State of M.P., AIR 2010 SC 762
The evidence of a fingerprint expert is not substantive evidence. It can only be used to corroborate some items of substantive evidence which are on record.
- Rabinder Kumar Dey v. State of Orissa, AIR 1977 SC 170
The Supreme Court held that the whole testimony of an accomplice, need not be rejected nor such witness can be regarded as a wholly unreliable witness. The court can rely upon that part of the testimony which inspires confidence and credit.
- State of U.P. v. Ramesh Pal, (1996) 10 SCC 306
The Supreme Court held that the testimony of a hostile witness requires close scrutiny because he is contradicting himself, and that portion of his statement, which is consistent with the prosecution or defence, may be accepted.
- Juwar Singh v. State of M.P., AIR 1981 SC 373
If the oral testimony of witnesses is on the face of it unacceptable then the courts are not bound to accept it merely because there is no cross examination.
- Leela Srinivasa Rao v. State of Andhra Pradesh, AIR 2004 SC 1720
The fact that some of the witnesses have been declared to be hostile does not result in automatic rejection of their evidence. Even the evidence of the hostile witness if it finds support from other evidence may be taken into account.
- Ramchander v. State of Haryana, AIR 1981 SC 1036
It is the duty of the presiding judge to explore every avenue of justice. For that purpose, he is expressly invested with Section 165 with the right to put questions to witnesses. This right is so wide that he may ask any question he pleases, in any form, at any time, about any fact, relevant or irrelevant.