THE LAW OF EVIDENCE
INDIAN EVIDENCE ACT 1872
INTRODUCTION OF THE ACT-
The Indian Evidence Act is the most important pillar amongst all the laws.
It has been enacted to reveal the object behind a particular act committed.Prior to the passing of the Indian Evidence Act the principles of English law of Evidence were practised in the presidency towns of India and followed by the Courts.In a Mofussil Area,Mohammedan Law of Evidence was followed for some time by the British Courts,however subsequentley various regulations which dealt with the principle of evidence,were passed for guiding the Mofussil Courts.
Prior to the advent of the Indian Evidence Act of 1872 there was no systematic enactment on the subject.The rules and regulations were not fixed and the law was vague.
The word ‘evidence’ is derived from the Latin word evidens or evidere,which means ‘to prove’, ‘to discover clearly’.
In 1868 Mr.(afterwards Sir Henry Sumner)Maine prepared a Draft Bill of Law of Evidence,but it was abandoned as its contents were not suitable for the country.In 1871 Mr.Stephen prepared a new draft which was passed and acknowledged as Act I of 1872.
OBJECTS OF THE INDIAN EVIDENCE ACT-
One of the main object of the Evidence Act is to prevent the inaccuracy in the admissibility of evidence and to introduce a more correct and uniform rule of practice.
The main principles which forms the foundation of Law of Evidence are-
- Evidence must be confined to the matter in issue;
- Hearsay evidence must not be admitted;and
- Best evidence must be given in all cases.
The Indian Evidence Act is a procedural law because it is concerned with the mode of proving a particular fact,whether a particular offence has been committed by a particular person or not.
The Law of Evidence helps the judges to seprate wheat from chaff amongst the mass of facts that are brought before them.It helps to draw correct inferences from the circumstances mentioned during the hearing of the case and helps to deliver a judgement.
APPLICATION OF THE INDIAN EVIDENCE ACT-
S.1 of the act provides that the Indian Evidende Act is applicable to the whole of India except to the State of Jammu and Kashmir and applies to all judicial proceedings in or before any Court,including Courts martial.The Law of Evidence is not applicable to non-judicial proceedings.The Act applies to Court-martial conveyed under-
- Army act
- The Naval Discipline Act
- The Indian Navy (Discipline) Act,1934 and,
- The Air Force Act.
The Indian Evidence Act does not apply to affidavits presented to any Court or Officer,nor to the proceedings before an Arbitrator.The Arbitrators are not bound by the strict rules of evidence which are applicable to the Court of Law however,the Arbitrators are bound by the principles of natural justice.
DATE OF ENFORCEMENT OF THE ACT-
The provisions of this Act came into force from the first day of September 1872.