Basic Principles And Rules of Law of Evidence


Law is the supreme governing institute above all. There are two types of body of laws- Adjective laws and Substantive laws. Adjective law includes those sections of the law relating to the application of the law and the procedure for seeking relief from the appropriate court. Substantive Law is a law that defines and determines the rights and obligations of a citizen to be protected by law. Adjective laws are divided into two categories- procedural laws and law of evidence. Law of Evidence is defined as which explains the pleading, evidence, and procedure to applicable laws. It is based on English law and derived its context from there.

Requirement of Evidence Law

Evidence is simply understood as one proof that distinguishes a certain fact as wrong or right. Evidence can be oral, based on eyewitness testimony, or documented, referring to documents and electronic records provided by the Court. Defendant’s case can be proved using some form of evidence.[1]

Evidence Law sets out the basic rules and regulations regarding collection. The process of proving any facts or evidence must therefore be governed by well-established legislation to achieve fair justice. The law of evidence is not only the basic principle that governs the evidence process but also the various purposes of administering the rules relating to the evidence process in court proceedings.

Highlights On Evidence Act

1. In terms of Section 2 such subsection (i) of Cr.P.C. proceedings in which evidence may be taken on oath are included in judicial proceedings. It is therefore a matter of the law of evidence to assist the court in judging which facts are necessary to obtain the truth and to avoid confusion and how those relevant facts will be proved in the courts by leading evidence.

2. Law of evidence provides:

a. What facts can be proved in such cases

b. What kind of evidence must be presented with facts that can also be proved and

c. Who and by what manner must be provided with any evidence to substantiate any fact.

3. The Law of India is divided into three main sections:

a. Relevancy of facts (Sections 6 to 55)

b. Method of proof of relevant facts (Sections 56 to 117)

c. Who and how the evidence must be presented (Sections 118 to 167)

4. Types of Evidence:

a. Oral evidence: Oral evidence refers to a statement made by a witness in court concerning a matter of fact. The oral evidence is therefore the inclusion of such witnesses who testified to the facts or knew the facts they removed and which must be recorded by the court.

b. Documentary Evidence: `Written evidence ‘is a document for examination by a court or judge. The document is proof only if it is produced for a court examination.

c. Direct evidence: Direct or positive evidence is evidence of the actual point of contention. Oral evidence should always be accurate. The evidence is clear that if a court is to impose it, it should rely only on witnesses while it is reasonable to rely on not only witnesses but also other people.

d. Proof of Circumstances: In simple terms `Circumstantial Evidence’ means evidence relating to a series of cases which, when combined, help the court to reach any decision, in the absence of eyewitness testimony. Evidence of condition should not be confused with hearing or secondary evidence. Proof of status is always accurate but proves any relevant circumstances.

Usually, the physical facts are proved by eyewitnesses, but sometimes in the absence of an eyewitness to give eyewitness testimony, the court relies on a series of circumstances that help the court find the truth. Where a witness has not witnessed criminal prosecution by the defendant, the court may rely on the circumstances surrounding or before the criminal commission linking the defendant with the case.

5. Two things are necessary to determine whether the fact has an issue-

a. The fact in question must be disputed between the parties.

b. The fact must relate to the question of entitlement or liability.

6. Section 6 of the Indian Evidence Act stipulates that “The fact that whether or not it is a matter of fact or is linked to the fact that it is part of the same transaction is valid whether it took place at the same time and place or at a different time and place” Section 6 of the Evidence Act “Res Gestae” Section 6 appears to provide evidence having collateral nature.

7. Essentials of Res Gestae Doctrine

a. The statement made should not be an opinion and should be a statement.

b. Statements must be made by the participants of the transaction.

c. The statements should contain sufficient detail to describe or brief the incident.

d. Man-made statements or human actions must occur spontaneously and at the same time as the main action.

How Can We Exclude Oral Evidence From Documentary Evidence?

The best evidence rule is the question to this answer. It is the fundamental principle of the Evidence Act. Although it is not mentioned anywhere in the act.

In Tulsi v. Chandrika Prasad[2] it was said that Section 91 of the Act applies in particular to the issuance of an original document to prove the contents but does not preclude parties from providing certain evidence if the title deed can be taken differently to prove the procedure is understandable.

In Amina (Mst.) v. Lakhmi Chand[3] the marriage contract is not signed by any of the parties to the contract but is in the form of a memorandum prepared by nikahkhwan, in which case it is open to one party to prove by other evidence, verbally or documentary, that he or she was married and therefore open to another party documentary, that you are married.

This law prohibits a party to produce disturbed or altered evidence that could have a significant effect on the decision of the case. An important part of the law of evidence is that in all cases it is the best evidence to be given. Where evidence is presented in the form of a record, the record is the highest evidence of the truth. Oral evidence is less valuable than documentary evidence, as oral evidence requires proof of acceptance. It also requires additional relevant evidence to consider the quality of the evidence presented before the Court and not the quality of the decision-making process. As such oral evidence cannot be substituted for written ones where written text exists as proof of action, as written evidence. Such evidence is more reliable than oral evidence.

Principles of Law of Evidence

1. Evidence must be present and related to the matter under issue.

2. Hearsay evidence must not be allowed.

3. In all cases, the best evidence must be given.

4. Judicially noticeable facts are not needed to be proved. (Section-56)

5. Facts admitted need not be proved. (Section-58)

Relevancy of the Facts

One fact is said to be consistent with another when that one is connected to the other in any way or methods mentioned from Section 5 to 55 Chapter II. So only those facts that fall into Section 6 to 55 will be known as Relevant Facts.

Section 5 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 sets out the law of compliance. Evidence may be provided in respect of (i) the fact of the matter and (ii) the relevant fact that falls within the category Chapter II and not under any other section. The views and opinions of an individual may therefore not constitute evidence except to the extent permitted by the Indian Evidence Act, 1872.


Admission is a statement, oral or documentary or contained electronically, which proposes any consideration of any facts or relevant facts to be produced, and made by any person, and under these circumstances, stated herein. It is dealt with from sections 17 to 23 of Chapter II of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872.

1. Admission must be clear, accurate, and straightforward and must be the language spoken by the person admitting the person-drawn tendencies of the admitting person cannot be called admission.

2. Admission is the voluntary confession or acknowledgment of a party or any person identified with them in that of the existence of certain facts by legal interest, the outstanding features of those types of evidence are their binding nature.


Confession is accepted as evidence-based on the same principle of admission, that is, a person will not make a false statement against his or her will or interest. Confession is given from sections 24 to 30 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872. In Raggha v. Emperor[4], a man of sound mind and a full age man, who makes a statement in plain simple language, must be bound by the language of the statement and its ordinary meaning. Confession is only acceptable to the person who does so.

Dying Declaration

The term “dying declaration” means any statement is written or oral referred to through the relevant facts by a person, a deceased person, or a statement of the deceased stating the circumstances of his or her death.

In Uka Ram v. State of Rajasthan[5], Apex Court defined the dying declaration as, “when a statement was made by a person who was threatened by his death or in connection with any circumstances that created a threat or consequences to his death, and because the cause of death his statements were accepted as evidence such statement is referred as ‘dying declaration’.

Plea of Alibi

Section 11 of the Indian Evidence Acts defines the concept of ‘Facts not otherwise relevant become relevant’ and makes provision as a place of protection for the defendant. A simple definition of this section is the situation in which the incident took place and the defendant is accused of the incident could protect him if he explained that at the time of the incident he was not present at the scene. Although in the past it should not have been possible for the court to know his whereabouts as the investigation shows he had committed the crime but his explanation that he was not at the scene made the insignificant facts to be correct. An important part of Section 11 of the Evidence Act is that this law was only accepted when evidence was received and no other law provides for that law.

Alibi’s plea must be taken in the first instance of the case and must be proved without reasonable doubt as the burden of proof lies with the person who benefits from Section 10 i.e., Plea of ​​Alibi.


Section 118 of the Indian Evidence Act sets out certain rules of ‘who can testify’. This law stipulates that all will be able to testify in court unless witnesses are protected by another framework who cannot understand the question presented before proving any facts legally. Prima facie, this section of the Act stipulates that in addition to all persons who are not eligible to testify any facts in the matter are competent witnesses. The basic premise for assessing the suitability of witnesses is to see if the witness understands the questions and can answer logically or not.


Therefore, in dealing with the various decisions rendered by the apex court and in terms of Illustration (g) of Section 114 of the Evidence Act, it can be argued that it is the duty of prosecutors that they must lead the best evidence to establish its case against a defendant and failure to do so brings them in the ambit of doubt. In addition, the suppression of such evidence allows the court to assert that the withheld evidence would contradict them.

However, it should be borne in mind that consideration under Section 114 illustration (g) of the Act is the only valid procedure and is not a requirement. This is because Section 114 of the Act uses the word ‘may’ instead of ‘shall’. Therefore, the Rule of Best Evidence does not benefit the defendant in any way of failing to present evidence or examining a witness when the evidence presented in the record is sufficient to prove the prosecution’s case without hesitation and all material evidence has been examined.

It is rightly said that- The rules of the procedure without content rules are empty, while the rules of content without rules of procedure are blind.

[1] Vilas PandurangPatil v. State of Maharashtra, AIR 2004 SC 3562.

[2] AIR 2006 SC 3359

[3] 1934 L 705

[4]AIR 1925 All 627

[5]AIR 2001 SC 1814

This article has been written by Aditi Vishnoi, 2nd Year B.A.LL.B (Hons) student at The ICFAI University, Dehradun.

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