What Is Quantum of Evidence?


Evidence is most commonly thought of as proof supporting a claim or belief.

According to the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 “Evidence” means and includes:-

  1. all statements which the court requires to be made before it by the witness, in relation to the matter of fact under inquiry, such statements are called oral evidence.
  2. all documents including electronic records produced for the inspection of the court, such documents are called documentary evidence.


A recent, there are four types of evidence recognized by the court.

  1. Demonstrative
  2. Real
  3. Testimonial
  4. Documentary


There are five properties which are necessary that the evidence must have to be useful






Above these five essential ingredients which must have the evidence for their evidentiary value.


Quantum of evidence based on the case. Firstly it will find out that in which category of the particular case will fall. Simply quantum is the amount of evidence needed, the quality of proof is how reliable such evidence should be considered. On the other hand quantum of evidence means that how much evidence will be given in particular cases. Quantum of evidence solely based on the quality of all evidence that will be provided in a particular case. For example:- if in any particular case the hearsay evidence has been shown in the front of the court then the quantum of other evidence will be high because the hearsay evidence is less reliable. In the continuance of example if in any particular case the dying declaration is given then the quantum of other evidence will be less because the dying declaration is highly reliable evidence.

This basically depends on the nature of the case. For example, if in any particular case the accused has pleaded insanity on the part of his defense, the court needs not to concerned about the question of burden of proof but concerned about the question of insanity as a legal defense to a criminal charge.


Criminal law deals with crimes and their prosecution. A criminal case involves the offense against the whole of society.

Civil law is the law governing the relations between private persons or organizations. Civil cases involve the offense against the individual.

Administrative law is the law regarding the rules and regulations made and enforced by governmental agencies.

Hierarchy of evidentiary values:-

  1. Proof beyond reasonable doubt
  2. Clear and convincing proof
  3. Preponderance of evidence
  4. Substantial evidence

An administrative case requires only substantial evidence. The standard of substantial evidence is enough and satisfied if there is reasonable ground to believe that respondent is responsible for the misconduct complained of. The quantum of evidence is not very high because it only requires substantial evidence.

The civil case requires a preponderance of the evidence. Preponderance evidence carries enough weight of evidence and the civil case requires less quantum of evidence. In civil cases, the plaintiff has the burden of proving the fact and claims asserted in the complaint. The amount of evidence varies from claim to claim. The quantum of evidence that constitutes a preponderance can not be reduced to a simple formula.

A criminal case requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt. In criminal cases the burden of proof is on the prosecution to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Firstly prosecution has to prove the offence that the offence has been committed. In criminal cases, the quantum of evidence must be high because in criminal cases the offense against the whole of the society.

The quantum of evidence-based on weight and sufficiency of the evidence.

WEIGHT OF EVIDENCE – The balance of evidence and in whose favor it tilts. This depends on the judicial evaluation within the guidelines provided by the rules and by jurisprudence.

SUFFICIENCY OF EVIDENCE –  It refers to the adequacy of evidence. Such evidence in weight, character, the amount will legally justify the judicial action demanded or prayed by the parties.

The quantum of evidence refers to decide the question as to whether the evidence amounts or meets the required quantum needed to arrive at the decision in a civil, criminal, or administrative case or to defined the case.


The quantum of evidence simply means how much quantity of evidence is required to prove the case. Quantum of evidence means the quantity of evidence in civil, criminal. Administrative case. It also means which type of evidence requires in the particular case and which type of evidence need to less evidence to prove the case.

This Article Written by Madhu Vashishtha, Student of JEMTEC School of Law, Greater Noida.

Also Read – Dying Declaration – Sec 32(1) of Indian Evidence Act, 1872.

Law Corner

Leave a Comment