Appraisal of Facts
Indian Evidence act through its various sections describes the importance of what facts are relevant and what are not. During the proceedings or in a suit there are several facts which come up before court, claiming to settle the dispute if evidences are allowed to be given. As per common understanding the court shall allow all the evidences and accept all the facts which are anyhow related to the case but, Indian evidence act prohibits such practise and lays down some restrictions.
What facts are relevant and how to determine?
The Evidence act tells what are considered to be fact in issue and what relevant facts are it also directs how relevant facts can be proved, i.e it can be proved through oral or documentary evidences. After the examining and recording the evidences some relevant facts are proved and some are set aside.
Section 5 of Indian Evidence Act.
Section 5 of Indian Evidence Act states as, Evidence may be given in any suit or proceeding of the existence or non-existence of every fact in issue and of such other facts as are hereinafter declared to be relevant, and of no others.
Explanation – This section shall not enable any person to give evidence of a fact which he is disentitled to prove by any provision of the law for the time being in force relating to Civil Procedure.
Purpose of Section 5:- With the word ‘May’ this section enables a party to give evidence of any fact in issue or relevant fact in a suit or proceeding. And in the same manner this section 5 with the word ‘and of no other’ means precluding the parties from any ‘fact’ which are not relevant and further this imposes duty on the court to accept and allow no other evidence but only those are given upon facts in issue and relevant facts. It can also be said that Section 5 in a manner talks about the admissibility of evidence by court excluding those which are not related to fact in issue and relevant facts. Section 5 of Indian Evidence act excludes everything which is not covered in its ambit restricting the circle of investigation of courts within certain limits.
It is to be kept in mind that facts having ‘high probative value’ are allowed by court to adduce evidence. The probative value of evidence is to be carefully decided by court on various facts, circumstances, existence and non-existence of fact, or any provision restricting or allowing the admissibility of evidence and this is what is also known to be as appraisal of facts.
RESTRICTIONS ON SECTION 5
Though Section 5 nowhere discuss about the restrictions to which it is subjected, there are provisions in C.P.C and Cr.P.C which put specific restrictions. For example:-
Indian Evidence Act:- Section 25:- Confession to police officer not to be proved
Section 26:- Confession by accused while in custody of police not to be proved against him
Section 121-131 of Indian Evidence Act.
Criminal Procedure Code:- Section 162:- Statements to police not to be signed
Section 172:- Investigation by police office to be noted in diary.
Civil Procedure Code:- Order VII R14 :- Production of document on which plaintiff sues or relies
Order VIII R1A :- Document which ought to be produced in Court by the defendant under this rule, but, is not so produced
Order XIII R1:- Production, Impounding And Return Of Documents
APPRAISAL OF FACTS IN EVIDENCE ACT
Indian Evidence stated every other aspect of admissibility of facts and evidence but nowhere mention as to how a fact should be concluded to a judgement. Hence, It is the duty of the court to carefully analyse it through its judicial mind as to what facts are to be kept into consideration and what to be ignored. The Rule of criminal jurisprudence also states that “the guilt of the accused shall be proved beyond all reasonable doubts and there should be no room for hypothesis”
CASE LAW:- GYAN CHAND v. STATE OF RAJASTHAN 1993
The accused person was in possession of unauthorized drugs. The investigation of his case also included search and seizure which is against the principles of criminal jurisprudence. Here the Hon’ble court stated that all the document and evidences gather during the search and seizure are not admissible.
Explanation:- Here even though the fact that these evidences might have been admissible but the fact that the procedure as per law was not followed creating a defect, makes even the admissible evidence inadmissible.
CONCLUSION:- it can be concluded that there might be several facts in a case which are to be proved but it is the law and lastly the duty of the court to decide whether how and which facts and evidences can be taken into consideration. There might be some fact and evidences which may per se be considered to be the deciding factor of a case but it may not have as much relevancy when the appraisal will be done by the court.