This topic is about kinds of evidence.
Indian Evidence Act 1872 was passed by British Parliament, this was drafted by the commission under the chairman of Sir Henry Mayne but it was unsuitable for Indian condition. Later in the year, 1870 task of codification was entrusted to Sir James Fitz James Stephen, Stephen submitted his draft report and it was enacted by the British parliament. In Indian evidence act, there is totally 11 chapters and 167 sections in it. This act extends to the whole of India.
Kind of Evidence
- Oral Evidence
- Documentary Evidence
- Primary Evidence
- Secondary Evidence
- Real Evidence
- Judicial Evidence
- Non Judicial Evidence
- Circumstances Evidence
- Hearsay Evidence
The term oral signifies word of mouth. Oral evidence means "All statements which the court permits or requires to be made before it by witnesses in relation to the matter of fact under enquiry". All facts other than the contents of a document may be proved by oral evidence and it should be directly seen, heard, sense or opinion of witnesses. Evidentiary value is much less satisfactory medium of proof when compared to documentary proof. Section 59 and 60 defines proof of facts by oral evidence and oral evidence must be direct.
The word "Document" is defined in section 3 of Indian Evidence Act 1872 “Document means any matter expressed or described upon any substance by means of letters, figures, or marks, or by more than one of those means, intended to be used, or which may be used, for the purpose of recording that matter” .Documents therefore include all such things containing any writing or inscription, which the court on their production can read for itself. For example, writing on a paper is a document and also in the wall, trees on which human thoughts are expressed. Documentary evidence can be classified into two types one is primary evidence and the other one is secondary evidence.
- Primary Evidence
Primary evidence which is produced for the inspection of the court should be the original document. An original document is the first permanent record of a transaction. This evidence is considered to be best evidence. Section 62 defines "primary evidence means the document itself produced for the inspection of the court".
- Secondary evidence
Secondary evidence is a copy of the original document, which may be produced to court only in absence of primary evidence. This evidences have less evidentiary value and not admissible easily in court. Section 63 explains five kinds of secondary evidence, they are;
- Certified copied.
- Copies made from the original by mechanical processes and copies compared with such copies.
- Copies made from or compared with the original.
- Counterparts of the documents as against the parties who did not execute them.
- Oral account of the contents of a document by a person who has seen it.
Real evidence is tangible and physical evidence,it is a material fact brought to the knowledge of court by inspection. It is not by the information collected by the witnesses or documents. It is evidence that the court can examine for itself.However, such evidence needs to be supported by a witness, preferably an expert opinion who can explain the significance of evidence.Real evidence can be ,Material object means the weapons used for muder,Photographs,Video recordings,Out of court inspection,Forensic evidence,Person’s behaviour and appearance.
The evidence which is given before the magistrate is said to be judicial evidence. But this does not cover the arguments of counsels in the court. such evidence can be a confession made by accused in the court or in front of a judge is judicial evidence, statement of witnesses in a court of law and documentary evidence and facts presented for examination by the court.
Non Judicial Evidence
The evidence which is given outside the court and not in front of the magistrate is said to be non judicial evidence. For example the confession made to any other person then the magistrate.
Circumstantial evidence is the statement by a witness as to the circumstances from which an conclusion is to be drawn as to the fact in issue. Circumstantial evidence means an inference to connect it to a conclusion of fact.There is not much difference between direct and circumstantial evidence,in direct evidence establishes the guilt of the accused whereas in circumstantial evidence it leads to an irresistible inference of the guilt.when there is no direct evidence available then circumstantial evidence is restored.
Hearsay evidence means an evidence which is heard or said,it is called as second hand evidence or unoriginal evidence. Hearsay evidence does not carry much evidentiary value. Section 60 prohibits hearsay evidence from being offered in judicial proceedings subject to the exceptions provided in the evidence act.