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Section 56 BSA to Section 61 BSA | Section 57 BSA | Section 58 BSA | Section 59 BSA | Section 60 BSA

Updated: Jun 2

CHAPTER V

OF DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE


Section 56 BSA | Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam, 2023


Proof of contents of documents.


The contents of documents may be proved either by primary or by secondary evidence.


Watch JudiX’s 1 minute video lecture on primary and secondary evidence under BSA

Section 57 BSA | Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam, 2023


Primary evidence.


Primary evidence means the document itself produced for the inspection of the Court.


Explanation 1.—Where a document is executed in several parts, each part is primary evidence of the document.


Explanation 2.—Where a document is executed in counterpart, each counterpart being executed by one or some of the parties only, each counterpart is primary evidence as against the parties executing it.


Explanation 3.—Where a number of documents are all made by one uniform process, as in the case of printing, lithography or photography, each is primary evidence of the contents of the rest; but, where they are all copies of a common original, they are not primary evidence of the contents of the original.


Explanation 4.—Where an electronic or digital record is created or stored, and such storage occurs simultaneously or sequentially in multiple files, each such file is primary evidence.


Explanation 5.—Where an electronic or digital record is produced from proper custody, such electronic and digital record is primary evidence unless it is disputed.


Explanation 6.—Where a video recording is simultaneously stored in electronic form and transmitted or broadcast or transferred to another, each of the stored recordings is primary evidence.


Explanation 7.—Where an electronic or digital record is stored in multiple storage spaces in a computer resource, each such automated storage, including temporary files, is primary evidence.


Illustration.


A person is shown to have been in possession of a number of placards, all printed at one time from one original. Any one of the placards is primary evidence of the contents of any other, but no one of them is primary evidence of the contents of the original.


Section 58 BSA | Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam, 2023


Secondary evidence.


Secondary evidence includes—

(i) certified copies given under the provisions hereinafter contained;

(ii) copies made from the original by mechanical processes which in themselves ensure the accuracy of the copy, and copies compared with such copies;

(iii) copies made from or compared with the original;

(iv) counterparts of documents as against the parties who did not execute them;

(v) oral accounts of the contents of a document given by some person who has himself seen it;

(vi) oral admissions;

(vii) written admissions;

(viii) evidence of a person who has examined a document, the original of which consists of numerous accounts or other documents which cannot conveniently be examined in Court, and who is skilled in the examination of such documents.


Illustrations.


(a) A photograph of an original is secondary evidence of its contents, though the

Secondary evidence.

two have not been compared, if it is proved that the thing photographed was the original.


(b) A copy compared with a copy of a letter made by a copying machine is secondary evidence of the contents of the letter, if it is shown that the copy made by the copying machine was made from the original.


(c) A copy transcribed from a copy, but afterwards compared with the original, is secondary evidence; but the copy not so compared is not secondary evidence of the original, although the copy from which it was transcribed was compared with the original.


(d) Neither an oral account of a copy compared with the original, nor an oral account of a photograph or machine-copy of the original, is secondary evidence of the original.


Section 59 BSA | Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam, 2023


Proof of documents by primary evidence


Documents shall be proved by primary evidence except in the cases hereinafter mentioned.


Section 60 BSA | Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam, 2023


Cases in which secondary evidence relating to documents may be given.


Secondary evidence may be given of the existence, condition, or contents of a document in the following cases, namely: —


(a) when the original is shown or appears to be in the possession or power—


(i) of the person against whom the document is sought to be proved; or


(ii) of any person out of reach of, or not subject to, the process of the Court; or


(iii) of any person legally bound to produce it, and when, after the notice mentioned in section 64 such person does not produce it;


(b) when the existence, condition or contents of the original have been proved to be admitted in writing by the person against whom it is proved or by his representative in interest;


(c) when the original has been destroyed or lost, or when the party offering evidence of its contents cannot, for any other reason not arising from his own default or neglect, produce it in reasonable time;


(d) when the original is of such a nature as not to be easily movable;


(e) when the original is a public document within the meaning of section 74;


(f) when the original is a document of which a certified copy is permitted by this Adhiniyam, or by any other law in force in India to be given in evidence;


(g) when the originals consist of numerous accounts or other documents which cannot conveniently be examined in Court, and the fact to be proved is the general result of the whole collection.


Explanation.—For the purposes of—

(i) clauses (a), (c) and (d), any secondary evidence of the contents of the

document is admissible;


(ii) clause (b), the written admission is admissible;


(iii) clause (e) or (f), a certified copy of the document, but no other kind of secondary evidence, is admissible;


(iv) clause (g), evidence may be given as to the general result of the documents by any person who has examined them, and who is skilled in the examination of such document.


Section 61 BSA | Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam, 2023


Electronic or digital record.


Nothing in this Adhiniyam shall apply to deny the admissibility of an electronic or digital record in the evidence on the ground that it is an electronic or digital record and such record shall, subject to section 63, have the same legal effect, validity and enforceability as other document.

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