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Section 74 BSA to Section 79 BSA | Section 75 BSA | Section 76 BSA | Section 77 BSA | Section 78 BSA

Updated: Feb 8

Public documents


Section 74 BSA | Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam, 2023


Public and private documents


(1) The following documents are public documents:—

(a) documents forming the acts, or records of the acts—

(i) of the sovereign authority;

(ii) of official bodies and tribunals; and

(iii) of public officers, legislative, judicial and executive of India or of a foreign country;

(b) public records kept in any State or Union territory of private documents.


(2) All other documents except the documents referred to in sub-section (1) are private.


Section 75 BSA | Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam, 2023


Certified copies of public documents.


Every public officer having the custody of a public document, which any person has a right to inspect, shall give that person on demand a copy of it on payment of the legal fees therefor, together with a certificate written at the foot of such copy that it is a true copy of such document or part thereof, as the case may be, and such certificate shall be dated and subscribed by such officer with his name and his official title, and shall be sealed, whenever such officer is authorised by law to make use of a seal; and such copies so certified shall be called certified copies.


Explanation.—Any officer who, by the ordinary course of official duty, is authorised to deliver such copies, shall be deemed to have the custody of such documents within the meaning of this section.


Section 76 BSA | Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam, 2023


Proof of documents by production of certified copies.


Such certified copies may be produced in proof of the contents of the public documents or parts of the public documents of which they purport to be copies.


Section 77 BSA | Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam, 2023


Proof of other official documents.


The following public documents may be proved as follows:—


(a) Acts, orders or notifications of the Central Government in any of its Ministries and Departments or of any State Government or any Department of any State Government or Union territory Administration—


(i) by the records of the Departments, certified by the head of those Departments respectively; or


(ii) by any document purporting to be printed by order of any such Government;


(b) the proceedings of Parliament or a State Legislature, by the journals of those bodies respectively, or by published Acts or abstracts, or by copies purporting to be printed by order of the Government concerned;


(c) proclamations, orders or Regulations issued by the President of India or the Governor of a State or the Administrator or Lieutenant Governor of a Union territory, by copies or extracts contained in the Official Gazette;


(d) the Acts of the Executive or the proceedings of the Legislature of a foreign country, by journals published by their authority, or commonly received in that country as such, or by a copy certified under the seal of the country or sovereign, or by a recognition thereof in any Central Act;


(e) the proceedings of a municipal or local body in a State, by a copy of such proceedings, certified by the legal keeper thereof, or by a printed book purporting to be published by the authority of such body;


(f) public documents of any other class in a foreign country, by the original or by a copy certified by the legal keeper thereof, with a certificate under the seal of a Notary Public, or of an Indian Consul or diplomatic agent, that the copy is duly certified by the officer having the legal custody of the original, and upon proof of the character of the document according to the law of the foreign country.


Presumptions as to documents


Section 78 BSA | Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam, 2023


Presumption as to genuineness of certified copies.


(1) The Court shall presume to be genuine every document purporting to be a certificate, certified copy or other document, which is by law declared to be admissible as evidence of any particular fact and which purports to be duly certified by any officer of the Central Government or of a State Government:


Provided that such document is substantially in the form and purports to be executed in the manner directed by law in that behalf.


(2) The Court shall also presume that any officer by whom any such document purports to be signed or certified, held, when he signed it, the official character which he claims in such paper.


Section 79 BSA | Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam, 2023


Presumption as to documents produced as record of evidence, etc.


Whenever any document is produced before any Court, purporting to be a record

or memorandum of the evidence, or of any part of the evidence, given by a witness in a judicial proceeding or before any officer authorised by law to take such evidence or to be a statement or confession by any prisoner or accused person, taken in accordance with law, and purporting to be signed by any Judge or Magistrate, or by any such officer as aforesaid, the Court shall presume that—

(i) the document is genuine;

(ii) any statements as to the circumstances under which it was taken, purporting

to be made by the person signing it, are true; and

(iii) such evidence, statement or confession was duly taken.

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