(d). A sues B for inducing C to break a contract of service made by him with A. C, on leaving A's service, says to A—'I am leaving you because B has made me a better offer.' This statement is a relevant fact as explanatory of C's conduct, which is relevant as a fact in issue.

(e). A, accused of theft, is seen to give the stolen property to B, who is seen to give it to A's wife. B says, as he delivers it'A says you are to hide this.' B's statement is relevant as explanatory of a fact which is part of the transaction.

(ƒ). A is tried for a riot and is proved to have marched at the head of a mob. The cries of the mob are relevant as explanatory of the nature of the transaction.

This section generally provides for facts explanatory of facts relevant or in issue. Such facts are relevant either—

(1) as explaining or introducing a fact relevant or in issue of which illustrations are to be found in (a), (b), (d), (e) and (ƒ), or

(2) as supporting or rebutting an inference suggested by any such fact, as in ill. (e), or

(3) to establish the identity of any person, or to fix the time or place at which any thing happened, when these points are relevant or in issue, or

(4) to show the relation of the parties.

But the section prescribes no test of the necessity.

Circumstances often so occur as to raise a strong suspicion against a man, and any fact which tends to dispel that suspicion is relevant under this section.

Declarations made or letters written during absence from home, explanatory of the motive of departure, are admissible as original evidence, since the departure and absence are very properly regarded as one continuing act.-Taylor on Evidence, sec. 526.

In the case of Rameshur Persaud Narain Singh v. Kunja Behari Patack, I. L. R. 4 Cal. 633, the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council admitted in evidence the proceedings in a case in the Criminal Court of Zila Berar in which the owners of Chahal had prosecuted some ryots of Mahoot in consequence of their having closed a Khanwa from Mahoot to Chahal, which led to a razinamah being come to between the taluqdars of the two mouzahs. One of the questions in the appeal was as to the character of the reservoir and water-courses then in dispute, and the circumstances under which

they had been presumably created and actually enjoyed. As to the razinamah, the Judicial Committee said :-"It was objected that this razinamah does not bind the proprietor of Mahoot, but although it was apparently made between tenants, it seems to have been subsequently acted on, and may be properly used to explain the character of the enjoyment of the water." Apparently those proceedings and the razinamah in which they resulted, would be admissible under this section as evidence of facts necessary to explain or introduce a fact in issue. The records of the proceedings in the Criminal Court in 1884 which the Judicial Committee admitted in evidence, might be admissible under this section or under sec. 13 (b).

Things said or

rator in reference



common de

10. Where there is reasonable ground to believe that two or more persons have condone by conspi- spired together to commit an offence or an actionable wrong, any thing said, done or written by any one of such persons in reference to their common intention, after the time when such intention was first entertained by any one of them, is a relevant fact as against each of the persons believed to be so conspiring, as well for the purpose of proving the existence of the conspiracy as for the purpose of showing that any such person was a party to it.


Reasonable ground exists for believing that A has joined in a conspiracy to wage war against the Queen. The facts that B procured arms in Europe for the purpose of the conspiracy, C collected money in Calcutta for a like object, D persuaded persons to join the conspiracy in Bombay, E published writings advocating the object in view at Agra, and F transmitted from Delhi to G at Cabul the money which C had collected at Calcutta, and the contents of a letter written by H giving an account of the conspiracy, are each relevant, both to prove the existence of the conspiracy, and to prove A's complicity in it, although he may have been ignorant of all of them, and although the persons by whom they were done were strangers to him, and

although they may have taken place before he joined the conspiracy or after he left it.

The provisions herein contained are wider than the English law. "In connection with the above section the following points should be clearly understood: 1st-The section applies to the case either of an offence or of an actionable wrong, to joint conspirators and to co-trespassers or other tort-feasors; 2nd-Before the evidence is admitted there must be reasonable ground to believe in the existence of a conspiracy; 3rdThe connection of the individual in the unlawful enterprise being shown, every act and declaration of each member of the confederacy is original evidence against every other member, though ignorant of them, and though the persons doing those acts or making those declarations may have been strangers to him; 4th-These acts and declarations are admissible as evidence though made before or after the connection with the enterprise of the individual against whom they are used; 5th— A letter giving an account of the conspiracy is admissible, apparently even though not written in support of it or in furtherance of it. This last rule is contrary to that followed in England."-Field's Evidence, 5th Ed., 98.

In cases of general conspiracy where agents are employed, the acts of the agents are admissible in evidence against a party to the conspiracy in order to show the nature and the objects of the conspiracy. (Horne Tooke, 25 S. T. 127).

The fact that one of several parties to a conspiracy gave a letter to be printed, is evidence against the others to prove a circumstance in the conspiracy. (Hardy's Case, 24 S. T. 463).

Letters sent by one prisoner in pursuance of a common design is evidence against all engaged in the same conspiracy. (Stone's Case, 25 S. T. 1268).

According to this section, a letter giving an account of a conspiracy, even though not written in support of it or in furtherance of it, is admissible to prove the existence of the conspiracy or to show that any person was a party to it. In England such evidence is not allowed.

In order to bring the section into operation there must be, in the first place, reasonable ground to believe in the existence of the conspiracy. The principle enunciated in this section is substantially the same as that of principal and accessory, or principal and agent. When various persons conspire to commit an offence each makes the rest his agents to carry the plan into execution. In the case of Queen v. Ameerkhan and others, 17 W. R. Crim. 15, Couch, C. J., remarked :

"Now the rule of law is, that where several persons are proved to have combined together for the same illegal purpose, any act done by one of the parties in pursuance of the original concerted plan, and with reference to the common object, is, in the contemplation of the law, the act of the whole. Each party is an agent of the others in carrying out the objects of the conspiracy and doing anything in furtherance of the common design."

11. Facts not otherwise relevant are relevant(1) if they are inconsistent with any fact in issue or relevant fact; (2) if by themselves or in connection with

When facts not otherwise relevant become relevant.

other facts they make the existence or non-existence of any fact in issue or relevant fact highly probable or improbable.


(a). The question is, whether A committed a crime at Calcutta on a certain day. The fact that, on that day, A was at Lahore, is relevant. The fact that, near the time when the crime was committed, A was at a distance from the place where it was committed, which would render it highly improbable, though not impossible, that he committed it, is relevant.

(b). The question is, whether A committed a crime. The circumstances are such that the crime must have been committed either by A, B, C or D. Every fact which shows that the crime could have been committed by no one else, and that it was not committed by either B, C or D, is relevant.

This section is limited in effect by sec. 54 of the Act. It renders inadmissible one crime not reduced to certainty by a legal conviction, to prove the existence of another unconnected crime, even though it is cognate. Accordingly the possession of a number of documents supposed to be forged, is no evidence to prove the forgery of a document with which the possessor is charged.

In the case of Reg. v. Parbhadas, 11 Bom. H. C. R. 90, West, J., observed: "Sec. 11 of the Evidence Act is, no doubt, expressed in terms so extensive that any fact which can, by a chain of ratiocination, be brought into connection with another, so as to have a bearing upon a point in issue, may possibly be held to be relevant within its meaning. But the connections of human affairs are so

infinitely various and so far-reaching that thus to take this section in its widest admissible sense, would be to complicate every trial with a mass of collateral inquiries limited only by the patience and the means of the parties. That such an extensive meaning was not in the mind of the Legislature, seems to be shown by several indications in the Act itself."

Facts intended to be included in this section.—The sort of facts which this section was intended to include, are facts which either exclude or imply more or less distinctly, the existence of the facts sought to be proved. The meaning of the section would have been more fully expressed, if words to the following effect had been added to it :"No statement shall be regarded as rendering the matter stated highly probable within the meaning of this section, unless it is declared to be a relevant fact under some other section of this Act."Stephen's Evidence Act, 123.

Highly probable.-The words 'highly probable' point out that the connection between the facts in issue and the collateral facts sought to be proved must be so immediate as to render the co-existence of the two, highly probable.

Highly improbable.-By this expression is meant something which, though not absolutely impossible, is next door to it. The inconsistency referred to, means a physical impossibility of the coexistence of two facts, as for instance, that a man should be in two places at the same time, or within an interval of time too short to allow of his transport by any known means of locomotion from one to the other.

Decrees not interpartes when inadmissible—

(a). In the case of Gujju Lal v. Fateh Lal, I. L. R. 6 Cal. 171, A sued B to recover possession of certain property. It was admitted that A would be entitled to this property as heir of one X, if one C had survived Y, but that if C had predeceased Y, A would not be so entitled. The plaintiff A, offered in evidence a judgment in a previous suit between B as plaintiff and certain third parties as defendants, in which, the question being whether B or C was the heir of X, it was decided that C was the nearest heir. B contended that A, not having been a party to the first suit, was not entitled to use the judgment in that suit as evidence in his own favour and against him (B) in the second suit. It was held by the majority of the Judges that the judgment not being interpartes was not evidence and therefore inadmissible. The judgment was neither a fact within the meaning of this section, nor a transaction within the meaning of sec. 13. This decision has been followed in

« ElőzőTovább »