Sections 5-16

Section 5: Evidence may be given of facts in issue and relevant facts

Evidence may be given in any suit or proceeding of the existence of 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

Section 6: Relevancy of facts forming part of same transaction –

Facts which, though not in issue, are so connected with a fact in issue as to form part of the same transaction, are relevant, whether they occurred at the same time and place or at different times and places. 

Section 7: Facts which are the occasion, cause or effect of facts in issue –

Facts which are the occasion, cause or effect, immediate or otherwise, of relevant facts, or facts in issue, or which constitute the state of things under which they happened, or which afforded an opportunity for their occurrence or transaction, are relevant. 

Section 8: Motive, preparation and previous or subsequent conduct –

Any fact is relevant which shows or constitutes a motive or preparation for any fact in issue or relevant fact. The conduct of any party, or of any agent to any party, to any suit or proceeding, in reference to such suit or proceeding, or in reference to any fact in issue therein or relevant thereto, and the conduct of any person an offence against whom is the subject of any proceeding, is relevant, if such conduct influences or is influenced by any fact in issue or relevant fact, and whether it was previous or subsequent thereto. 

Section 9: Facts necessary to explain or introduce relevant facts –

Facts necessary to explain or introduce a fact in issue or relevant fact, or which support or rebut an inference suggested by a fact in issue or relevant fact, or which establish the identity of any thing or person whose identity is relevant, or fix the time or place at which any fact in issue or relevant fact happened, or which show the relation of parties by whom any such fact was transacted, are relevant in so far as they are necessary for that purpose. 

Section 10: Things said or done by conspirator in reference to common design –

Where there is reasonable ground to believe that two or more persons have conspired together to commit an offence or an actionable wrong, anything 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. 

Section 11: When facts not otherwise relevant become relevant –

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

Section 12: In suits for damages, facts tending to enable Court to determine amount are relevant –

In suits in which damages are claimed, any fact which will enable the Court to determine the amount of damages which ought to be awarded is relevant. 

Section 13: Facts relevant when right or custom is in question –

Where the question is as to the existence of any right or custom, the following facts are relevant: –– 

(a) any transaction by which the right or custom in question was created, claimed, modified, recognized, asserted or denied, or which was inconsistent with its existence; 

(b) particular instances in which the right or custom was claimed, recognized or exercised, or in which its exercise was disputed, asserted or departed from. 

Section 14. Facts showing existence of state of mind, or of body of bodily feeling. –

Facts showing the existence of any state of mind such as intention, knowledge, good faith, negligence, rashness, ill-will or good-will towards any particular person, or showing the existence of any state of body or bodily feeling are relevant, when the existence of any such state of mind or body or bodily feeling, is in issue or relevant. 

Section 15: Facts bearing on question whether act was accidental or intentional –

When there is a question whether an act was accidental or intentional, or done with a particular knowledge or intention, the fact that such act formed part of a series of similar occurrences, in each of which the person doing the act was concerned, is relevant. 


Section 16: Existence of course of business when relevant–

When there is a question whether a particular act was done, the existence of any course of business, according to which it naturally would have been done, is a relevant fact.


1. Admissibility of Evidence

State of Maharashtra v. Kamal Ahmed Mohammed Vakil Ansari, (2013) 12 SCC 17: “………Under Section 5 aforementioned, evidence may be given “of every fact in issue” and of such other facts which are expressly “declared to be relevant”, and of no other facts. For the present controversy, the facts in issue are the seven bomb blasts, in seven different first class compartments of local trains of Mumbai Suburban Railways, on 11-7-2006. Thus far, there is no serious dispute. But then, evidence may also be given of facts which are “declared to be relevant” under the Evidence Act. Under the Evidence Act, Sections 6 to 16 define “relevant facts”, in respect whereof evidence can be given. Therefore, Sections 5 to 16 are the provisions under the Evidence Act, which alone have to be relied upon for determining admissibility of evidence.”

2. Extra Judicial Confession Admissibility

Ishwari Lal Yadav v. State of Chhattisgarh, (2019) 10 SCC 437: “………..It is true that extra-judicial confession, is a weak piece of evidence but at the same time if the same is corroborated by other evidence on record, such confession can be taken into consideration to prove the guilt of the accused……………”

3. Impact of Motive on Prosecution

Dhananjay Shanker Shetty v. State of Maharashtra, (2002) 6 SCC 596: “…..It is well settled that merely because motive is neither alleged nor proved, the same would ipso facto not affect the prosecution case but in case there are other circumstances to create doubt regarding veracity of the prosecution case, this may also become material.”

4. Value of Test Identification Parade

Sampat Tatyada Shinde v. State of Maharashtra, (1974) 4 SCC 213: “The evidence of test identification is admissible under Section 9 of the Evidence Act; it is, at best, supporting evidence. It can be used only to corroborate the substantive evidence given by the witnesses in Court regarding identification of the accused as the doer of the criminal act.……

5. When and How can ‘Plea of Alibi’ be taken?

Darshan Singh v. State of Punjab, (2016) 3 SCC 37: “The word alibi means “elsewhere”. The plea of alibi is not one of the General Exceptions contained in Chapter IV IPC. It is a rule of evidence recognised under Section 11 of the Evidence Act. However, plea of alibi taken by the defence is required to be proved only after prosecution has proved its case against the accused.….