Presumptions as to Documents (Section 79 – 90-A)

Section 79: Presumption as to genuineness of certified copies

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, or by any officer in the State of Jammu and Kashmir who is duly authorised thereto by the Central Government:

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

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 80: Presumption as to documents produced as record of evidence

When-ever 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 the document is genuine; that any statement as to the circumstances under which it was taken, purporting to be made by the person signing it, are true, and that such evidence, statement or confession was duly taken.


Section 81: Presumption as to Gazettes, newspapers, private Acts of Parliament and other documents

The Court shall presume the genuineness of every document purporting to be the London Gazette or any Official Gazette, or the Government Gazette of any colony, dependency or possession of the British Crown, or to be a newspaper or journal, or to be a copy of a private Act of Parliament of the United Kingdom printed by the Queen’s Printer and of every document purporting to be a document directed by any law to be kept by any person, if such document is kept substantially in the form required by law and is produced from proper custody.


Section 81-A: Presumption as to Gazettes in electronic forms

The Court shall presume the genuineness of every electronic record purporting to be the Official Gazette, or purporting to be electronic record directed by any law to be kept by any person, if such electronic record is kept substantially in the form required by law and is produced from proper custody.


Section 82: Presumption as to document admissible in England without proof of seal or signature.—

When any document is produced before any Court, purporting to be a document which, by the law in force for the time being in England or Ireland, would be admissible in proof of any particular in any Court of Justice in England or Ireland, without proof of the seal or stamp or signature authenticating it, or of the judicial or official character claimed by the person by whom it purports to be signed, the Court shall presume that such seal, stamp or signature is genuine, and that the person signing it held, at the time when he signed it, the judicial or official character which he claims,

and the document shall be admissible for the same purpose for which it would be admissible in England or Ireland.


Section 83: Presumption as to maps or plans made by authority of Government.—

The Court shall presume that maps or plans purporting to be made by the authority of the Central Government or any State Government] were so made, and are accurate; but maps or plans made for the purposes of any cause must be proved to be accurate.


Section 84: Presumption as to collections of laws and reports of decisions

The Court shall presume the genuineness of every book purporting to be printed or published under the authority of the Government of any country, and to contain any of the laws of that country,

and of every book purporting to contain reports of decisions of the Courts of such country.


Section 85: Presumption as to powers-of-attorney

The Court shall presume that every document purporting to be a power-of-attorney, and to have been executed before, and authenticated by, a Notary Public, or any Court, Judge, Magistrate, Indian Consul or Vice-Consul, or representative of the Central Government, was so executed and authenticated.


Section 85-A: Presumption as to electronic agreements

The Court shall presume that every electronic record purporting to be an agreement containing the electronic signatures of the parties was so concluded by affixing the electronic signature of the parties.


Section 85-B: Presumption as to electronic records and electronic signatures

(1) In any proceedings involving a secure electronic record, the Court shall presume unless contrary is proved, that the secure electronic record has not been altered since the specific point of time to which the secure status relates.

(2) In any proceedings, involving secure electronic signature, the Court shall presume unless the contrary is proved that—

(a) the secure electronic signature is affixed by subscriber with the intention of signing or approving the electronic record;

(b) except in the case of a secure electronic record or a secure electronic signature, nothing in this section shall create any presumption relating to authenticity and integrity of the electronic record or any electronic signature.


Section 85-C: Presumption as to Electronic Signature Certificates—

The Court shall presume, unless contrary is proved, that the information listed in a Electronic Signature Certificate is correct, except for information specified as subscriber information which has not been verified, if the certificate was accepted by the subscriber.


Section 86: Presumption as to certified copies of foreign judicial records

The Court may presume that any document purporting to be a certified copy of any judicial record of any country not forming part of India or of Her Majesty’s dominions is genuine and accurate, if the document purports to be certified in any manner which is certified by any representative of the Central Government in or for such country to be the manner commonly in use in that country for the certification of copies of judicial records.

An officer who, with respect to any territory or place not forming part of India or Her Majesty’s dominions, is a Political Agent therefor, as defined in Section 3, clause (43), of the General Clauses Act, 1897 (10 of 1897), shall, for the purposes of this section, be deemed to be a representative of the Central Government in and for the country comprising that territory or place.


Section 87: Presumption as to books, maps and charts

The Court may presume that any book to which it may refer for information on matters of public or general interest, and that any published map or chart, the statements of which are relevant facts and which is produced for its inspection, was written and published by the person and at the time and place, by whom or at which it purports to have been written or published.


Section 88: Presumption as to telegraphic messages

The Court may presume that a message, forwarded from a telegraph office to the person to whom such message purports to be addressed, corresponds with a message delivered for transmission at the office from which the message purports to be sent; but the Court shall not make any presumption as to the person by whom such message was delivered for transmission.


Section 88-A: Presumption as to electronic messages.—

The Court may presume that an electronic message forwarded by the originator through an electronic mail server to the addressee to whom the message purports to be addressed corresponds with the message as fed into his computer for transmission; but the Court shall not make any presumption as to the person by whom such message was sent.

Explanation—For the purposes of this section, the expressions “addressee” and “originator” shall have the same meanings respectively assigned to them in clauses (b) and (za) of sub-section (1) of Section 2 of the Information Technology Act, 2000.


Section 89: Presumption as to due execution, etc., of documents not produced

The Court shall presume that every document, called for and not produced after notice to produce, was attested, stamped and executed in the manner required by law.


Section 90: Presumption as to documents thirty years old.—

Where any document, purporting or proved to be thirty years old, is produced from any custody which the Court in the particular case considers proper, the Court may presume that the signature and every other part of such document, which purports to be in the handwriting of any particular person, is in that person’s handwriting, and, in the case of a document executed or attested, that it was duly executed and attested by the persons by whom it purports to be executed and attested.

Explanation—Documents are said to be in proper custody if they are in the place in which, and under the care of the person with whom, they would naturally be; but no custody is improper if it is proved to have had a legitimate origin, or if the circumstances of the particular case are such as to render such an origin probable.

This explanation applies also to Section 81.


Section 90-A: Presumption as to electronic records five years old

Where any electronic record, purporting or proved to be five years old, is produced from any custody which the Court in the particular case considers proper, the Court may presume that the electronic signature which purports to be the electronic signature of any particular person was so affixed by him or any person authorised by him in this behalf.

Explanation—Electronic records are said to be in proper custody if they are in the place in which, and under the care of the person with whom, they naturally be; but no custody is improper if it is proved to have had a legitimate origin, or the circumstances of the particular case are such as to render such an origin probable.

This Explanation applies also to Section 81-A.


IMPORTANT CASE LAWS

1. Presumption as to Documents:

Vasudha Goraknath Mandvilkar v. City and Industrial Development Corp. of Maharashtra, AIR 2008 NOC 2572 Bom : ……whenever there is a variance between an unproved private document or its copy and a certified extract of a public record, the latter must prevail as it has more probative value, carrying the presumption as it does under Section 79 of the Evidence Act. This presumption would continue to hold until it is rebutted. It can be rebutted only by production of the original public record from which the extract is made out and certified to be true by the relevant authority. Only if it is so rebutted such certified copy issued by a public authority would stand nullified“…….


2. Admissibility of a newspaper:

Laxmi Raj Shetty And Anr vs State Of Tamil Nadu, AIR 1988 SC 1274 : A report in a newspapers is only hearsay evidence. A newspaper is not one of the documents referred to in s. 78(2) of the Evidence Act, 1872 by which an allegation of fact can be proved. The presumption of genuineness attached under s. 81 of the Evidence Act to a newspapers report cannot be treated as proved of the facts reported therein.It is now well-settled that a statement of fact contained in a newspapers is merely hearsay and therefore inadmissible in evidence in the absence of the maker of the statement appearing in Court and deposing to have perceived the fact reported.


 

close

Don’t miss out on anything, get latest notifications by subscribing to our newsletter!

We don’t spam!