EVIDENCE ORDINANCE

Arrangement of Sections

PART I

Relevancy of Facts

CHAPTER I

Preliminary

1.Short title.

2.Extent.

3.Interpretation.

4.May presume.

CHAPTER II

Of the Relevancy of Facts

5.Evidence may be given of facts in issue and relevant facts.

6.Relevancy of facts forming part of same transaction.

7.Facts which are the occasion, cause, or effect of facts in issue.

8.Motive or preparation.

9.Facts necessary to explain or introduce relevant facts.

10.Things said or done by conspirator in reference to common intention.

11.When facts not otherwise relevant are relevant.

12.In suits for damages facts tending to enable Court to determine amount are relevant.

13.Facts relevant when right or custom is in question.

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

15.Facts bearing on question whether act was accidental or intentional.

16.Existence of course of business when relevant.

17.Admissions defined.

18.Admission by party to proceeding or his agent.

19.Admissions by persons whose position must be proved as against party to suit.

20.Admissions by persons expressly referred to by party to suit.

21.Proof of admissions against the person who makes them or his representative in interest.

22.When oral admissions as to contents of documents are relevant.

23.Admissions in civil cases when relevant.

24.Confession caused by inducement, threat, or promise irrelevant.

25.Confession made to a police officer not to be proved against an accused person.

26.Confession made by any person while in custody of a police officer not to be proved against him.

27.How much of information received from accused may be proved.

27A.   Meaning of terms “forest officer” and “excise officer”.

28.Confession made after removal of impression caused by inducement, threat, or promise, relevant.

29.Confession otherwise relevant not to become irrelevant because of promise of secrecy.

30.Confession made by one of several persons tried jointly for the same offence.

31.Admission not conclusive proof but may stop.

Statements by Persons Who Cannot be Called as Witness

32.Cases in which statement of relevant fact by person who is dead or cannot be found is relevant.

33.Evidence in a former judicial proceeding when relevant.

Statements Made under Special Circumstances

34.Entries in books of account when relevant.

35.Entry in public record made in performance of duty enjoined by law, whom relevant.

35A.Statements contained in records compiled on information supplied by third parties having personal knowledge of the matters contained in such statement, when relevant

36.Maps, charts and plans, when relevant.

37.Statement as to fact of public nature contained in any United Kingdom Act, enactment or notification when relevant.

38.Statements in law books when relevant.

38A.   Statement as to age in a certificate of a Medical Practitioner when relevant.

How Much of a Statement is to be Proved

39.What evidence to be given when statement forms part of a conversation, document, book, or series of letters or papers.

Judgments of Courts of Justice When Relevant

40.Previous judgments relevant to bar a second suit or trial.

41.Relevancy of judgments in probate jurisdiction.

41A.   Relevancy of judgments recording convictions in civil proceedings.

41B.   Relevancy of judgments recording findings of adultery in civil proceedings.

41C.   Relevancy of judgments recording findings of paternity in civil proceedings.

42.When judgments other than those mentioned in sections 41, 41A, 41B and 41C are relevant.

43.When judgments other than those mentioned in sections 40, 41, 41A, 41B, 41C and 42 are relevant.

44.Fraud, collusion, or incompetence of court may be proved.

Opinions Third Persons When Relevant

45.Opinions of experts.

46.Facts bearing upon opinions of experts.

47.Opinion as to handwriting.

48.Opinion as to existence of right or custom, when relevant.

49.Opinion as to usages, tenets when relevant.

50.Opinion on relationship, when relevant.

51.Grounds of opinion, when relevant.

Character When Relevant

52.In civil cases character to prove conduct imputed, irrelevant.

53.In criminal cases previous good character relevant.

54.Previous bad character irrelevant, except when evidence of good character is given.

55.Character as affecting damages.

PART II

On Proof

CHAPTER III

Facts Which Need not be Proved

56.No proof required of fact judicially noticed.

57.Facts of which Court must take judicial notice.

58.Facts admitted need not be proved.

CHAPTER IV

Of Oral Evidence

59.Facts may be proved by oral evidence.

60.Oral evidence must be direct.

CHAPTER V

Of Documentary Evidence

61.Proof of contents of documents.

62.Primary evidence.

63.Secondary evidence.

64.Proof of documents by primary evidence.

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

66.Rules as to notice to produce.

67.Proof of signature and handwriting of person alleged to have signed or written document produced.

68.Proof of execution of document required by law to be attested.

69.Proof where no attesting witness found.

70.Admission of execution by party to attested document.

71.Proof when attesting witness denies the execution.

72.Proof of document not required by law to be attested.

73.Comparison of handwritings.

Public Documents

74.Public documents.

75.Private documents.

76.Certified copies of public documents.

77.Proof of documents by production of certified copies.

78.Proof of other official documents.

Presumption as to Documents

79.Presumption as to genuineness of certified copies.

80.Presumption on production of record of evidence.

81.Presumption as to Gazettes.

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

83.Presumption as to maps or plan made or signed by Surveyor-General.

84.Presumption as to collections of laws and reports of decisions.

85.Presumption as to powers of attorney.

86.Presumption as to certified copies of foreign judicial records.

87.Presumption as to books and maps.

88.Presumptions as to telegraphic messages.

89.Presumption as to due execution of documents not produced.

90.Presumption as to documents thirty years old.

CHAPTER VI

Bankers’ Books

90A.   Interpretation.

90B.   Power to extend provisions of chapter.

90C.   Mode of proof of entries in bankers’ books.

90D.   Inspection of books by order of court or Judge.

90E.   Case in which officer of bank not compellable to produce books.

90F.    Costs.

CHAPTER VII

Of the Exclusion of Oral by Documentary Evidence

91.Evidence of terms of contracts, grants or other disposition of property reduced to form of document.

92.Exclusion of evidence of oral agreement.

93.Exclusion of evidence to explain or amend ambiguous document.

94.Exclusion of evidence against application of document to existing facts.

95.Evidence as to document unmeaningful in reference to existing facts.

96.Evidence as to application of language which can apply to one only of several persons.

97.Evidence as to application of language to one of two sets of facts to neither of which the whole correctly applies.

98.Evidence as to meaning of illegible characters.

99.Who may give evidence of agreement varying terms of document.

CHAPTER VIII

English Law of Evidence When in Force

100.    What questions to be determined according to English Law of Evidence.

PART III

Production and Effect of Evidence

CHAPTER IX

Of the Burden of Proof

101.    Burden of proof.

102.    On whom burden of proof lies.

103.    Burden of proof as to particular fact.

104.    Burden of proving fact necessary to be proved to make evidence admissible.

105.    Burden of proving that case of accused comes within exceptions.

106.    Burden of proving fact especially within knowledge of any person.

107.    Burden of proving death of person known to have been alive within thirty years.

108.    Burden of proving that person is alive who has not been heard of for one year.

109.    Burden of proof as to partnership, tenancy, and agency.

110.    Burden of proof as to ownership.

111.    Proof of good faith in transactions where one party is in position of active confidence.

112.    Birth during marriage conclusive proof of legitimacy.

113.    Presumption that a boy under twelve years cannot rape.

114.    Court may presume existence of certain facts.

CHAPTER X

Estoppel

115.    Estoppel.

116.    Estoppel of tenant.

117.    Estoppel of bailee.

CHAPTER XI

Of Witnesses

118.    Who may testify.

119.    Dumb witnesses.

120.    Competent witnesses.

121.    Judges and Magistrates.

122.    Communications during marriage.

123.    Evidence as to affairs of State.

124.    Official communications.

125.    Information as to commission of offences.

126.    Professional communications.

127.    Section 126 to apply to clerks, and servants of advocates, proctors, and notaries.

128.    Privilege not waived by volunteering evidence.

129.    Confidential communications with legal advisers.

130.    Production of witness’ title deeds.

131.    Who may not be compelled to produce documents.

132.    Witness not excused from answering on ground that answer will criminate.

133.    Accomplice.

134.    Number of witnesses.

CHAPTER XII

Of the Examination of Witnesses

135.    Order of production and examination of witnesses.

136.    Judge to decide as to admissibility of evidence.

137.    Examination-in-chief.

138.    Order of examination.

139.    Cross-examination of person called to produce a document.

140.    Witnesses to character.

141.    Leading questions.

142.    When leading questions must not be asked.

143.    When leading questions may be asked in cross-examination.

144.    Evidence as to matters in writing.

145.    Cross-examination as to previous statements in writing.

146.    Questions lawful in cross-examination.

147.    When witness to be compelled to answer.

148.    Court to decide when witness shall be compelled to answer.

149.    Question not to be asked without reasonable grounds.

150.    Procedure of court in case of question being asked without reasonable grounds.

151.    Indecent and scandalous questions.

152.    Questions intended to insult or annoy.

153.    Exclusion of evidence to contradict answers to questions testing veracity.

154.    Question by party to his own witness.

155.    Impeaching credit of witness.

156.    Questions tending to corroborate evidence of relevant fact admissible.

157.    Former statement of witness may be proved to corroborate later testimony as to same facts.

158.    What matters may be proved in connection with proved statement relevant under section 32 or 33.

159.    By writing made by another.

160.    Testimony to facts stated in document mentioned in section.

161.    Right of adverse party as to writing used to refresh memory.

162.    Production of documents.

163.    Giving as evidence, of document called for and produced on notice.

163A. Video recorded interview with a child may be given in evidence.

164.    Using as evidence of document production of which was refused on notice.

165.    Judge’ power to put questions or order production.

166.    Power of Jury or assessors to put questions.

CHAPTER XIII

Of Improper Admission and Rejection of Evidence

167.    No New trial for improper admission or rejection of evidence.

14 of 1895,

15 of 1904,

16 of 1925,

25 of 1927,

18 of 1928,

1 of 1946,

3 of 1961,

10 of 1988,

14 of 1995,

33 of 1998,

32 of 1999,

29 of 2005.

AN ORDINANCE to consolidate defines and amend the law of Evidence.

[Date of Commencement: 1st January, 1896]

PART I

Relevancy of Facts

CHAPTER I

Preliminary

1. Short title

This Ordinance may be cited as the Evidence Ordinance.

2. Extent

(1) This Ordinance shall apply to all judicial proceedings in or before any court other than courts martial, but not to proceedings before an arbitrator

(2) Repeal—all rules of evidence not contained in any written law so far as such rules are inconsistent with any of the provisions of this Ordinance, are hereby repealed.

3. Interpretation.

In this Ordinance the following words and expressions are used in the following senses, unless a contrary intention appears from the context—

“Court” includes all Judges and Magistrates, and all persons, except arbitrators, legally authorised to take evidence.

“Fact” means and includes—

(a)  anything, state of things, or relation of things capable of being perceived by the senses;

(b)  any mental condition of which any person is conscious;

Illustrations

(a)  That there are certain objects arranged in a certain order in a certain place is a fact.

(b)  That a man heard or saw something is a fact.

(c)   That a man said certain words is a fact.

(d)  That a man holds a certain opinion, has a certain intention, acts in good faith, or fraudulently, or uses a particular word, or is or was at a specified time conscious of a particular sensation, is a fact.

(e)   That a man has a certain reputation is a fact.

Relevant—One fact is said to be relevant to another when the one is connected with the other in any of the ways referred to in the provisions of this Ordinance relating to the relevancy of facts.

“Facts in issue” means and includes-any facts from which, either by itself or in connection with other facts, the existence, non-existence, nature or extent of any right, liability, or disability, asserted or denied in any suit or proceeding, necessarily follows.

Explanation

Whenever, under the provisions of the law for the time being in force relating to Civil Procedure, any court records an issue of fact to be asserted or denied, in the answer to such issue, is a fact in issue.

Illustrations

A is accused of the murder of B. At his trial the following facts may be in issue—

That A caused B’s death

That A intended to cause B’s death

That A had received grave and sudden provocation from B.

That A, at the time of doing the act which caused B’s death, was by reason of unsoundness of mind, incapable of knowing its nature.

“Document” means any matter expressed or described upon any substance by means of letters, figures, or marks or by more than one of those means, intended to be used, or which may be used, for the purpose of recording that matter.

Illustrations

A writing is a document Words printed, lithographed, or photographed are documents. A map or plan is a document. An inscription on a metal plate or stone is a document. A caricature is a document.

“Evidence” means and includes—

(a)  all statements which the court permits or requires to be made before it by witnesses in relation to matters of fact under inquiry: such statements are called oral evidence:

(b)  all documents produced for the inspection of the court; such documents are called documentary evidence.

Proved—A fact is said to be proved when, after considering the matters before it, the court either believes it to exist or considers its existence so probable that a prudent man might, under the circumstances of the particular case, to act upon the supposition that it exists.

Disproved—A fact is said to be disproved when, after considering the matters before it, the court either believes that it does not exist, or considers its non-existence so probable that a prudent man might, under the circumstances of the particular case, to act upon the supposition that it does not exist.

Not Proved—A fact is said not to be proved when it is neither proved nor disproved.

4. May presume.

(1) Whenever it is provided, by this Ordinance that the court may presume a fact, it may either regard such fact as proved, unless and until it is disproved, or may call for proof of it.

(2) Shall presume—Whenever it is directed by this Ordinance that the court shall presume a fact, it shall regard such fact as proved unless and until it is disproved.

(3) Conclusive proof—When one fact is declared by this Ordinance to be conclusive proof of another, the court shall on proof of the one fact regard the other as proved, and shall not allow evidence to be given for the purpose of disproving it.

CHAPTER II

Of the Relevancy of Facts

5. Evidence may be given of facts in issue and relevant facts.

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

Illustrations

(a)  A is tried for the murder of B by beating him with a club with the intention of causing his death.

At A’s trial the following facts are in issue—

A beating B with the club;

A causing B death by such beating;

A intention to cause B death.

(b)  A, is a party to a suit, does not comply with a notice given by B. The other party, to produce for B inspection a document referred to in A pleadings. This section does not enable A to put such document in evidence on his behalf in such suit, otherwise than in accordance with the conditions prescribed by section 104 of the Civil Procedure Code.

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.

Illustrations

(a)  A is accused of the murder of B by beating him. Whatever was said or done by A or B or the bystanders at the beating, or so shortly before or after it as to form part of the transaction is a relevant fact.

(b)  A is accused of waging war against the Queen by taking part in an armed insurrection in which property is destroyed, troops are attacked, and jails are broken open. The occurrence of these facts is relevant as forming part of the general transaction, though A may not have been present at all of them.

(c)   A sues P for a libel contained in a letter forming part of a correspondence. Letters between the parties relating to the subject out of which the libel arose and forming part of the correspondence in which it is contained are relevant facts, though they do not contain the libel itself.

(d)  The question is, whether certain goods ordered from B were delivered to A. The goods were delivered to several intermediate persons successively. Each delivery is a relevant fact.

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.

Illustrations

(a)  The question is, whether A robbed B. The facts that shortly before the robbery B went to a fair with money in his possession and that he showed it, or mentioned the fact that he had it, to third persons, are relevant.

(b)  The question is whether A murdered B. Marks on the ground, produced by a struggle at or near the place where the murder was committed, are relevant facts;

(c)   The question is whether A poisoned B. The state of B’s health before the symptoms ascribed to poison, and habits of B, known to A, which afforded an opportunity for the administration of poison, are relevant facts.

8. Motive or preparation.

(1) Any fact is relevant, which shows or constitutes a motive or preparation for any fact in issue or relevant fact. Previous or subsequent conduct.

(2) 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 therein.

Explanation 1

The word “conduct” in this section does not include statements, unless those statements accompany and explain acts other than statements, but this explanation is not to effect the relevancy of statements under any other section of this Ordinance. A sues B for a libel contained in a letter forming part of a correspondence. Letters between the parties relating to the subject out of which the libel arose and forming part of the correspondence in which it is contained are relevant facts, though they do not contain the libel itself.

Explanation 2

When the conduct of any person is relevant, any statement made to him or in his presence and hearing, which effects such conduct, is relevant.

Illustrations

(a)  A is tried for the murder of B. The facts that A, murdered C, that B knew that A had murdered C, and that B had tried to extort money from A by threatening to make his knowledge public, are relevant.

(b)  A sues B upon an instrument for the payment of money. B denies the making of the instrument. The fact that at the time when the instrument was alleged to be made B required money for a particular purpose is relevant.

(c)   A is tried for the murder of B by Police The fact that before the death of B, A procured poison similar to that which was administered to B, is relevant.

(d)  The question is, whether a certain document is the will of A. The facts that not long before the date of the alleged will A made inquiry into matters to which the provisions of the alleged will relate, that he consulted proctors in reference to making the will, and that he caused drafts of other wills to be prepared, of which he did not approve, are relevant.

(e)   A is accused of a crime. The facts that either before or at the time of, or after the alleged crime, A provided evidence which would tend to give to the facts of the case an appearance favorable to himself, or that he destroyed or concealed evidence, or prevented the presence or procured the absence of persons who might have been witnesses, or suborned persons to give false evidence respecting it, are relevant.

(f)   The question is, whether A robbed B. The facts that after B was robbed C said in A’s presence, “the police are coming to look for the man who robbed B”, and that immediately afterwards A ran away, are relevant.

(g)  The question is, whether A owes B Rs: 10,000. The facts that A asked C to lend him money, and that D said to C in A’s presence and hearing, “I advise you not to trust A, for he owes B 10,000 rupees” and that A went away without any answer, are relevant facts.

(h)  The question is whether A committed a crime. The fact that A absconded after receiving a letter warning him that inquiry was being made for the criminal, and the contents of the letter, are relevant.

(i)   A is accused of a crime. The facts that after the commission of the alleged crime he absconded, or was in possession of property or the proceeds of property acquired by the crime, or attempted to conceal things which were or might have been used in committing it, are relevant.

(j)   The question is, whether A was ravished.

The fact that shortly after the alleged rape she made a complaint relating to the crime, the circumstances under which and the terms in which the complaint was made, are relevant. The fact that, without making a complaint, she said that she had been ravished, is not relevant as conduct under this section, though it may be relevant as a dying declaration, under section 32, subsection (1), or as corroborative evidence under section 157.

(k)   The question is whether A was robbed.

The fact that soon after the alleged robbery he made a complaint, relating to the offence, the circumstances under which and the terms in which the complaint was made, are relevant. The fact that he said he had been robbed, without making any complaint, is not relevant as conduct under this section though it may be relevant as a dying declaration under section 32, subsection (1), or as corroborative evidence under section 157.

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 anything 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.

Illustrations

(a)  The question is, whether a given document is the will of A. The state of A’s property and of his family at the date of the alleged will may be relevant facts.

(b)  A sues B for a libel imputing disgraceful conduct to A. B affirms that the matter alleged to be libelous is true. The position and relation of the parties at the time when the libel was published may be relevant facts as introductory to the facts in issue. The particulars of a dispute between A and B about a matter unconnected with the alleged libel are irrelevant, though the fact that there was a dispute may be relevant if it affected the relations between A and B.

(c)   A is accused of a crime. The fact that soon after the commission of the crime A absconded from his house, is relevant, under section 8, as conduct subsequent to and affected by facts in issue. The fact that at the time when he left home he had sudden and urgent business at the place, to which he went, is relevant, as tending to explain the fact that he left home suddenly. The details of the business on which he left are not relevant, except in so far as they are necessary to show that the business was sudden and urgent.

(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.

(f)   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.

10. Things said or done by conspirator in reference to common intention.

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.

Illustrations

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 Colombo for a like object, D persuaded persons to join the conspiracy in Kandy, E published writings advocating the object in view at Galle, and F transmitted from Kalutara to G at Negombo the money which C had collected at Colombo, 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.

11. When facts not otherwise relevant are relevant.

Facts not otherwise relevant are relevant—

(a)  if they are inconsistent with any fact in issue or relevant fact;

(b)  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.

Illustrations

(a)  The question is, whether A committed a crime at Colombo on a certain day. The fact that on that day A was at Galle 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.

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.

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, recognised, asserted, or denied, or which was inconsistent with its existence.

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

Illustration

The question is, whether, A has a right to a fishery. A deed conferring the fishery on A’s ancestors, a mortgage of the fishery by A’s father, a subsequent grant of the fishery by A’s father irreconcilable with the mortgage, particular instances in which A’s father exercised the right, or in which the exercise of the right was stopped by A’s neighbours, are relevant facts.

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

Facts showing the existence of any state of mind such 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.

Explanation 1

A fact relevant as showing the existence of a relevant state of mind must show that the state of mind exists, not generally, but in reference to the particular matter in question.

Explanation 2

But where, upon the trial of a person accused of an offence, the previous commission by the accused of an offence is relevant within the meaning of this section, the previous conviction of such person shall also be a relevant fact.

Illustrations

(a)  A is accused of receiving stolen goods knowing them to be stolen. It is proved that he was in possession of a particular stolen article. The fact that at the same time he was in possession of many other stolen articles is relevant, an tending to show that he knew each and all of the articles of which he was in possession to be stolen.

(b)  A is accused of fraudulently delivering to another person a counterfeit coin which, at the time when he delivered it, he knew to be counterfeit The fact that at the time of its delivery A was possessed of a number of other pieces of counterfeit coin is relevant. The fact that A had been previously convicted of delivering to another person as genuine a counterfeit coin knowing it to be counterfeit is relevant.

(c)   A sues B for a damage done by a dog of B’s which B knew to be ferocious. The facts that the dog had previously bitten X, Y and Z, and that they had made complaints to B, are relevant.

(d)  The question is whether A, the acceptor of a bill of exchange, knew that the name of the payee was fictitious. The fact that A had accepted other bills drawn in the same manner before they could have been transmitted to him by the payee. If the payee had been a real person, is relevant, as showing that A knew that the payee was a fictitious person.

(e)   A is accused of defaming B by publishing an imputation intended to harm the reputation of B. The fact of previous publications by A respecting B, showing ill-will on the part of A towards B, is relevant, as proving A ’s intention to harm B ’s reputation by the particular publication in question. The facts that there was no previous quarrel between A and B, and that A repeated the matter complained of as he heard it, are relevant, as showing that A did not intend to harm the reputation of B.

(f)   A is sued by B for fraudulently representing to B that C was solvent, whereby B, being induced to trust C, who was insolvent, suffered loss. The fact that at the time when A represented C to be solvent, C was supposed to be solvent by his neighbours and by persons dealing with him, is relevant, as showing that A made the representation in good faith.

(g)  A is sued by B for the price of work done by B upon a house of which A is owner, by the order of C, a contractor. A’s defense is that B’s contract was with C.
The fact that A paid C for the work in question is relevant, as proving that A did in good faith make over to C the management of the work in question, so that C was in a position to contract with B on C ’s own account, and not as agent for A.

(h)  A is accused of the dishonest misappropriation of property which he had found, and the question is, whether, when he appropriated it, he believed in good faith that the real owner could not be found. The fact that public notice of the loss of the property had been given in the place where A was is relevant, as showing that A did not in good faith believe that the real owner of the property could not be found. The fact that A knew, or had reason to believe, that the notice was given fraudulently by C, who had heard of the loss of the property and wished to set up a false claim to it, is relevant as showing that the fact that A knew of the notice did not disprove A ’s good faith.

(i)   A is charged with shooting at B with intent to kill him. In order to show A’s intent, the fact of A having previously shot at B may be proved.

(j)   A is charged with sending threatening letters to B. Threatening letters previously sent by A to B may be proved as showing the intention of the letters.

(k)   The question is, whether A has been guilty of cruelty towards B, his wife. Expressions of their feeling towards each other shortly before or after the alleged cruelty are relevant facts.

(l)   The question is, whether A’s death was caused by poison. Statements made by A during his illness as to his symptoms are relevant facts.

(m) The question is, what was the state of A’s health at the time when an assurance on his life was effected. Statements made by A as to the state of his health at or near the time in question are relevant facts.

(n)  A sues B for negligence in providing him with a carriage for hire not reasonably fit for use, whereby A was injured. The fact that B’s attention was drawn on other occasions to the defect of that particular carriage is relevant. The fact that B was habitually negligent about the carriages which he let to hire is irrelevant.

(o)  A is tried for the murder of B by intentionally shooting him dead. The fact that A on other occasions shot at B is relevant as showing his intention to shoot B. The fact that A was in the habit of shooting at people with intent to murder them is irrelevant.

(p)  A is tried for crime. The fact that he said something indicating an intention to commit that particular crime is relevant. The fact that he said something indicating a general disposition to commit crimes of that class is irrelevant.

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.

Illustrations

(a)  A is accused of burning down his house in order to obtain money for which it is insured. The facts that A lived in several houses successively, each of which he insured. In each of which a fire occurred, and after each of which fires A received payment from different insurance office, are relevant as tending to show that the fires were not accidental.

(b)  A is employed to receive money from the debtors of B. It is A’s duty to make entries in a book showing the amounts received by him. He makes an entry showing that on a particular occasion he received less than he really did receive. The question is, whether this false entry was accidental or intentional. The facts that other entries made by A in the same book are false, and that the false entry is in each case in favor of A, are relevant.

(c)   A is accused of fraudulently delivering to B a counterfeit rupee. The question is, whether the delivery of the rupee was accidental. The facts that soon before or son after the delivery to B, A delivered counterfeit rupee to C, D, and E, are relevant, as showing that the delivery to B was not accidental.

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.

Illustrations

(a)  The question is, whether a particular letter was dispatched. The fact that it was the ordinary course of business for all letters put in certain place to be carried to the post, and that that particular letter was put in that place, are relevant.

(b)  The question is, whether a particular letter reached A. The facts that it was posted in due course and was not returned through the dead letter office are relevant.

17. Admissions defined.

(1) An admission is a statement, oral or documentary, which suggests any inference as to any fact in issue or relevant fact, and which is made by any of the persons and under the circumstances hereinafter mentioned.

(2) Confessions defined—A confession is an admission made at any time by a person accused of an offence stating or suggesting the inference that he committed that offence.

18. Admission by party to proceeding or his agent.

(1) Statements made by a party to the proceeding, or by an agent to any such party, whom the court regards, under the circumstances of the case, as expressly or impliedly authorised by him to make them, are admissions.

(2) By suitor in representative character—Statements made by parties to suits suing or sued in representative character are not admissions, unless they were made while the party making them held that character.

(3) Statements made by—

(a)  By party interested in subject-matter—persons who have any proprietary or pecuniary interest in the subject- matter of the proceeding, and who make the statement in their character of persons so interested; or

(b)  By person from whom Interest derived—persons from whom the parties to the suit have derived their interest in the subject-matter of the suit,

are admissions if they are made during the continuance of the interest of the persons making the statements.

19. Admissions by persons whose position must be proved as against party to suit.

Statements made by persons whose position or liability it is necessary to prove as against any party to the suit are admissions if such statements would be relevant as against such persons in relation to such position or liability in a suit brought by or against them, and if they are made whilst the person making them occupies such position or is subject to such liability.

Illustrations

A undertakes to collect rents for B sues A for not collecting rent from C to B. A denies that rent was due from C to B. A statement by C that he owed B rent is an admission, and is a relevant fact as against A. If A denies that C did owe rent to B.

20. Admissions by persons expressly referred to by party to suit.

Statements made by persons to whom a party to the suit has expressly referred for information in reference to a matter in dispute, are admissions.

Illustrations

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