The Revival of Ray LIV

Court should be over­ cautious to place reliance on a piece of evidence with which the concerned witness has not been confronted despite an opportunity to do so. As held by this Court in Sita Ram Bhau Patil v. Ramchandra Nago Patil, (1977) 2 SCC 49 an admission must not only be proved but also confronted with at the stage of cross examination. It would be apposite to extract…

Hon’ble Justice Surya Kant, Raveen Kumar v. State of Himachal Pradesh, [Criminal Appeal Nos. 2187 of 2011].

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The provisions in The Indian Evidence Act, 1873 that “admission is not conclusive proof” are to be considered in regard to two features of evidence. First, what weight is to be attached to an admission? In order to attach weight it has to be found out whether the admission is clear, unambiguous and is a relevant piece of evidence. Second, even if the admission is proved in accordance with the provisions of the Evidence Act and if it is to be used against the party who has made it, “it is sound that if a witness is under cross­ examination on oath, he should be given an opportunity, if the documents are to be used against him, to tender his explanation and to clear up the point of ambiguity or dispute.” This is a general salutary and intelligible rule (See, Bal Gangadhar Tilak v. Shrinivas Pandit, AIR 1915 PC 7)… Therefore, a mere proof of admission, after the person whose admission it is alleged to be has concluded his evidence, will be of no avail and cannot be utilized against him.”

– Hon’ble Chief Justice of India, Hon’ble Justice A.N. Ray, Sita Ram Bhau Patil v. Ramchandra Nago Patil, (1977) 2 SCC 49.