Section 6-10 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872

SECTION 6Relevancy of facts forming part of same transaction. [1]

EXPLANATION

This section’s theory is that if a “transaction” such as a contract or a crime, is a fact in issue, then proof may be provided of every fact that is part of the same transaction.

Transaction

Transaction is a series of acts that are so connected as to be called by a single name e.g. a contract or a crime, etc. A ‘transaction’ may consist of a single event extending across a few minutes, or it may be spread over a number of different facts, taking a much longer period, and happening on multiple occasions or at different locations. Where the transaction consists of a different act, in order that the chain of such acts may constitute the same transaction, they must be linked together by proximity of time, proximity or unity of place, continuity of action, or community of purpose or design. A transaction can only be fully understood if all its essential components are known and are not spread from one another.

Res Gestae

The principal of law expressed in S.6 is commonly recognised as the doctrine of res gestae. Facts that can be proved, as part of res gestae, must be facts other than those in issue but must be linked with it. Res gestae includes facts which form part of same transaction.

R v. Bedingfied[2] In this case, a woman with a neck cut suddenly came out of the room and told the witness “Aunt see what Bedingfied did to me”. It was held that it was not admissible as res gestae because she made the assertion after the incident had ended.

Rutten v. Regina[3] In this case the caller a woman who gave her address in distress asked the telephone operator to contact the police but the call could not be completed because it abruptly ended. Once police arrived at her place, she was found dead there. Her husband, who was charged with  shooting to kill her, took the plea that the fire was accidental but it was held to be intentional on the grounds of her call to the operator to connect the police as no victim of accident would think about getting the police before  the incident. The woman’s call and whatever she said was considered res gestae.

SECTION 7 – Facts which are the occasion, cause or effect of facts in issue.[4]

EXPLANATION

  • Cause and occasion of facts:

Evidence relates to the set of circumstances which comprise cause and occasion for the occurrence of facts in issue is relevant. In the past the cause and effect of particular fact would in the future have the same cause and effect.

In R v. Richardson,[5] the deceased girl in her cottage was alone and it was considered as an occasion for murder.

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In Indian Airlines v. Madhuri Chowdhry,[6] the report of an air crash by an enquiry committee was considered relevant as the cause of the accident.

  • Effect:

An effect is the final consequence of an act performed, that not only hold track of the act’s occurrence but also helps to know the nature of act. accordingly, the facts which are the effect of a fact in issue or relevant fact, are relevant under section 7.

Illustration: marks close to the place where the murder took place are instances of murder. The marks or foot prints is relevant as an effect.

  • Cause and effect:

A man was charged for trespassing a hotel room at night. The fact is that the scarf of the man (accused) was recovered from the room of a hotel which was occupied by his wife. The recovery of scarf is relevant and shows the cause and effect.

  • Opportunity:

An opportunity can be either mere opportunity or exclusive opportunity. Mere opportunity a person has to do something that may give rise to an inference that he has done it is relevant. It shows conclusively in exclusive opportunity that the act was performed by the person who had exclusive opportunity to do so.

In R v. Donellan,[7] the accused knew that at certain intervals the deceased  takes a certain medicine administered by his mother. The accused used this as an opportunity and replaced the medicine bottle with poison.

  • State of things:

The state of things means the collection of facts which has to be placed before the court as a background in order to make principal fact intelligible to them. It is relevant.

SECTION 8 – Motive, preparation and previous or subsequent conduct.[8]

EXPLANATION

  • Motive

A motive is something that moves a man to perform a specific act. The reason or ground for an action is motive. By motive is meant something that can lead to, some kind of conduct, give birth or even prevent it. In right sense the motive is the emotion that should have led to the act.

Motive alone is not a crime, but it becomes important when crime is committed. Mere motive in FIR cannot be the ground to acquit the accused.

In State of M.P. v. Dhirendra Kumar,[9] Munnibai was killed. Respondent Dhirendra Kumar has had an evil eye on her. Respondent was tenant in deceased father in law house. Her mother-in-law who in turn informed her husband who asked respondent to vacate the house. It was held, it could be taken as motive of murder.

  • Preparation

It means an arrangement, measures or design that is necessary to commit a crime or certain thing. Preparation alone is not a crime except preparation to wage war against the Indian Government, preparation to commit dacoity and sedition.

Section 8 of the Evidence Act make provisions for the acts of preparation to be relevant. Any fact which shows that the preparation was made for fact in issue or for any relevant fact, is relevant. when an offence has been committed, facts may become very relevant in support of preparation produced.

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In Appu v. State,[10] the inn-keeper and his wife were accused of guest’s murder. On the night the murder was committed, they sent the maid-servant out of the house so that there may not be anybody to see the offence being committed. The next morning when she returned, she was made to sleep in another part of the building. This is said to be a relevant preparation to prevent the discovery of his crime.

  • Conduct

Conduct is the expression of the quality or condition operating for producing that effect in outward behaviour. It is adjusted conscious attitude to do an Act or series of Acts. A man’s conduct includes what he does and what he omits to do.

The question in Queen Empress v Abdullha[11] was whether the signs made by the deceased could be accepted as the conduct and a dying declaration. It has been decided that along with the questions put to her, the signs made by the deceased can be taken into account. The signs alone cannot be admitted by way of conduct under sections 8 and 9 of the Act. Thus, conduct of the injured person is not always relevant.

  • Previous conduct

A conduct to be relevant need not be only previous or subsequent. Both are relevant. Under section 8 previous declaration of intention, threat or attempts to commit an offence are instances of previous or antecedent Conduct and are relevant.

In Alijan Munshi v. State[12] Complaints of the deceased to the police expressing apprehension of death made two months before death are admissible.

  • Subsequent conduct

Subsequent conduct of a person is relevant under the section. Instances such as sudden change of life, silence on part of the accused, false statement, suppression of evidence, running away after occurrence are subsequent conduct.

SECTION 9 – Facts necessary to explain or introduce relevant facts.[13]

EXPLANATION

Section 9 takes into account various facts which are either introductory or explanatory in nature and are relevant. These are as follows:

  • Explanatory facts

There are many pieces of evidence which, if taken separately, have no meaning, but become relevant when considered in relation with some other facts. Such facts explain the fact in issue or fact relevant to it. Illustrations (e) & (f).

  • Introductory facts

Facts which are introductory to a relevant fact, are of high significance in recognizing real nature of transaction and being relevant. Thus, evidence is allowed of facts necessary to introduce fact in issue or relevant fact. Illustrations (a), (b), (d), (e) and (f) talks about the introductory facts.

  • Facts supporting inference

There are facts that are not relevant as facts in issue or as relevant facts but they justify the inference implied by the facts in issue or relevant fact or contradict the facts in issue or relevant fact.

  • Facts rebut inference

Those facts are relevant which can rebut or contradict the inferences suggested by the facts in issue or relevant fact. Illustration (e)

  • Facts establishing identity of thing or person

When the identity of thing is in question, every fact that will help identify the thing is relevant. Relevant facts include personal characteristics such as age, height, appearance, accent, handwriting, manner, dress, blood group, occupation, family relationship, education, knowledge of particular person and other details of personal background.

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Facts which fix the time or place of facts in issue

Facts that are essential to fix time and place of the occurrence are relevant. The fact of time and place become very important when the accused pleads alibi.

Example:

“The question is whether murder of A was committed by B. It must be proved at what time A was murdered because it is very necessary that B must be present near A at the time of murder. If the time and place of murder is not known it cannot be said that B murdered A. If A is murdered at Allahabad at 10 a.m. on 3rd of October, 1950, and if it is proved that B was at Calcutta at 10 a.m. on the same day, B cannot be the murderer of A. So these facts which fix the time and place of the facts in issue or relevant facts are relevant.”[14]

  • Facts showing relations

Those facts are relevant that shows relationship of parties between whom such facts were transacted.

SECTION 10– Things said or done by conspirator in reference to common design.[15]

EXPLANATION

Section 10 talks about the admissibility of evidence in case of conspiracy. The special aspect of the section is that, if it relates to the conspiracy, anything said or done or written by any member of conspiracy is evidence and admissible against the other. This section should read with Section 120A of the Indian Penal Code. There must exist “common intention” between all conspirator at the time when the thing was said, done or written. Confessions made after the object of the conspiracy is carried out by the accused are not relevant since the common intention then did not exist.

The Supreme Court held in State of Gujarat v Mohammed Atik[16] that any statement made after arrest by an accused, whether a confession or otherwise, shouldn’t really had to fall within this section’s scope. Section 10 cannot be invoked against co-accused because confession was made by the accused after common intention of parties was no longer in existence.

[1] Section 6, Indian Evidence Act, 1872

[2] (1695) 6 skin 402.

[3] (1971) 1 WLR 801 (PC).

[4] Section 7, Indian Evidence Act, 1872

[5] (Wills pp 225-29)

[6] (AIR 1965 CAL 252)

[7] (1955 1 QB 388).

[8] Section 8, Indian Evidence Act, 1872

[9] AIR 1997 SC 318

[10] AIR 1971 Mad 194.

[11] ILR 7 (All) 385.

[12] Alijan Munshi v. State, AIR 1960 Bombay 290

[13] Section 9, Indian Evidence Act, 1872

[14] Batuk Lal, The Law of Evidence 146 (Central Law Agency, Allahabad, 2018).

[15] Section 10, Indian Evidence Act, 1872

[16] AIR 1998 SC 1686

Author: Bahaar,
Amity Law School, Noida

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