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Section 144 Indian Evidence Act 1872: Evidence as to matters in writing

Section 144 (Evidence as to matters in writing) under Chapter X (Of the Examination of Witnesses) of Part III (Production and Effect of Evidence) of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 —

❝Any witness may be asked, whilst under examination, whether any contract, grant or other disposition of property, as to which he is giving evidence, was not contained in a document, and if he says that it was, or if he is about to make any statement as to the contents of any document, which, in the opinion of the Court, ought to be produced, the adverse party may object to such evidence being given until such document is produced, or until facts have been proved which entitle the party who called the witness to give secondary evidence of it.

 Explanation. –– A witness may give oral evidence of statements made by other persons about the contents of documents if such statements are in themselves relevant facts.

Illustration

 The question is, whether A assaulted B.

 C deposes that he heard A say to D–– “B wrote a letter accusing me of theft, and I will be revenged on him.” This statement is relevant, as showing A’s motive for the assault, and evidence may be given of it, though no other evidence is given about the letter.❞



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Notes:

The Indian Evidence Act, 1872 (Act No. 1 of 1872) was amended by:

01. Indian Evidence Act Amendment Act, 1872 (Act No. 18 of 1872);
02. Indian Evidence Act, 1872 Amendment Act, 1887 (Act No. 03 of 1887);
03. Indian Evidence Act, 1872 Amendment Act, 1891 (Act No. 03 of 1891);
04. Indian Evidence Act, 1899 (Act No. 05 of 1899);
05. Repealing and Amending Act, 1914 (Act No. 10 of 1914);
06. Repealing and Amending Act, 1919 (Act No. 18 of 1919);
07. Indian Evidence (Amendment) Act, 1926 (Act No. 31 of 1926);
08. Repealing and Amending Act, 1927 (Act No. 10 of 1927);
09. Amending Act, 1934 (Act No. 35 of 1934);
10. Government of India (Adaptation of Indian Laws) Order, 1937;
11. Repealing Act, 1938 (Act No. 01 of 1938);
12. Indian Independence (Adaptation of Central Acts and Ordinances) Order, 1948;
13. Repealing and Amending Act, 1949 (Act No. 40 of 1949);
14. Adaptation of Laws Order, 1950;
15. Part B States (Laws) Act, 1951 (Act No. 03 of 1951);
16. Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 1983 (Act No. 43 of 1983);
17. Criminal Law (Second Amendment) Act, 1983 (Act No. 46 of 1983);
18. Terrorist Affected Areas (Special Courts) Act, 1984 (Act No. 61 of 1984);
19. Information Technology Act, 2000 (Act No. 21 of 2000);
20. Indian Evidence (Amendment) Act, 2002 (Act No. 04 of 2003);
21. Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2005 (Act No. 02 of 2006);
22. Information Technology (Amendment) Act, 2008 (Act No. 10 of 2009);
23. Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013 (Act No. 13 of 2013);
24. Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2018 (Act No. 22 of 2018).

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