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Section 148 Indian Evidence Act 1872: Court to decide when question shall be..

Section 148 (Court to decide when question shall be asked and when witness compelled to answer) under Chapter X (Of the Examination of Witnesses) of Part III (Production and Effect of Evidence) of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 —

❝If any such question relates to a matter not relevant to the suit or proceeding, except in so far as it affects the credit of the witness by injuring his character, the Court shall decide whether or not the witness shall be compelled to answer it, and may, if it thinks fit, warn the witness that he is not obliged to answer it. In exercising its discretion, the Court shall have regard to the following considerations:—

 (1) such questions are proper if they are of such a nature that the truth of the imputation conveyed by them would seriously affect the opinion of the Court as to the credibility of the witness on the matter to which he testifies;

 (2) such questions are improper if the imputation which they convey relates to matters so remote in time, or of such a character, that the truth of the imputation would not affect, or would affect in a slight degree, the opinion of the Court as to the credibility of the witness on the matter to which he testifies;

 (3) such questions are improper if there is a great disproportion between the importance of the imputation made against the witness’s character and the importance of his evidence;

 (4) the Court may, if it sees fit, draw, from the witness’s refusal to answer, the inference that the answer if given would be unfavourable.❞



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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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