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THE PRINCIPLES OF RELEVANCY AND ADMISSIBILITY IN LAW OF EVIDENCE IN INDIAN COURTS

Shubham Kashyap

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The Indian Evidence Act of 1872 popularized the ideas of relevance and admissibility. Both appear to be the same to the naked eye and to most people. Principles of evidence, on the other hand, have a variety of meanings and aims. For those who are new to the field of law, the author here tries to explain topics through cases.

Keywords:-

• Relevancy

• Admissibility

INTRODUCTION

It is critical that the Law of Evidence be preserved and upheld. It can be employed in both the civil and criminal arenas of the law. It is beneficial to both the civil and criminal legal systems. The law of evidence aids in the enforcement of civil and criminal rights and punishments. Even procedural rules like the Code of Civil Procedure or Code of Criminal Procedure rely on evidence law for guidance. To have a successful criminal or civil case, the law of evidence is essential. The purpose of evidence law is to aid the court in separating the unimportant facts from the important ones in order to reduce the amount of time spent in court. The court determines what is essential for the prosecution or plaintiff to prove his or her case against the defendant or the state to prove a crime against the accused. The law of evidence is used by the court to establish what facts are essential. Two fundamental concepts of evidence law have been developed to help with this. Relevancy and admissibility are two separate issues.

Words such as “relevant” and “admissible” are frequently used in legal discourse. Even in the court of law, lawyers frequently use both interchangeably. The law of evidence relies heavily on both principles.

MEANING AND PRINCIPLES OF RELEVANCY

Connectivity is the key to relevance. Having a connection to something else. According to Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, “relevant” means “connected with what is happening, relating to a subject or to something happening.” It is “having significant and demonstrable bearing on the matter at hand”. Another definition is “providing evidence that tends to establish or deny the thing at issue or that is being discussed.” The word “relevant” comes from the definition given by Collins Dictionary, which states that “the relevant object of a certain sort is the one that is appropriate.” Relevance is defined as “appropriate, apposite, relevant, germane, material, pertinent, pointed, and related.” These are all synonyms for relevancy.

A truth is significant to another, according to Jeremy Bentham’s definition, if it causes or tends to cause persuasion in the mind about the existence of some other fact .

Relative to the absence of the relevant evidence, the likelihood that an assertion is true increases or decreases” (looking for probative value).. The relationship between a piece of evidence and the hypothesis being tested is what we mean by “relevance .”

Relevancy is defined as the degree of relationship and probative value between a fact offered in evidence and the issue to be proved in Key to Evidence, written by Janab. A pair of facts is said to be “relevant” if they are connected in such a way that, in accordance with the ordinary sequence of events, either considered alone or in connection with other facts, demonstrates or makes plausible the past, present, or future existence or lack thereof of the other .

Relevance is defined in Indian evidence law as a fact that falls within any of the terms of the relevance chapter, from section 6 to section 55, in short. In addition, Section 5 explains how Sections 6 and 55 should be interpreted in respect to each other. It signifies that a fact should be relevant to the problem at hand. If any of the concepts from Sections 6 to 55 apply to the facts at issue, then that fact is significant. Sections 6 to 55 are all statements of law, hence the question of their relevance is a legal one.

As a result, saying that something is relevant is not a logical statement. Because of this, it’s also not a fact that anything is relevant. Despite the fact that a fact may be important to the situation at hand, it is only relevant if it falls within the scope of sections 6 to 55. Interestingly, however, anything that is logically important becomes relevant under any of the sections 6 to section 55 as evidence law, despite the fact that these sections were crafted with great care and attention to detail. It is the judge’s job to determine whether or not a fact exists based on the testimony of the witnesses verbally or documentarily. When a witness presents facts to the court, either verbally or in writing, the opposing party must object immediately if the information is irrelevant. As a matter of law, relevance can be argued at any point in a court case. The trial court should note in the order-sheet what the irrelevant fact was, what objections were made to it, and the basis for deeming it relevant, if any, so that it may be examined by the higher courts.

It was held by the court in Knapp v. State that the standard for determining the relevance of evidence is whether or not proving it would help decide the major question at trial. In other words ,

For example, the Bombay High Court recently revised numerous elements of the law of relevance to determine whether facts qualify as pertinent in L. C. Bhatia v State . A fact in issue or a relevant fact is “required to explain or introduce a fact; facts that support or rebut an inference suggested by a fact; facts that establish the identity of anything or person whose identity is relevant; facts that fix the time and place at which any fact in issue or relevant fact happened; facts that show the relation of parties by whom any fact in issue or relevant fact was transacted.”

MEANING OF ADMISSIBILITY

“The quality of being accepted or valid, especially as evidence in a court of law,” admissibility is defined as “n. the characteristic of being acceptable or valid.” The process by which the court decides whether or not the relevant evidence can be admitted by the court under the guidelines established by the Law of Evidence is known as admissibility. “The term admissibility may be used to refer to. Evidence that may be presented in a legal proceeding.” The ability to get in “legal principle that decides whether or not evidence is admissible in courts of law. Even if the evidence is important, it must still be admissible in court.”

RELEVANCY AND ADMISSIBILITY

The idea of admissibility is typically contrasted from relevance. Logic and common sense, practical or human experience, and knowledge of current events define relevance. It is important to note, however, that the admission of evidence is based first and foremost on its relevancy to a high degree of probative value as well as its compliance with any applicable exclusionary standards. Admission, not relevance, is the primary determinant of a case’s admissibility in court. Because of this, logical relevance and legal relevancy are sometimes used interchangeably. Lawyers are responsible for determining whether or whether evidence is relevant to a case, which is a matter of fact. The Supreme Court, in Ram Bihari Yadav vs. the State of Bihar , found that a person’s constitutional rights were not violated “Relevance and admissibility are often used interchangeably, but their legal meanings differ because facts that are relevant are not always admissible; similarly, facts that are admissible can sometimes be irrelevant, such as questions permitted in cross-examination to test the veracity or credit of witnesses, but which are not relevant, are admissible nonetheless. This is a common misunderstanding. Evidence’s probative value is determined by the weight it should be given based on the specifics of each case.” According to Section 136 of the Act, the court can determine whether a fact is important and the way in which it must be proven before it can be admitted. It is the court’s responsibility to ensure that all relevant information are presented to the court and to eliminate any extraneous facts. As early as section 5 on relevance, it provides that testimony may be submitted in any action or case as to whether every fact in question and such other…facts as subsequently will be determined to be relevant, and of no others, exists or does not exist. Indeed, judging on the issue of relevance can be a tough task for the Trial Judge because of its subtlety. Ideally, he should accept rather than deny the facts in questionable circumstances.

When evidence is made acceptable by the Evidence Act and when it is a widely recognised exemption to the rule against hearsay, the evidence does not become inadmissible simply because direct evidence is also available. “

When evidence is presented under Section 5 to 55 of the Evidence Code, it’s admissible in court. Due to other parts of the Act, relevant facts may not be admitted under Section 5 to 55 if they conflict with other sections of the Act. The Act’s major exclusionary criteria, as stated above, remove significant facts from consideration. Witness statements, confessions and proof of the defendant’s character are all examples of hearsay statements that can be used in a court of law to exclude evidence that would otherwise be admissible.

Section 24 prohibits the use of any enticement, threat, or promise to gain a confession. Section 25 prohibits the admissibility of a confession made to a police officer who is not an Inspector. Section 26 prohibits the admissibility of an accused’s confessions made while in police custody, even if the confessions are important. A killer confessing to the officer that he killed the victim, for example, is pertinent, but it is not admissible and will be subject to Section 25’s penalties for admission. In the same way, if the killer confessed to a fellow prisoner, but not to a police officer, he may still be charged with murder. A new section of the penal code, this time u/s 26, applies since the confession was made while the police officer was in detention, even if he wasn’t the one to make the request.

There can be no evidence of an unrelated fact in court. Under some circumstances, evidence that is not relevant under Sections 5 to 55 may nonetheless be accepted. The following are a few examples: Section 32: Statement of pertinent facts by a person who is dead or cannot be located.

Section 155: Impeaching the credibility of a witness. The evidence of a witness may be corroborated by previous comments he or she has made. 157 of the Code.

“The Evidence Act governs whether or not a document is relevant and admissible as evidence, while the Code of Civil Procedure governs how it should be submitted in court and how the court should deal with it. Documents provided as evidence are not covered by the Evidence Act.”

CONCLUSION

Both being relevant and being admissible are equally important aspects of evidence. It is the responsibility of the court to admit the relevant evidence while simultaneously excluding the material that is not relevant to the case. Evidence is evaluated not just on its relevance but also on its ability to be admitted into a court of law. It is up to the judge to determine which pieces of evidence are pertinent to the issue at hand while simultaneously deciding which ones should be disregarded.

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Legally Speaking

SUPREME COURT CRITICISES HIGH COURT: POSTING ANTICIPATORY BAIL PLEA AFTER TWO MONTHS CAN’T BE APPRECIATED

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The Supreme Court in the case Sanjay versus The State (NCT of Delhi) & ANR observed and stated that in the case where personal liberty is involved, the court is expected to pass orders at the earliest while taking into account the merits of the matter in one way or other. Further, the top court observed that posting of an application for anticipatory bail after a couple of months cannot be appreciated by the court.

The bench comprising of Justice C. T. Ravikumar and the Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia was hearing a June 2 SLP against the Delhi High Court in a petition filed under section 420, 467, 468, 471, 120-B, 34 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 for seeking anticipatory bail in a 2022 FIR, a notice is issued. It was stated that the learned APP for the state is present and accepts the notice and seeks time to file status report. The High Court in the impugned order stated that Let the status report be filed by the state prior to the next date with an advance copy to the learned counsel for the petitioner. The matter is to be list on 31.08.2022.

It was noted by the bench comprising of Justice Ravikumar and the Justice Dhulia that in the captioned Special Leave Petition, the grievance of the petitioner is that the application for anticipatory bail moved by the petitioner, being Crl. M.A. No. 11480 of 2022 in Bail Application No. 1751 of 2022 without granting any interim protection, was posted to 31.08.2022. on 24.05.2022, the bail application was moved on.

However, the bench asserted that the bench is of the considered view that in a matter involving personal liberty, the Court is expected to to pass orders at the earliest while taking into account the merits of the matter in one way or other.

It was declared by the bench that at any rate posting an application for anticipatory bail after a couple of months cannot be appreciated by the court.

Further, the bench requested to the High Court to dispose off the application for anticipatory bail on its own merits and in accordance with law expeditiously, preferably within a period of three weeks after reopening of the Court. Adding to it, the bench stated that if the main application could not be disposed off, for any reason, within the stipulated time, relief sought for in the interlocutory and on and on its own merits, the application shall be considered.

While disposing of the SLP, the bench directed in its order that we grant interim protection from arrest to the petitioner herein, Till such time.

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IN THE CIRP OF BOMBAY RAYON FASHIONS LTD, NATIONAL COMPANY APPELLATE TRIBUNAL (NCLT) STAYS THE CONSTITUTION OF COC

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The National Company Appellate Tribunal (NCLT) in the case National Company Appellate Tribunal (NCLT), comprising of the bench of Justice M. Venugopal (Judicial Member) and the technical member, Shri Kanthi Narahari observed while adjudicating an appeal filed in Prashant Agarwal v Vikash Parasprampuria, has stayed in the Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (CIRP) the constitution of the Committee of Creditors (COC) of Bombay Rayon Fashions Ltd. on 15.06.2022, the order was passed.

FACTS OF THE CASE:

The Operational Creditor or the Respondent, Vikash Parasprampuria is the sole Proprietor of Chiranjilal Yarn Traders and the respondent had supplied goods to a public listed company i.e., Bombay Rayon Fashions Limited (“Corporate Debtor”). The Operational Creditor raised nine invoices which was accepted by the Corporate Debtor without any demur and it was noted that the dispute, protest and part payments were also made towards certain invoices.

The reminder letter was sent by the Operational Creditor when the Corporate Debtor failed to release balance payments letters followed by a Demand Notice under Section 8 of the IBC dated 05.11.2020, which was delivered to the Corporate Debtor but no response was received from the Corporate Debtor.

MUMBAI NCLT PROCEEDINGS

An application under section 9 of the Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code, 2016 was filled by the Operational Creditor before the NCLT Mumbai Bench, seeking to initiation of CIRP against the Corporate Debtor, for defaulting in payment of Rs.1,60,87,838/-, wherein the principal amount was Rs. 97,87,220/- and remaining was interest. 01.11.2020, was the default date.

the Operational Creditor placed reliance so as to justify the compliance of Rs. 1 Crore threshold for initiating CIRP of the NCLT judgement in the case Pavan Enterprises v. Gammon India, it was held in the case that interest is payable to the Operational of Financial Creditor then the debt will include interest, in terms of any agreement. However, by including the interest component the threshold of Rs. 1 Crore was being me and no reply has been filled by the Corporate Debtor.

NCLT DECISION:

An order dated 07.06.2022, the NCLT Mumbai Bench observed that the Corporate Debtor had time and again by its letter, invoices and by making part payment acknowledged its liability.

It was stated by the bench that the application under Section 9 was complete in all respects as required by law and there was a default in the payment of debt amount by the Corporate Debtor. The bench accepted the application and the CIRP was initiated against the Corporate Debtor, Mr. Santanu T Ray, Interim Resolution Professional was appointed.

NCLT PROCEEDINGS:

An application was filled by the appellant, Prashant Agarwal before the NCLT against the order dated 07.06.2022.

The settlement was proposed by the Respondent by submitting that if it would be satisfied if the Appellant pays the principal amount along with the CIRP cost towards settlement and on the settlement proposal, the appellant is yet to seek instructions.

Accordingly, the bench in the CIRP of the Corporate Debtor stayed the constitution of CoC and the CIRP process would otherwise continue.

The Appellant to accept or reject the settlement proposal of the Respondent, the bench listed the matter on 07.07.2022.

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ESTOPPEL CANNOT OVERRIDE LAW: SUPREME COURT ACCEPTS UNSUCCESSFUL CANDIDATES’ CHALLENGES TO SELECTION PROCESS HELD AGAINST REGULATIONS

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The Supreme Court in the case Krishna Rai (Dead) Through LRs versus The Benarus Hindu University & Others observed and held that the principle of estoppel or acquiescence would not be applied in a selection process when the principle of estoppel is held contrary to the relevant rules.

The bench comprising of Justices Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice Vikram Nath observed and reiterated that that the procedure in the relevant service manual will prevail over the principle of estoppel and the principle of estoppel cannot override in the eye of law.

An appeal was considered by bench relating to the filling up of 14 posts in Class III (Junior Clerk) in the Benarus Hindu University by way of promotion. However, the notification inviting the applications from Class IV employees for promotion to Class III had not prescribed that interview will be conducted in addition to the typing test. It was also stated that the The service rules also did not mention interview for promotion to Class III. However, it finalized 14 candidates, the Board of Examiners conducted an interview as well.

Before the Allahabad High Court, some of the candidates challenged the selection process by some candidates, who did not get selected. The candidates alleging that through the manual did not prescribe an interview and the Board of Examiners conducted the interview by “changing the rules of the game”. The Selection process was set aside by the Single bench of the High Court by holding that a grave error was committed by preparing the merit list on the basis of the interview as well.

on appeal by the BHU, the division bench of the High Court set aside the judgement of the Single bench on the ground that the petitioners without protest after having participated in the interview, the petitioners are estopped from challenging the selection process after becoming unsuccessful. The appellants approached the Supreme Court challenging the order of division bench.

The Court noted that the Supreme Court held that the division bench fell in error by applying the principle of estoppel. the Manual duly approved by the Executive Council, According to para 6.4, all Class-IV employees who had put in five years’ service and passed matriculation examination or equivalent, those employees were eligible for the promotion to the post of Junior Clerk Grade.

the departmental written test of simple English, Hindi, and Arithmetic, but could not pass the typing test, was passed by the eligible candidates and still the candidates would be eligible for promotion.

It was observed by the Court that the Board on their own changed the criteria and by introducing an interview it made it purely merit based and the merit list was also prepared on the basis of marks awarded in the type test, the written test and interview.

The Top Court said that it is settled principle that the principle of estoppel cannot override the law and the manual duly approved by the Executive Council will prevail over any such principle of estoppel or acquiescence.

The Court remarked, while referring to the precents that If the law requires something to be done in a particular manner, there can be no estoppel against law, then it must be done in that particular manner, and if it is not done in that particular manner, then in the eye of the law, it would have no existence.

It was stated that the case laws relied upon by the Division bench had no application in the facts of the present case as none of those judgments laid down states that the principle of estoppel would be above in the eye of law.

Accordingly, The judgement of the Single bench was restored and the appeal was allowed, the judgement of the division bench was set aside.

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PRIMARY TEACHER RECRUITMENT SCAM: CALCUTTA HIGH COURT ORDERS REMOVAL OF CHAIRMAN OF WB BOARD OF PRIMARY EDUCATION

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On Monday, the Calcutta High Court removed Trinamool MLA Manik Bhattacharya from the post of Chairman of the Board of Primary Education, in connection with the alleging irregularities in the recruitment of the teachers in the State government-sponsored and aided primary schools.

Earlier, the bench comprising of Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay observed and ordered that a court-monitored probe by a special investigation team of the CBI into the alleged illegal appointments of at least 269 primary teachers.

It was contended that such a direction was passed on the basis of the recommendation put forward by the CBI additional director Upendranath Biswas.

The additional director Upendranath Biswas headed the probe into the Bihar fodder scam that led to the conviction of that state’s former chief minister Lalu Prasad Yadav.

From 2011 to 2016, A minister in the first Mamata Banerjee government. additional director Upendranath Biswas had named one Chandan Mondal of Bagda, North 24 Parganas for allegedly giving jobs of primary school teachers in lieu of money.

The Court ordered that the Secretary of the Board, Ratna Chakraborty Bagchi, would remain in the charge till the new appointment is made to the Chairman of the Board. Thereafter, it was intstructed to Bhattacharya to appear in person before the court for further investigation.

It was further ordered by Justice Gangopadhyay that the CBI Joint Director N. Venugopal shall head the SIT and supervise the whole investigation as the counsel appearing for the Court about the constitution of the SIT in accordance with his earlier order.

Six SIT members name have been submitted by the CBI, who will be investigating the cases under the supervision of its anti-corruption branch’s superintendent of police, and its joint director.

Appearing for the petitioner, senior counsel Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya had requested requested CBI counsel Billwadal Bhattacharyya to reconsider the name of K.C. Risinamol for replacing her by some other officer of similar rank, during the course of proceedings.

Accordingly, It was stated that the Counsel for the CBI had averred that he would talk to senior counsel Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya as well as his client in this regard and apprise the Court about the appropriate decision taken in this regard.

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Legally Speaking

‘PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT CANNOT BE OBTAINED BY PAYING BRIBE’: MADRAS HC REJECTS PETITION OF ACCUSED FOR INTERIM CUSTODY OF RS 10 LAKH SEIZED DURING JOB RACKET CASE PROBE

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The Madras High Court in the case K.Sadagopan v. State Rep.by, Inspector of Police and ors observed and dismissed a petition seeking to provide an interim custody of Rs 10 lakh, which is seized in a job racketing case. The Madras High Court bench comprising of Justice D Bharatha Chakravarthy expressed his displeasure at the way people of how they were willing to pay huge amount of money for getting a job. The bench enunciated those public appointments were made through a selection procedure and it cannot be obtained by paying bribes. The bench further highlighted that such persons does not realise that it took years of work to earn such salaries and gave no though to the plight of persons who scored more marks than them.

The Court in its order stated:

Through all the concerns it is to be understood that the public appointments is only done through selection process and no job can be obtained by giving bribe. But the present case, it is it is seen that the petitioner with his full knowledge has given a huge amount of Rs.78 Lakhs for the purpose of securing job under Class -I and without any thought about that how many years a person has to work and earn that much of salary and the accused without any guilt as to what will happen to the person, who has scored much more marks. However, the court inclined to pass any order expediting the trial and hence, the Court concluded that the petition is liable to be dismissed.

Facts of the Case:

The petitioner was a victim of Job racketing and the police in the course of investigation has seized some amounts and had frozen the accounts of the accused. An application was filled by the petitioner under section 451 and section 457 for a return of Rs. 10 lakh as interim custody of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. Therefore, the application was rejected by the Magistrate who held that the investigation was at the nascent stage and that the matter could be decided only during trial. However, the petitioner approached the high court seeking to quash this impugned order and to direct interim custody of Rs. 10 lakhs, the return of money in the account of the accused.

The Court remarked while dismissing the petition that the petitioner appeared to be a greedy person who paid a sum of Rs.78 lakh for getting a Class-I job. Furthermore, the petitioner approached the court for the return of money without even waiting for the trial to be completed as only then a clear finding could be arrived at.

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Plea in Supreme Court to direct Centre to reconsider Agnipath recruitment scheme for Armed forces

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In the case Harsh Ajay Singh v Union of India, a writ petition is filed before the Supreme Court seeking issuance of directions to the Centre to reconsider its “Agnipath” recruitment scheme for armed forces.

The Writ petition is filled by Advocate Harsh Singh, It is stated in the writ petition that the announcement of scheme had caused nation-wide protest in Haryana, Uttarakhand, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and various other states due to the short- term duration of the scheme in the Indian Army for Four years coupled with future uncertainties of the trained “Agniveers”.

It was further contended by Advocate Harsh Singh in his petition that the Agniveers, would not be matured so as to retain self-discipline with the realization to become a better version of himself or herself both professionally as also personally, on completion of the four-year tenure in the prime of their youth.

Against the Scheme backdrop, Advocate Harsh Singh has also sought for implementation of scheme from June 24, 2022.

It was contended in the petition filled that there is a great possibility for the Agniveers trained under the scheme to go stray. The petition filled by Advocate Kumud Lata Das stated that making up the fighting sinews of its armed forces, the nation should never compromise with the army personnel’s. They shouldn’t be looked upon as a burden to the exchequer, but as rough diamonds, to be cut and polished to their maximum capabilities and then deployed in the defence of the nation

The petitioner has also served the petition to the Union, as a result of caveat filed by the Centre.

A plea has already been filled in the Supreme Court challenging the Centre’s “Agnipath” recruitment scheme for armed forces.

It may be noted that another Public Interest Litigation has been filled in the Supreme Court for setting up a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to enquire into the mass violence and the damage to the public properties which include that of railways, during the widespread protests against the Centre’s “Agnipath” recruitment scheme.

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