Applicability of evidence act

July 4, 2023

The Indian Evidence Act is a procedural law that comes into the role at the trial stage when evidence records. Provisions of Evidence Act provides on what facts parties can adduce evidence, when evidence shall be admitted by the court, what facts are relevant to the case, how the recording of evidence is done, upon whom the burden of proof shall lie etc.

Section 1 of the Evidence Act provides that Act is applicable to “judicial proceedings” of civil and criminal matters and upon court-martial, but is not applicable to arbitration proceedings and affidavits.

What are Judicial proceedings?

Judicial proceedings are not defined under the Evidence Act but under section 2 (i) of CrPC which states that the court is empowered to take evidence on oath and on the basis of evidence authorized to base its judgment are judicial proceedings. This means proceedings in which the court is authorized to decide the jural relationship between parties on the basis of collected evidence and is empowered to exercise the judicial mind and discretion are judicial proceedings.

Example:- panchayat proceedings – though panchayat decides disputes between parties, they are not judicial proceedings as panchayat does not determine the legal rights and obligations between the parties.

Why Evidence Act not applicable to the Arbitration proceedings and Affidavits?

  • Arbitration proceedings- the Arbitration and Conciliation Act expressly provides that arbitral proceedings are not bound by the provisions of the CPC and Evidence Act
  • Affidavits- Section 3 of the evidence act defines the term “evidence” and according to which any statement given before a court is oral evidence, as a statement in the affidavit is not recorded before a court therefore it is not evidence and provisions of the Evidence Act not applicable upon the same.

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