Cardinal Rules of Law of Evidence

December 16, 2022
A statue of Lady Justice

Justice Hardwicke’s decision, in the case of Ford v. Hopkins (1700) is a noteworthy one as he mentioned that “no evidence will be admissible unless it is the best evidence that nature will allow”

The Indian Evidence Act, 1872, Sections 91 to 100, which determine the veracity of the documents delivered to the court, incorporate the best evidence rule.

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Principle Of Best Evidence Rule:

1. The relevant facts and Fact in Issue shall be duly proved to the satisfaction of the court.

2. Evidence must be confined to matter in issue, fact in issue, relevant fact.

3. Hearsay evidences must not be admitted.

4. Documentary evidence will exclude the oral evidence, documentary evidences are considered to be intrinsic evidence whereas oral evidences are extrinsic evidence.

5. Primary evidence will exclude secondary evidence. 6. Special powers to the court to extract the best evidence under this power court may ask any questions to the parties or witnesses to arrive at a just decision in the case by finding the truth behind relevant facts or fact in issue.

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