November 29, 2023
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‘Fact in issue’ and ‘relevant fact’ are the two different terms that have been used in the Indian Evidence Act, 1872. There remains some kind of confusion and doubt with respect to their meaning, uses, differences, and applicability among the judicial aspirants in particular and the law students in general. Therefore, the present article aims to explain, differentiate, and simplify both the terms ‘fact in issue’ and ‘relevant fact.’

Fact in issue

Fact in issue has been defined under Section 3 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 in the following words

The expression facts in issue means and includes

Any fact from which, either by itself or in connection with other facts, the existence, non-existence, nature or extent of any right, liability, or disability, asserted or denied in any suit or proceeding, necessarily follows.

Explanation- Whenever, under the provisions of the law for the time being in force relating to Civil Procedure, any Court records an issue of fact, the fact to be asserted or denied in the answer to such issue is a fact in issue.

This definition may be simplified as-

The expression ‘fact in issue’ refers to the facts out of which

  • any legal right, liability, disability arises and
  • such legal right, disability and liability is under inquiry and
  • upon which the Court has to give its decision.

For example

  • In criminal cases, charge which is framed by the trial court constitutes the fact in issue.
  • In civil cases, the fact in issue is determined by the process of framing of issue under Order 14 of the Cpc, 1908.

Therefore, in short it may be stated that fact in issue refers to those fact in support of which the parties shall produce their evidences to win over their case.


A is accused of the murder of B. At his trial the following facts may be in issue

  • That A caused B’s death
  • That A intended to cause B’s death
  • That A had received grave and sudden provocation from B
  • That A, at the time of doing the act which caused B’s death, was, by reason of unsoundness of mind, incapable of knowing its nature.

Relevant Fact

According to Section 3 of the Indian Evidence Act, a fact is said to be relevant to other fact only when it is connected to other fact in a manner as has been given under the provisions of this Act i.e. from Section 5 to 55.

Though there is no any as such definition of the relevant facts, they may be defined as-

When facts are so related to the other facts as to render the existence/non-existence of other facts probable according to common course of events or human conduct, they are called relevant.

Further Section 5 of the Act makes it clear that a party may adduce evidence in any suit or proceeding of only of-

  • Relevant fact
  • Fact in issue and
  • No other


  • Motive is a relevant fact (Section 8)
  • Facts which form the part of same transaction are relevant (Section 6 )
  • Facts which introduce, explain, or establish the identity of relevant fact or fact in issue are relevant (Section 9)
  • Facts which constitute the effect, cause or opportunity of occurrence or state of thing of fact in issue are relevant (Section 7)

Difference between the relevant fact and fact in issue

The following table summarizes the difference between the two.

Fact in issue It is a necessary ingredient of any right, liability, and disability.It is also called principle fact, factum probandum.These facts have been defined under Section 3 of the IEA.   These are the facts which are affirmed by one party and denied by the other.These are the facts upon which the Court has to give its decision.Fact in issues are generally framed by the Court. For example, in civil cases after examining the parties the Court frames issues under Order 14 of the CPC and similarly under the Crpc, the trial court after considering the prosecution case frames charge against the accused which also constitute ‘fact in issue’ in criminal cases.The purpose of deciding fact in issues is to ascertain the controversy between the parties and determine the facts upon which the Court needs to give its decision.Example- whether a person has committed a robbery.Relevant Fact It is not a necessary ingredient of any right, liability, and disability.It is called evidentiary fact or factum probandi.There is no as such definition of these facts. IEA only provides facts mentioned under Sections 5 to 55 are relevant.Relevant facts are the foundation of inference.These facts help the Court to arrive at this decision.Relevancy of the fact is generally upon the lawyers to decide according to the provisions of the Evidence Act that whether a fact would be relevant or not and then produce it before the Court for consideration. It was stated in the case of Dato Siri Bin Ibrahim v. Public Prosecutor.The purpose of determining relevant fact is to enable to the Court to come to a conclusion which is based upon relevant facts or which really has a bearing upon the case. Example- proving what is the motive behind committing robbery. (Relevant under Section 8, IEA).

Significance of the Topic

According to the judiciary coaching, students often remain confused regarding the two terms that have been differentiated in the article. The judiciary coaching also suggests that the same may be asked directly in the judicial examinations. Therefore, the judicial aspirants may clarify their concepts regarding the two terms.

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