Indian Evidence Act, 1872

SECTION 66. Rules as to notice to produce.—

Secondary evidence of the contents of the documents referred to in section 65, clause

(a) , shall not be given unless the party proposing to give such secondary evidence has previously given to the party in whose possession or power the document is, 1[or to his attorney or pleader,] such notice to produce it as is prescribed by law; and if no notice is prescribed by law, then such notice as the Court considers reasonable under the circumstances of the case:—Secondary evidence of the contents of the documents referred to in section 65, clause (a), shall not be given unless the party proposing to give such secondary evidence has previously given to the party in whose possession or power the document is, 1[or to his attorney or pleader,] such notice to produce it as is prescribed by law; and if no notice is prescribed by law, then such notice as the Court considers reasonable under the circumstances of the case\:” Provided that such notice shall not be required in order to render secondary evidence admissible in any of the following cases, or in any other case in which the Court thinks fit to dispense with it:—

(1) when the document to be proved is itself a notice;

(2) when, from the nature of the case, the adverse party must know that he will be required to produce it;

(3)when it appears or is proved that the adverse party has obtained possession of the original by fraud or force;

(4) when the adverse party or his agent has the original in Court;

(5)  when the adverse party or his agent has admitted the loss of the document;

(6) when the person in possession of the document is out of reach of, or not subject to, the process of the Court.

SECTION 67.Proof of signature and handwriting of person alleged to have signed or written document produced.—

If a document is alleged to be signed or to have been written wholly or in part by any person, the signature or the handwriting of so much of the document as is alleged to be in that person’s handwriting must be proved to be in his handwriting.

59 [ 67A Proof as to [electronic signature]. —Except in the case of a secure [electronic signature], if the [electronic signature] of any subscriber is alleged to have been affixed to an electronic record the fact that such [electronic signature] is the [electronic signature] of the subscriber must be proved.]

SECTION 68. Proof of execution of document required by law to be attested.—

If a document is required by law to be attested, it shall not be used as evidence until one attesting witness at least has been called for the purpose of proving its execution, if there be an attesting witness alive, and subject to the process of the Court and capable of giving evidence: 1[Provided that it shall not be necessary to call an attesting witness in proof of the execution of any document, not being a Will, which has been registered in accordance with the provisions of the Indian Registration Act, 1908 (16 of 1908), unless its execution by the person by whom it purports to have been executed is specifically denied.]

SECTION 69.Proof where no attesting witness found.—

If no such attesting witness can be found, or if the document purports to have been executed in the United Kingdom, it must be proved that the attestation of one attesting witness at least is in his handwriting, and that the signature of the person executing the document is in the handwriting of that person.

SECTION 70. Admission of execution by party to attested document.—

The admission of a party to an attested document of its execution by himself shall be sufficient proof of its execution as against him, though it be a document required by law to be attested.

SECTION 71. Proof when attesting witness denies the execution.—

If the attesting witness denies or does not recollect the execution of the document, its execution may be proved by other evidence.

SECTION72. Proof of document not required by law to be attested.—

An attested document not required by law to be attested may be proved as if it was unattested.

SECTION 73.Comparison of signature, writing or seal with others admitted or proved.—

In order to ascertain whether a signature, writing or seal is that of the person by whom it purports to have been written or made, any signature, writing, or seal admitted or proved to the satisfaction of the Court to have been written or made by that person may be compared with the one which is to be proved, although that signature, writing, or seal has not been produced or proved for any other purpose. The Court may direct any person present in Court to write any words or figures for the purpose of enabling the Court to compare the words or figures so written with any words or figures alleged to have been written by such person. 1[This section applies also, with any necessary modifications, to finger-impressions.]

[73A.Proof as to verification of digital signature.—In order to ascertain whether a digital signature is that of the person by whom it purports to have been affixed, the Court may direct—2[73A. Proof as to verification of digital signature.—In order to ascertain whether a digital signature is that of the person by whom it purports to have been affixed, the Court may direct—”

(a) that person or the Controller or the Certifying Authority to produce the Digital Signature Certificate;

(b) any other person to apply the public key listed in the Digital Signature Certificate and verify the digital signature purported to have been affixed by that person. Explanation.—For the purposes of this section, “Controller” means the Controller appointed under sub-section (1) of section 17 of the Information Technology Act, 2000.]

SECTION 74.Public documents.—The following documents are public documents :—

(1) Documents forming the acts, or records of the acts—

(i)of the sovereign authority,

(ii) of official bodies and tribunals, and

(iii)of public officers, legislative, judicial and executive, 1[of any part of India or of the Commonwealth], or of a foreign country; 1[of any part of India or of the Commonwealth], or of a foreign country;”

(2)Public records kept 2[in any State] of private documents.

SECTION 75. Private documents.—

All other documents are private.

SECTION 76.Certified copies of public documents.—

Every 1public officer having the custody of a public document, which any person has a right to inspect, shall give that person on demand a copy of it on payment of the legal fees therefor, together with a certificate written at the foot of such copy that it is a true copy of such document or part thereof, as the case may be, and such certificate shall be dated and subscribed by such officer with his name and his official title, and shall be sealed, whenever such officer is authorized by law to make use of a seal; and such copies so certified shall be called certified copies.—Every 3public officer having the custody of a public document, which any person has a right to inspect, shall give that person on demand a copy of it on payment of the legal fees therefor, together with a certificate written at the foot of such copy that it is a true copy of such document or part thereof, as the case may be, and such certificate shall be dated and subscribed by such officer with his name and his official title, and shall be sealed, whenever such officer is authorized by law to make use of a seal; and such copies so certified shall be called certified copies.” Explanation.—Any officer who, by the ordinary course of official duty, is authorized to deliver such copies, shall be deemed to have the custody of such documents within the meaning of this section.

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