Indian Evidence Act,1872

SEECTION 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.

SECTION 77. Proof of documents by production of certified copies.—

Such certified copies may be produced in proof of the contents of the public documents or parts of the public documents of which they purport to be copies.

SECTION 78.Proof of other official documents.—

The following public documents may be proved as follows:—

  • Acts, orders or notifications of 1[the Central Government] in any of its departments, 2[or of the Crown Representative] or of any State Government or any department of any State Government,— 4[the Central Government] in any of its departments, 5[or of the Crown Representative] or of any State Government or any department of any State Government,—” by the records of the departments, certified by the head of those departments respectively, or by any document purporting to be printed by order of any such Government 2[or, as the case may be, of the Crown Representative];5[or, as the case may be, of the Crown Representative];”
  • The proceedings of the Legislatures,— by the journals of those bodies respectively, or by published Acts or abstracts, or by copies purporting to be printed 3[by order of the Government concerned]; 6[by order of the Government concerned];”
  • Proclamations, orders or regulations issued by 4[Her Majesty] or by the Privy Council, or by any department of 4[Her Majesty’s] Government,— 7[Her Majesty] or by the Privy Council, or by any department of 7[Her Majesty’s] Government,—” by copies or extracts contained in the London Gazette, or purporting to be printed by the Queen’s printer;
  • The acts of the Executive or the proceedings of the Legislature of a foreign country,— by journals published by their authority, or commonly received in that country as such, or by a copy certified under the seal of the country or sovereign, or by a recognition thereof in some 5[Central Act];1[Central Act];”
  • The proceedings of a municipal body in 6[a State],2[a State],” by a copy of such proceedings, certified by the legal keeper thereof, or by a printed book purporting to be published by the authority of such body;
  • Public documents of any other class in a foreign country,— by the original, or by a copy certified by the legal keeper thereof, with a certificate under the seal of a Notary Public, or of 7[an Indian Consul] or diplomatic agent, that the copy is duly certified by the officer having the legal custody of the original, and upon proof of the character of the document according to the law of the foreign country. 3[an Indian Consul] or diplomatic agent, that the copy is duly certified by the officer having the legal custody of the original, and upon proof of the character of the document according to the law of the foreign country.” STATE AMENDMENT tc “STATE AMENDMENT” West Bengal.—After section 78, insert the following section, namely:—

SECTION 78A. Copies of public documents, to be as good as original documents in certain cases.—

Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act or any other law for the time being in force, where any public documents concerning any areas within West Bengal have been kept in Pakistan, then copies of such public documents shall, on being authenticated in such manner as may be prescribed from time to time by the State Government by notification in the Official Gazette, be deemed to have taken the place of and to be, the original documents from which such copies were made and all references to the original documents shall be construed as including references to such copies.” [Vide West Bengal Act 29 of 1955, sec. 3 (w.e.f. 6-10-1955) as amended by West Bengal Act 20 of 1960, sec. 3 (w.e.f. 5-1-1961)].

SECTION 79. Presumption as to genuineness of certified copies.—

The Court shall presume 1[to be genuine] every document purporting to be a certificate, certified copy, or other document, which is by law declared to be admissible as evidence of any particular fact and which purports to be duly certified by any officer 2[of the Central Government or of a State Government, or by any officer 3[in the State of Jammu and Kashmir] who is duly authorized thereto by the Central Government]: Provided that such document is substantially in the form and purports to be executed in the manner directed by law in that behalf. The Court shall also presume that any officer by whom any such document purports to be signed or certified held, when he signed it, the official character which he claims in such paper.

SECTION 80. Presumption as to documents produced as record of evidence.—

Whenever any document is produced before any Court, purporting to be a record or memorandum of the evidence, or of any part of the evidence, given by a witness in a judicial proceeding or before any officer authorized by law to take such evidence, or to be a statement or confession by any prisoner or accused person, taken in accordance with law, and purporting to be signed by any Judge or Magistrate, or by any such officer as aforesaid, the Court shall presume— that the document is genuine; that any statements as to the circumstances under which it was taken, purporting to be made by the person signing it, are true, and that such evidence, statement or confession was duly taken.

SECTION 81. Presumption as to Gazettes, newspapers, private Acts of Parliament and other documents.—

The Court shall presume the genuineness of every document purporting to be the London Gazette, or 1[any Official Gazette, or the Government Gazette] of any colony, dependency of possession of the British Crown, or to be a newspaper or journal, or to be a copy of a private Act of Parliament 2[of the United Kingdom] printed by the Queen’s Printer, and of every document purporting to be a document directed by any law to be kept by any person, if such document is kept substantially in the form required by law and is produced from proper custody.

1[81A. Presumption as to Gazettes in electronic forms.—The Court shall presume the genuineness of every electronic record purporting to be the Official Gazette or purporting to be electronic record directed by any law to be kept by any person, if such electronic record is kept substantially in the form required by law and is produced from proper custody.]3[81A. Presumption as to Gazettes in electronic forms.—The Court shall presume the genuineness of every electronic record purporting to be the Official Gazette or purporting to be electronic record directed by any law to be kept by any person, if such electronic record is kept substantially in the form required by law and is produced from proper custody.]”

SECTION 82. Presumption as to document admissible in England without proof of seal or signature.—

When any document is produced before any Court, purporting to be a document which, by the law in force for the time being in England or Ireland, would be admissible in proof of any particular in any Court of Justice in England or Ireland, without proof of the seal or stamp or signature authenticating it, or of the judicial or official character claimed by the person by whom it purports to be signed, the Court shall presume that such seal, stamp or signature is genuine, and that the person signing it held, at the time when he signed it, the judicial or official character which he claims, and the document shall be admissible for the same purpose for which it would be admissible in England or Ireland.

SECTION 83. Presumption as to maps or plans made by authority of Government.—

The Court shall presume that maps or plans purporting to be made by the authority of 1[the Central Government or any State Government] were so made, and are accurate; but maps or plans made for the purposes of any cause must be proved to be accurate.—The Court shall presume that maps or plans purporting to be made by the authority of 4[the Central Government or any State Government] were so made, and are accurate; but maps or plans made for the purposes of any cause must be proved to be accurate.”

SECTION 84.Presumption as to collections of laws and reports of decisions.—

The Court shall presume the genuineness of every book purporting to be printed or published under the authority of the Government of any country, and to contain any of the laws of that country, and of every book purporting to contain reports of decisions of the Courts of such country.

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