Section 63 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 says about secondary evidence. It includes many sections or types they include:
- Certified copies given under the provisions in the evidence act: Section 76 of the Evidence Act lays down that every public officer having custody of a public document shall give to a person, on demand of, and on payment of legal fees, a copy of it. The public officer after preparing the copy from the original will affix a certificate at the foot of such copy that it is true copy of such document and will give the date of the copy. In Harendra Nath Burman vs. Suprova Burman and Others, it was held by Calcutta High Court that the entries in the register of a church about date of birth should not be admitted as secondary evidence.
- Copies made from the original by mechanical process: According to this clause, (a)copies made from the original by mechanical process;(b) copies compared with such copies, are secondary evidence of original. The copies must be made from the original by such mechanical process as in themselves ensure the accuracy of the copy such for example the printing, lithography or photography. Where the original report which was typed to dictation was lost and a copy of it, which was neither carbon copy nor a copy compared with the original, was produced. It was held that it was not secondary evidence of the original. A photo copy of a document is not admissible in evidence. Only certified copy is admissible.
- Copies made from or compared with the original: If a copy is prepared word to word from the original, it is secondary evidence of the original. In this case, even a copy of a document which is not a public document can be given in secondary evidence. Copy of a copy is not admissible as secondary evidence.
- Counterparts of documents: The counterparts of a document are secondary evidence against the person who did not execute it. The best example of this would be patta and a qabuliat.
- Oral accounts of the contents of a document by some person who has seen it: Sometimes it so happens that neither the original nor a certified copy of it is available. In such cases it is enough if some body who has read the document is produced to relate the contents.
- Tape recorded Statement: Tape recording can be legal evidence by way of corroborating the statements of a person who deposes that he carried on the conversation or even the statement of a person that he over-heard the conversation between the two persons and what they actually stated had been tape recorded.
So as a conclusion it can be stated that secondary evidence is the document which is not original but one of those which are above mentioned.
- The Indian Evidence Act – Batuk Lal – Central Law Agency
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