Presumptions in the Indian Evidence Act 

Cambridge dictionary defines presumption as a belief that something is true because it is likely.  Presumption in law means an inference which the court draws based on the facts presented before it,  The basic rule of presumption is when one fact of the case or circumstances are considered as primary facts and if they are proving the other facts related to it, then the facts can be presumed as if they are proved until disproved. Section 114 of the Indian evidence act speaks in such regard. The Court may presume –– (a) that a man who is in possession of stolen goods soon after the theft is either the thief or has received the goods knowing them to be stolen, unless he can account for his possession. 

Difference between may presume and shall presume 

Indian evidence act defines the term may presume and shall presume as “May presume”. –– Whenever it is provided by this Act that the Court may presume a fact, it may either regard such fact as proved, unless and until it is disproved, or may call for proof of it. “Shall presume”. –– Whenever it is directed by this Act that the Court shall presume a fact, it shall regard such fact as proved, unless and until it is disproved. The court has discretionary power to regard a fact as proved unless and until it is disproved

 shall presume denotes a strong assertion or intention to determine any fact.Section 4 of Indian evidence Act explains the principle of ‘Shall Presume’ that the court does not have any discretionary power in the course of presumption of ‘Shall Presume’, rather the court has presumed facts or groups of facts and regard them as if they are proved until they are disproved by the other party. Section 4 of the Indian Evidence Act explains that the concept of ‘Shall Presume’ may also be called ‘Presumption of Law’ or ‘Artificial Presumption’ or ‘Obligatory Presumption’ or ‘Rebuttable Presumption of Law’ and tells that it is a branch of jurisprudence.

 Presumptions of facts are those inferences that are naturally and reasonably concluded on the basis of observations and circumstances in the course of basic human conduct. Natural presumption means the deduction of one fact from another, based on common experience. For an example section 87 of Indian evidence act, presumption as to books, maps and charts, the court ,may presume that any book or map to which it may refer was published by the same person who is mentioned to be the publisher of such book or map. Under the Presumptions of Facts, the concept of ‘shall presume’ is utilized. And by the concept, the court will presume that a fact ascertained before them are proven facts until and unless they are proven disproved by the accused. The concept of ‘shall presume’ expresses that the courts are bound to maintain and recognise some facts as proven by making a mandatory presumption and the court has to consider them as completely proven until such presumption are challenged and disapproved. 


In Tukaram v State of Maharashtra [10], This case was decided on considering the facts of Mathura Rape Case and while adjudicating the case the Court justified the need and necessities of such presumptions. The Court also explained that Presumptions has a wider scope as they don’t only help the victim in the fast trial but it also helps in giving direction to the case. Therefore such presumption can effectively help the judiciary in providing quick and complete justice to the society. According to Stephen presumption is mandatory, not permissive presumption and especially permissive is dealt in Section 90 of the evidence act. Permissive presumption means it is on the court discretion whether to believe or not to believe.


Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.


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