Write a note on Public documents and Private documents. How should these be proved?

Introduction

Evidence is the most important part of procedural law. Term “evidence” has been derived from Latin term, and this Latin term is evident or evidere, which means to show clearly, to discover, to ascertain or to prove. Evidence refers to anything. which is necessary to prove a certain fact. In short words, evidence is a mean of proof. There can be different kinds of evidence. Among these kinds, two major kinds of evidence are oral and documentary evidence. As far as documentary evidence is concerned, public and private documents are of great importance.

documents
Public documents and Private documents

Public Document

Following documents are considered public documents:

  • (i) Sovereign authority
  • (ii) Official bodies & tribunals
  • (iii) Public officers
  • (iv) Public records of private documents
  • (v) Records of judicial proceedings
  • (vi) Maintenance of documents by public servant (vii)
  • (vii) Registered documents
  • (viii) Certificates

(i) Sovereign Authority

Documents, which are about acts or records of acts of sovereign authority, are public documents.

(ii) Official Bodies & Tribunals

Documents, which are about acts or records of acts of official bodies and tribunals, are public documents.

(iii) Public Officers

Documents, which are about acts or records of acts of public legislative, judicial and executive officers of any part of Pakistan or some foreign country, are public documents.

(iv) Public Records Of Private Documents

When some documents are public records of private documents and these public records are kept in Pakistan, such public records are public documents

(v) Records Of Judicial Proceedings

Documents, which form part of records of judicial proceedings, are public documents.

(vi) Maintenance Of Documents By Public Servant

Documents, which some public servant is to maintain under any law, are public documents.

(vii) Registered Documents

Registered documents are public documents when their execution is not disputed.

(viii) Certificates

Certificates are public documents when such certificates are deposited in a repository according to provisions of Electronic Transactions Ordinance, 2002.

Private Document

All other documents, which are other than public documents, are considered private documents.

Proving Of Public & Private Documents Or Proving Of Contents Of Documents

For explanation of proving of public and private documents or proving of contents of documents, following points are important:

  • (i) Proving of contents of documents
  • (ii) Proving of documents by primary evidence
  • (iii) Proving of documents by secondary evidence

(i) Proving Of Contents Of Documents

Public and private documents or contents of documents can be proved either by primary or by secondary evidence.

(ii) Proving Of Documents By Primary Evidence

It has been made compulsory under Qanoon-e-Shahadat Order that documents should be proved by primary evidence. However, it is not necessary to prove documents through primary evidence in those cases where secondary evidence can be given to prove documents.

(iii) Proving Of Documents By Secondary Evidence

 Secondary evidence can be given about existence, condition or contents of some document in following cases:

  • (a) Original document in possession or power of other person
  • (b) Admission of existence, condition or contents of original document
  • (c) Destruction or loss of original document
  • (d) Failure to produce original document
  • (e) Copies through microfilming or other modern devices
  • (f) Not moveable original document
  • (g) Original document under Article 85 of Qanoon-e-Shahadat Order
  • (h) Certified copy
  • (i) Numerous accounts or other documents
  • (j) Judicial record

(a) Original Document In Possession Or Power Of Other Person

Here following points are important:

a-i. Person against whom original document is sought to be proved

Secondary evidence can be given to prove public or private document when original document is in possession or power of that person against whom this document is sought to be proved and who does not produce it after giving notice to produce this original document.

a-ii. Person, who is out of reach of process of court

Secondary evidence can be given to prove public or private document when original document is in possession or power of that person, who is out of reach of process of court and who does not produce it after giving notice to produce this. original document.

a-iii. Person, who is not subject to process of court

Secondary evidence can be given to prove public or private document when original document is in possession or power of that person, who is not subject to process of court and who does not produce it after giving notice to produce this original document.

 a-iv. Person, who is legally bound to produce original document

Secondary evidence can be given to prove public or private document when original document is in possession or power of that person, who is legally bound to produce this original document and who does not produce it after giving notice to produce this original document.

 (b) Admission Of Existence, Condition Or Contents Of Original Document

Secondary evidence can be given to prove public or private document when existence, condition or contents of original document have been proved to be admitted in writing by that person against whom it is proved. Even secondary evidence can be given to prove public or private document when existence condition or contents of original document have been proved to be admitted in writing by representative in interest of that person against when it is proved.

(c) Destruction Or Loss Of Original Document

Secondary evidence can be given to prove public or private document when original document has been destroyed or lost.

(d) Failure To Produce Original Document

Secondary evidence can be given to prove public or private document when party, who is offering evidence of its Contents cannot produce it in reasonable time and it is not due to his/her own default or neglect.

(e) Copies Through Microfilming Or Other Modern Devices

Secondary evidence can be given to prove public or private document when volume or bulk of original document is. like that its copies have been made by means of microfilming or other modern devices.

(f) Not Moveable Original Document

Secondary evidence can be given to prove public or private document when original document cannot be easily movable due to its nature.

(g) Original Document Under Article 85 of Qanoon-e-Shahadat Order

Secondary evidence can be given to prove public or private document when original document is a public document within meaning of Article 85 of Qanoon-e-Shahadat Order.

(h) Certified Copy

Secondary evidence can be given to prove public or private document when Qanoon-e-Shahadat Order or any other law in force in Pakistan allows to give certified copy of original document in evidence.

i. Numerous Accounts or Other Documents

Secondary evidence can be given to prove public or private document when original document consists of those numerous accounts or other documents, which cannot conveniently be examined in court, and fact, which is to be proved, is general result of whole collection.

j. Judicial Record

Secondary evidence can be given to prove public or private document when original document, which forms part of judicial record, is not available and only its certified copy is available.

Conclusion

To conclude it is stated that, an important principle of law of evidence is that documents speak more truth than men. Therefore, documentary evidence is preferred over oral evidence. and as far as public and private documents are concerned, public documents are preferred over private documents.

Check another notes of LL.B Click here

Read more question about Qanoon e Shahadat Click here

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

B i l a l - T a h i r