What is secondary evidence and when may secondary evidence relating to documents be given?

What is secondary evidence and when may secondary evidence relating to documents be given?

 

  • Introduction

Qanoon-e-Shahadat Order consists of those rules and legal principles, which govern proof of facts in legal proceedings. These rules and principles determine what court should or should not consider in reaching its decision. This Order is also concerned with quantum (amount), quality, and kinds of evidence. As far as proving of documents is concerned, this Order has provided two kinds of documentary evidence. Among these kinds, one kind is secondary evidence.

  • When Can Secondary Evidence Be Given In Relation To Documents?

In relation to documents, secondary evidence can be given in following cases:

  1. Original document in possession or power of other person
  2. Admission of existence, condition or contents of original document
  3. Destruction or loss of original document
  4. Failure to produce original document
  5. Copies through microfilming or other modern devices
  6. Not moveable original document
  7. Original document under Section 85 of Qanoon-e-Shahadat Order
  8. Certified copy
  9. Numerous accounts or other documents
  10. Judicial record

1. Original Document In Possession Or Power Of Other Person

Here following points are important:

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

Secondary evidence can be given to prove 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.

b. Person, who is out of reach of process of court

Secondary evidence can be given to prove 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.

c. Person, who is not subject to process of court

Secondary evidence can be given to prove 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.

d. Person, who is legally bound to produce original document

Secondary evidence can be given to prove 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.

2. Admission Of Existence, Condition Or Contents Of Original Document

Secondary evidence can be given to prove 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 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 whom it is proved.

3. Destruction or Loss of Original Document

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

4. Failure To Produce Original Document

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

5. Copies Through Microfilming Or Other Modern Devices

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

6. Not Moveable Original Document

Secondary evidence can be given to prove the document when the original document cannot be easily moved

7. Original Document Under Section 85 Of Qanoon-e-Shahadat Order

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

8. Certified Copy

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

 9. Numerous Accounts Or Other Documents

Secondary evidence can be given to prove 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.

10. Judicial Record

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

Conclusion

To conclude, it can be 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. Similarly, primary evidence is preferred over secondary evidence. However, secondary evidence can be relied in those exceptional cases, which Qanoon-e-Shahadat Order has provided.

 

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