Section 4 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872

Section 4 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872

Section 4 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872

pertains to presumptions and outlines the criteria for determining when the court may or must presume the existence of a fact. The section delineates three types of presumptions, namely follows:-,

  • Presumptions of law,

  • Presumptions of fact, and

  • Presumptions raised by the evidence.

Presumptions of law are those that are created by the law and cannot be challenged by the parties to the case anymore. For instance, the presumption that a person is innocent until proven guilty is a presumption of law at all. Presumptions of fact, on the other hand, are based on the experience and common sense of the court itself. For example, the presumption that a person intends the natural consequences of their actions is a presumption of fact. Finally, presumptions raised by evidence are those that are raised by the evidence presented in the case concerned. For instance, the presumption that a person who is found in possession of stolen goods is a thief is a presumption raised by evidence. Furthermore, the section stipulates that the court may presume a fact or call for proof of it, it’s always depending on the circumstances of the case. The three types of presumptions under Section 4 are as follows: First of all, the court may presume a fact, but it is not bound to do so. The court may call for proof of the fact if it is satisfied that the presumption is not reliable. The second way, the court shall presume a fact unless and until it is disproved. The court cannot call for proof of the fact. Last, when one fact is declared by the Act to be conclusive proof of another, the court shall, on proof of the one fact, regard the other as proved, and shall not allow evidence to be given for the purpose of disproving it whatsoever.

  • Mohanlal v. State of Gujarat (1967): This case held that a presumption of law can be rebutted by the production of contrary evidence.
  • State of Maharashtra v. Suresh (1983): This case held that a presumption of fact can be rebutted by showing that the presumption is not the only reasonable inference that can be drawn from the facts.
  • State of Kerala v. Chacko (1985): This case held that a presumption raised by evidence can be rebutted by showing that the evidence is not reliable.

Here are some examples of multiple-choice questions related to Section 4:

  1. Which of the following is a presumption of law?
    • The presumption that a person is innocent until proven guilty.
    • The presumption that a person intends the natural consequences of their actions.
    • The presumption is that a person who is found in possession of stolen goods is the thief.
    • All of the above.
    • The answer is (d). All of the above are presumptions of law.
  2. A presumption of fact can be rebutted by:
    • Producing contrary evidence.
    • Showing that the presumption is not the only reasonable inference that can be drawn from the facts.
    • Both (a) and (b).
    • None of the above.
    • The answer is (c). A presumption of fact can be rebutted by producing contrary evidence or by showing that the presumption is not the only reasonable inference that can be drawn from the facts.
  3. A presumption raised by evidence can be rebutted by:
    • Showing that the evidence is not reliable.
    • Showing that the presumption is not the only reasonable inference that can be drawn from the evidence.
    • Both (a) and (b).
    • None of the above.
    • The answer is (c). A presumption raised by evidence can be rebutted by showing that the evidence is not reliable or by showing that the presumption is not the only reasonable inference that can be drawn from the evidence.

Reference & citation:-

https://www.indiacode.nic.in/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_Evidence_Act

Mohanlal v. State of Gujarat. (1967). AIR 733.

State of Maharashtra v. Suresh. (1983). AIR 1983 SC 678.

State of Kerala v. Chacko. (1985). Supreme Court of India. JT 2000 (7) SC 594, (2000) 3 MLJ 135 SC.

Black, H. C. (1910). A Law Dictionary Containing Definitions of the Terms and Phrases of American and English Jurisprudence, Ancient and Modern: West Publishing Company. United States.

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