Section 61 in Indian Evidence Act 1872

Title: Proof of contents of documents

Description: The contents of documents may be proved either by primary or by secondary evidence.

Title: Primary evidence

Description: Primary evidence means the document itself produced for the inspection of the Court. Explanation 1. --Where a document is executed in several parts, each part is primary evidence of the document. Where a document is executed in counterpart, each counterpart being executed by one or some of the parties only, each counterpart is primary evidence as against the parties executing it. Explanation 2. -- Where a number of documents are all made by one uniform process, as in the case of printing, lithography or photography, each is primary evidence of the contents of the rest; but, where they are all copies of a common original, they are not primary evidence of the contents of the original. Illustration A person is shown to have been in possession of a number of placards, all printed at one time from one original. Any one of the placards is primary evidence of the contents of any other, but no one of them is primary evidence of the contents of the original.

Title: Secondary evidence

Description: Secondary evidence means and includes -- (1) certified copies given under the provisions hereinafter contained; (2) copies made from the original by mechanical processes which in themselves insure the accuracy of the copy, and copies compared with such copies; (3) copies made from or compared with the original; (4) counterparts of documents as against the parties who did not execute them; (5) oral accounts of the contents of a document given by some person who has himself seen it. Illustrations (a) A photograph of an original is secondary evidence of its contents, though the two have not been compared, if it is proved that the thing photographed was the original. (b) A copy compared with a copy of a letter made by a copying machine is secondary evidence of the contents of the letter, if it is shown that the copy made by the copying machine was made from the original. (c) A copy transcribed from a copy, but afterwards compared with the original, is secondary evidence; but the copy not so compared is not secondary evidence of the original, although the copy from which it was transcribed was compared with the original. (d) Neither an oral account of a copy compared with the original, nor an oral account of a photograph or machine-copy of the original, is secondary evidence of the original.

Title: Proof of documents by primary evidence

Description: Documents must be proved by primary evidence except in the cases hereinafter mentioned.

Title: Cases in which secondary evidence relating to documents may be given

Description: Secondary evidence may be given of the existence, condition or contents of a document in the following cases:-- (a) when the original is shown or appears to be in the possession or power-- of the person against whom the document is sought to be proved, of any person out of reach of, or not subject to, the process of the Court, or of any person legally bound to produce it, and when, after the notice mentioned in section 66, such person does not produce it; (b) when the existence, condition or contents of the original have been proved to be admitted in writing by the person against whom it is proved or by his representative in interest; (c) when the original has been destroyed or lost, or when the party offering evidence of its contents cannot, for any other reason not arising from his own default or neglect, produce it in reasonable time; (d) when the original is of such a nature as not to be easily movable; (e) when the original is a public document within the meaning of section 74; (f) when the original is a document of which a certified copy is permitted by this Act, or by any other law in force in 1[India] to be given in evidence; (g) when the originals consist of numerous accounts or other documents which cannot conveniently be examined in Court and the fact to be proved is the general result of the whole collection. In cases (a), (c) and (d), any secondary evidence of the contents of the document is admissible. In case (b), the written admission is admissible. In case (e) or (f), a certified copy of the document, but no other kind of secondary evidence, is admissible. In case (g), evidence may be given as to the general result of the documents by any person who has examined them, and who is skilled in the examination of such documents. 1. Subs. by Act 3 of 1951, s. 3 and the Schedule, for "the States".