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Hearsay under the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 by Mayurakshi Sarkar at Lexcliq

 Hearsay under the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 by Mayurakshi Sarkar at Lexcliq


The availability and acceptability of evidence are one of the most important aspects of a legal case. As defined herein, evidence is a "material item or claim of fact" that can be used in a court of law to establish the truth or falsity of any particular alleged fact being investigated or examined there. As a result, Evidence Law is an element of the legal climate that regulates the appropriate application of directives and proper application—regulating the demonstration of facts in a litigation process

Throughout the ages, this law has seen a dramatic shift in focus, focusing mostly on the admissibility and quality of evidence. A statute known as the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 (hence known as "the IEA"), governs the correct management of evidence in Indian courts and judicial proceedings.

Meaning of Hearsay Evidence

When a witness' testimony is based only on what he or she has overheard others say in the course of a conversation outside of court, the term "second-hand information" is used to describe their testimony. When compared to eyewitness testimony, hearsay has long been seen as a less reliable source of information.


Due to inconsistencies and fabrications, the person who provides testimony has no sense of responsibility and there is a risk of diluting the truth with each repetition. This type of evidence is generally not acceptable in proving a fact that has been said by a third party, as there is abundant opportunity to play fraud beneath the cover. Despite this, there are still a few exceptions to the rule.

Exceptions to hearsay evidence

"Hearsay evidence is no evidence," the saying goes. For legal purposes, there is no substitute for direct proof. However, there are a few notable exceptions to this generalization.

  1. Res Gestae- Res gestae, or 'the facts that are part of the same transaction,' is the meaning of the rule. Section 6 of the Indian Evidence Act specifies this regulation. The testimony of a witness can be used to support a person's statements in court if the facts he states are part of the same transaction.

  2. Admission- Admission is an exception to the principle that hearsay isn't proof. Section 17 of the Indian Evidence Act identifies admission as an oral or written statement that infers a fact in an issue.

  3. Confession- Confession involves admitting guilt in court. The Indian Evidence Act makes no mention of confession. Sections 24-30 of the Indian Evidence Act deal with confessions. A person's extra-judicial confession can be proven by the person to whom it was made. However, he did not hear or see anything linked to the crime. But a person's confession can be proven by his testimony in court.

  4. Dying Declaration-  A person may be dying or disabled and hence unable to appear in court. In such instances, if the declarant makes a declaration to another person about his demise or cause of death, that person who received the statement may testify as a witness in court.

  5. Evidence given in former proceedings- If a witness dies or is unable to present for some reason, past comments made by the witness may be utilized to prove the truth in subsequent proceedings. Accounts and public registers such as official books can also be used as evidence in court. Even if the person is dead, past statements made in books or official registers are admissible in court.


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