Meaning of Hearsay Evidence : 

        Hearsay Evidence means whatever a person is heard to say it includes: i) A statement made by a person, not called as witness; ii) A statement contained or recorded in any book, document or record which is not admissible.  The hearsay witness may not be able to say correctly and completely the truth of his statement.

Definitions :

Taylor : 
               'All the evidence which does not derive its value solely from the credit given to the witness himself, but which rests also in part on the veracity and competence of some other person .'


Bentham :

             The supposed oral testimony transmitted through oral, supposed orally delivered evidence of a supposed extra judicially narrating witness judicially delivered viva voce by the judicially deposing witness 

Hearsay Evidence means whatever a person is heard to say... it includes...

1) a statement made by a person , not called as witness

2)  s statement contained or recorded in any book, document or record which is not admissible.


Oral evidence must be direct 

                 Evidence given by the witness may be oral or documentary.  Section 60 of the Indian Evidence Act says that, oral Evidence to be admissible, it must be direct. In other words, Hearsay Evidence is no evidence.
                 A statement oral or written, by a person not called as witness comes under the general rule of hearsay. 

Section 60 of Indian Evidence Act reads as follows : 

 Oral evidence must, in all cases, whatever, be direct; that is to say -

   If it refers to a fact which could be seen, it must be the evidence of a witness who says he saw it;

   If it refers to a fact which could be heard, it must be the evidence of a witness who says he heard it;

   If it refers to a fact which could be perceived by any other sense or in any other manner, it must be the evidence of a witness who says he perceived it by that sense or in that manner;

           If it refers to opinions or to the grounds in which that opinion is held, it must be the evidence of the person who holds that opinion on those grounds -

     Provided that the opinion of experts expressed in any treatise commonly offered for sale, and the grounds on which such opinions are held, may be proved by the production of such treatise if the author is dead or cannot be found or has become incapable of giving evidence or cannot be called as a witness without an amount of delay or expense which the Court regards as unreasonable.

      Provided also that, if oral evidence refers to the existence or condition of any material thing other than a document, the Court may, if it thinks fit, require the production of such material thing for its inspection.

Conditions :

                    As stated above, The fundamental principle of law of evidence is: Hearsay Evidence must not be admitted.  Hearsay Evidence is also known as derivative or second hand or unoriginal evidence. It is the evidence of facts, which the witnesses has not learnt through his own bodily senses,  but learnt through the medium of others. It is regarded as ambiguous and misleading.


Exclusion of hearsay evidence : 

        Section 60 excludes hearsay Evidence. The evidence of fact the happening of which could be seen can be given only by an eyewitness. If the evidence refers to a fact which could be perceived by any order sense or in any other manner, it shall be the evidence of a person who Personally perceived it by that sense or in that manner.

      Thus in all cases, the evidence has to be that of person who himself witnessed the happening of the fact of which he gives Evidence. such witnesses is called as eye witnesses or a witness of fact and the principle is known as that of direct Oral Evidence or of the exclusion of hearsay Evidence.


Reasons for Exclusion of Hearsay Evidence : 
    
The reasons for exclusion of hearsay Evidence are as follows :

1) Hearsay Evidence cannot be tested by Cross-Examination.

2) It supposes some better evidence and encourages substitution of weaker for stronger evidence.

3) Hearsay Evidence is intrinsically weak.
4)  The evidence is not given on oath or under personal responsibility by the original declarant.

5) It has a Tendency to protect legal investigation

6) As truth depreciates in the process of repetition, it is not reliable.

7) Its reception will increase opportunities for fabrication 



Exceptions : 

Exceptions to hearsay Evidence are as follows :

1) Res gestae under Section 6 : 

  The statement of a person may be proved through another person who appears as a witness if the statement is a part of the transaction issue

2) Admission and Confessions (Under Section 17 - Section 23 and Section 24 - Section 30) :

   An admission of liability or confession of guilt which takes place outside the court is proved through the testimony of the witnesses to whom the admission or confession was made. such witness is not a witness of fact as he has not seen or observed the main occurance through nay of his sense but had only heard about it from the mouth of the party who admitted his liability or confessed to the guilt.

3) Statement Relevant :

      Statements by a person who cannot be called as a witness (Dying Declaration. Section 32(1). Statements, which are mostly the statements of the deceased persons who are not available as witnesses. The evidence of such statement is therefore, the evidence of hearsay and it specially declared to be relevant.
 
4)  Evidence given in the former proceedings (Section 33)

     It is provided that evidence is given by a witness in the proceeding can be used as an evidence of the truth of the facts stated in any subsequent proceeding between the same parties, provided that the witness has died or is, for some other reasons, not available.

5)  Statements in public documents (Section 35)

 The statement in public document such as, the Acts of the Parliament, official books and registers can be proved by the production of the documents and it is not necessary to produce before the court the draftsman of the documents.

6) Opinions of Experts (Section 45- Section 51) :

        It is provided that the opinion of experts expressed in any treaties commonly offered for sale and the ground on which such opinions are held may be proved by the production of such treaties if the author is dead or cannot found or become incapable of giving evidence, or cannot be called as witness without an amount of delay or expense which the court regards reasonable. Thus the opinion of experts can be cited in his absence only.

7) Entries in books of Accounts (Section 34)




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