Section 52 to 55 of the Indian Evidence Act,1872 deals with the provisions of relevancy of facts. Section 5 of the said Act, provides a Cardinal rule as to the relevancy of facts.Section 8 of the Indian Evidence Act 1872 provides for the relevance of three principal facts which are very important in connection with every civil or criminal case. which are - motive preparation and conduct.
Section 5. Evidence may be given in any suit or proceeding of the existence or non-existence of every fact in issue and of such other facts as are hereinafter declared to be relevant and of no others.
Explanation – This section shall not enable any person to give evidence of a fact which he is disentitled to prove by any provision of the law for the time being in force relating to Civil Procedure.
(a) A is tried for the murder of B by beating him with a club with the intention of causing his death. At A’s trial, the following facts are in issue -
A’s beating B with the club;
A’s causing B’s death by such beating;
A’s intention to cause B’s death.
(b) A suitor does not bring with him and have in readiness for production at the first hearing of the case, a bond on which he relies.
This section does not enable him to produce the bond or prove its contents at a subsequent stage of the proceedings otherwise than in accordance with the conditions prescribed by the Code of Civil Procedure.
Motive preparation and previous or subsequent conduct (Section 8) -
Section 8 of the Indian Evidence Act runs as follows -
Any fact is relevant which shows or constitutes a motive or preparation for any fact in issue or relevant fact.
The conduct of any party, or of any agent to any party, to any suit or proceeding, in reference to such suit or proceeding, or in reference to any fact in issue therein or relevant thereto, and the conduct of any person an offence against whom is the subject of any proceeding, is relevant, if such conduct influences or is influenced by any fact in issue or relevant fact, and whether it was previous or subsequent thereto.
Explanation 1. – The word “conduct” in this section does not include statements unless those statements accompany and explain acts other than statements, but this explanation is not to affect the relevancy of statements under any other section of this Act.
Explanation 2. – When the conduct of any person is relevant, any statement made to him or in his presence and hearing, which affects such conduct, is relevant.
(a) A is tried for the murder of B. The facts that, A murdered C, that B knew that A had murdered C and that B had tried to extort money from A by threatening to make his knowledge public, are relevant.
(b) A sues B upon a bond for payment of money. B denies the making of the bond. The fact that, at the time when the bond was alleged to be made, B required money for a particular purpose, it relevant.
(c) A is tried for the murder of B by poison. The fact that, before the death of B,A procured poison similar to that which was administered to B, is relevant.
(d) The question is, whether a certain document is the will of A. The facts that not long before the date of the alleged will A made inquiry into matters to which the provisions of the alleged will relate that he consulted vakils in reference to making the will, and that he caused drafts or other wills to be prepared of which he did not approve, are relevant.
(e) A is accused of a crime. The facts, either before or at the time of, or after the alleged crime, A provided evidence which would tend to give to the facts of the case an appearance favorable to himself, on that he destroyed or concealed evidence, or prevented the presence or procured the absence of persons who might have been witnesses, or suborned persons to give false evidence respecting it, are relevant.
(f) The question is, whether A robbed B. The facts that, after B was robbed, C said in A’s presence – “the police are coming to look for the man who robbed B” and that immediately afterward A ran away, are relevant.
(g) The question is, whether A owes B rupees 10,000. The fact that, A asked C to lend him money, and that D said to C in A’s presence and hearing “Advice you The Orient Tavern to trust A, for he owes B 10,000 rupees” and that A went away without making any answer, are relevant facts.
(h) The question is, whether A committed a crime. The facts that, A absconded after receiving a letter warning him that inquiry was being made for the criminal, and the contents of the letter, are relevant.
(i) A is accused of a crime. The facts that, after the commission of the alleged crime, he absconded or was in possession of property or the proceeds of property acquired by the crime, or attempted to conceal things which were or might have been used in committing it, are relevant.
(j) The question is whether A was ravished. The facts that, shortly after the alleged rape, she made a complaint relating to the crime, the circumstances under which, and the terms in which the complaint was made, are relevant. The facts that, without making a complaint, she said that she had been ravished is not relevant as conduct under this section, though it may be relevant as a dying declaration under section 32, clause 1, or as corroborative evidence under section 157.
(k) The question is whether A was robbed. The fact that, soon after the alleged robbery, he made a complaint, relating to the offense, the circumstances under which, and the terms in which the complaint was made, are relevant. The fact that he said he had been robbed without making any complaint, is not relevant, as conduct under this section, though it may be relevant as a dying declaration under section 32, clause 1, or as corroborative evidence under section 157.
The word, 'Motive' means " the reason behind the act or conduct or an act to be achieved in doing an act". Motive differs from intention. Intention refers to immediate consequences, on the other hand, motive refers to ultimate purpose with which an act is done. An act may be done with bad intention but good Motive.
Udaya Pal Singh Vs. State AIR 1972 SC 54, in this case, Court held that evidence of motive is relevant under section 9 of Indian Evidence Act.
Kundula Vs State 1993, in this case, Supreme Court held that in a case based on circumstantial evidence, motive assumes a great significance as its evidence in an enlightening factor in a process of presumptive reasoning.
When there is a direct evidence, the evidence of motive is not much significant. The evidence of Motive becomes important to corroborate the circumstantial evidence.
Sakharam vs State AIR 1992 SC 758, in this case, Court held that absence of motive may not be relevant when evidence is overwhelming but it is a plus point in case where the evidence against the accused is only circumstantial
(b) Preparation -
Preparation consists in arranging the means necessary for the commission of a crime. Every crime is necessarily preceded by preparation.
Example- A is tried for the murder of B by poison. The fact that, before the death of B, A procured Poison similar to that which was administered to B, is relevant. Evidence tending to show that the accused made a preparation to commit a crime, it is always admissible.
(c) Conduct -
The Second Part of Section 8 (IEA) deals with the relevancy of the conduct, It says, "The conduct of any party, or of any agent to any party, to any suit or proceeding, in reference to such suit or proceeding, or in reference to any fact in issue therein or relevant thereto, and the conduct of any person an offence against whom is the subject of any proceeding, is relevant, if such conduct influences or is influenced by any fact in issue or relevant fact, and whether it was previous or subsequent thereto."
Conduct is different from the character. conduct is what a person is in the estimation of others
Nagesh vs. State of Bihar AIR 1996 SC 119 - in this case, Court held that if the first information report (FIR) is given by the accused himself, the fact of his giving information is admissible against him as an evidence of his conduct.
Distinction Between Facts in Issue and relevant Facts
Relevancy of Character