RELEVANCY OF FACT
Relevancy is a characteristic of a fact according to which that fact is connected to some other fact which is either a fact in issue or a relevant fact, in such a manner that it indicates the existence or non-existence of another fact.
Whenever a civil or criminal wrong takes place there may be certain facts that need to be determined in order to decide the rights and liabilities of the main parties and such facts are found to be surrounded by Logical connection with such facts or with each other in reference to the main fact.
There is a particular cause-and-effect relationship found b/w these facts. This connection is a logical connection and is suggestive of the existence and nonexistence of the other fact. This characteristic of this fact is what is called logical relevancy.
Any fact which is logically connected to another fact and is suggestive of the existence or non-existence of the other fact is called a logically relevant fact. The Indian evidence act, 1872 however from sec 6-55 specifies the various facts and circumstances in which these facts are said to be relevant in reference to some other fact. Such a connection is defined under see 6-55 and is called legal relevancy.
The basis of legal relevancy is also logical relevancy iе only those facts will be legally relevant and are found to be logically connected. Theoretically, it can be said – every logically relevant fact may not be also relevant but every legally relevant fact has to be logically relevant.
Nevertheless, the various section in the Indian Evidence Act from section 5 to section 55 has been worded in such a manner and so elaborately that every logically relevant fact in a particular case will also be logically relevant.
There are certain specific facts that are declared to be relevant under the sections of the Evidence Act but section 11 is a residuary provision and any fact which is logically connected and is not found to be relevant in any other section may be relevant under section 11 if the Conditions are fulfilled.
Relevancy is a subjective concept and it cannot be seen in isolation rather a fact will be relevant only in connection with the other fact. The other fact may be the fact in the issue or it may be some other fact.
Section 5 Of the Indian Evidence Act
According to section 5, a party may give evidence of relevant fact or fact in an issue and not of others. Section 5 is a declaratory provision but exceptions are there i.e section 165, 155 which allows the proof of evidence or allows question even if the fact concerned is not relevant fact. However, there are certain provisions that disallow the proof of evidence even though the fact is a relevant fact i.e sections 25 and 26, sections 121 to 131.
Similarly, section 56 to 58 clearly enables the party not to give evidence of the fact that are judicially noticeable facts or facts that are deemed admitting in pleadings.
How facts in the issue will be proved?
Fact in the issue need to be proved by the party concerned and for that purpose either there will be some direct evidence or there will be some other surrounding facts. All those facts which are found to be relevant have to be examined and have to be proved.
Those facts which are duly proved shall be taken into consideration and if it is found that various relevant facts together go on to complete the chain of circumstantial evidence then it will be said that facts in issue have been proved.
Each of these relevant facts has to be duly proved by oral or documentary evidence. The relevant facts, therefore, become the evidence of the fact in the issue, and therefore they are also called evidentiary facts or circumstantial facts.
Admissibility of Evidence
Admissibility of evidence means that evidence will be allowed to be proved which are upon relevant fact and thus if any evidence is sought to be proved upon irrelevant fact then such evidence is inadmissible.
Similarly, admissibility of fact means only those facts will be taken into consideration by the court which are relevant and which have been duly proved. Section 5 enables a party to give evidence of relevant facts or facts in the issue. It is restrictive as it declares that apart from the above evidence cannot be given of any other fact.
Section 136 of the Indian evidence act talks about the admissibility of facts. section 36 is based on the principles laid down in section 5 of IEA and section 165 proviso. section 136 clearly enables the court to require the party to prove first as the fact he seeks to prove through the evidence is relevant.
Unless the relevancy of that fact is proved, evidence of that fact will not admissible. In some other cases the relevancy of the fact would depend upon the existence of some other fact and in such cases as per section 104 of IEA, the burden lies upon the party proposing to prove a fact, first prove that other fact upon which the relevancy is dependent.
Reliability of evidence
Reliability of evidence means the trustworthiness of evidence that has been proved. Reliability is the stage after admissibility of evidence i.e once it is proved that the fact is a relevant fact and evidence on that fact has been declared admissible and thereafter the party concerned will prove his evidence of the fact.
After proving all the evidence the court will consider as to the proof of the evidence is sufficient enough to prove the fact concerned duly or not. If not sufficient then it will be considered that the evidence is not reliable and hence the said fact is not duly proved.
Relevancy and admissibility are interconnected to each other. Once all the relevant facts have been proved the court will examine whether together all these relevant facts go on to prove the facts in the issue beyond a reasonable doubt or not. whether they are admissible or not.
The evidence act does not lay down any hard and fast guidelines regarding the reliability of the evidence to prove a particular fact. Rather the court has to apply its own judicial prudence to decide whether the fact has been sufficiently proved by the evidence or not.
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