Secondary Evidence can be produced if Primary Evidence is not found: SC

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Jagmail Singh v Karamjit Singh

CIVIL APPEAL NO. 1889 OF 2020 (ARISING OUT OF SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (C) NO. 17437 OF 2017) decided 13.05.2020

Bench:  Navin Sinha and Krishna Murari, JJ.


The Appellant preferred a suit for declaration to the effect that he was owner of the land and land sanctioned by the Assistant Collector in favour of X and Y are illegal, null and void, as the Will on which the mutations of land have been sanctioned is forged.

The appellants preferred application under Section 65/66 of the Evidence Act, before the Trial Court for issuance of notice under Section 66 of the Act to the revenue officials for production of original Will.

The revenue officials were issued notice for production of the original Will but they failed to produce the said Will.

Question of Law

Whether the secondary evidence may be adduced to prove the Will in question?


The Supreme Court allowing the appellants to lead secondary evidence in respect of the Will in question said that in view of the factual situation prevailing in the case at hand the appellant has right to give secondary evidence because primary evidence cannot be produced. Furthermore, the Court said that a perusal of Section 65 makes it clear that secondary evidence may be given with regard to existence, condition or the contents of a document when the original is shown or appears to be in possession or power against whom the document is sought to be produced, or 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 notice mentioned in Section 66 such person does not produce it. It is a settled position of law that for secondary evidence to be admitted foundational evidence has to be given being the reasons as to why the original Evidence has not been furnished.

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