FACTS WHICH NEED NOT BE PROVED

INTRODUCTION

Section 56 to 58 deal with facts which need not be proved because either facts (a) are indisputable as they are too well known to require proof (“judicial notice”) or (b) are undisputed and their proof is dispensed with because they are admitted by both the parties. There are some facts which are not so notorious and well known that they require no proof. If it becomes relevant in a case to know as to, who is the president of India or the Chief Minister of UP, a party need not adduce any evidence to that effect.  Again if it is a question at issue as to what is the distance between Banaras and Allahabad, a party need not prove it. The court may take a judicial notice of these facts if they are relevant to the issue. Sections 56 and 57 deal with judicially noticeable facts. Section 58 postulates that things admitted need not to be proved. A Dispute is difference of opinion between the parties on questions of fact or of law. In the system of an adversarial proceeding that is prevalent in India as a British legacy, “facts in issue” are the facts” asserted and denied” by the parties and the Court has to adjudicate on those issues. If there is no dispute between the parties as to certain matters,   the court might dispense with proof of those facts and, in legal parlance, those facts are said to be “common ground”. And the court may dispense with proof of facts admitted by both the parties to a case because there is no dispute as to the existence of those facts.

FACTS JUDICIALLY NOTICEABLE (Sections 56 & 57)

Certain facts are so scandalous in themselves, or are stated in so authentic manner in well- known and accessible publications, that they require no proof. The Court, if it does not know them, can inform itself upon them without formally taking evidence. These facts are said to be judicially noticed. ”Judicial Notice” is a manoeuvre by which the court “notices” or takes cognizance of certain facts which are broadly known to exist. Those facts are so well known to be true that their formal proof is considered redundant and unnecessary. Section 56 states that a fact judicially noticeable need not be proved, whereas Section 57 enumerates in clauses (1) to (13), the facts which have to be judicially noticed and which need not to be proved.

Principle/Object:

In the cases of the facts dealt by these Sections, the judge’s belief in their existence is induced by the general knowledge acquired, otherwise than in particular proceedings before the Court and independently of the action of the parties therein. The judicial notice is taken for the common affairs of the life which are of general knowledge. The rationale of “judicial notice” is not that the Court knows them as do many others; but it is the intrinsic indisputability of the facts because of their notoriety. Two reasons have been put forward for the doctrine of judicial notice; (a) Firstly, it expedites the hearing of cases if well-known facts are judicially noticed; (b) secondly, it tends to produce uniformity of decisions on matters of fact. The wisdom of administration with proof of matters within the collective knowledge of everyone has never been questioned.

FACTS ADMITTED NEED NOT BE PROVED (Section 58)

Another set of facts which need not be proved are facts which have been admitted. There are two methods of holding trial, one is the inquisitorial system in which the judge also acts as an investigator of facts; and the other is the adversary system in which the judge sits like a silent umpire; he can either advice any party nor ask for the production of any evidence. He gives his judgement on the basis of the contentions argued before him, i.e., according to the issues between parties. Facts which have been admitted on both sides are not in issue and therefore, no proof need to be offered of them. A court in general has to try the questions on which parties are at issue, and not those on which they have agreed. Admissions which have been deliberately made for the purpose of suit, whether in pleading or by the agreement, which acts as an estoppel to the admission of any evidence contradicting them.

Principle/ Object:

What is admitted need not be proved, is the simple principle lying under this section. The object of this is to save time and expense at a trial. One of the principal effects of admission is to shorten the litigation just as the effect of res judicata is to give finality of litigation.

In Union of India v. Ibrahim Uddin[1]

The Supreme Court observed, “Admission is the best piece of substantive evidence that an opposite party can rely upon, though not conclusive, is the decisive of the matter, unless successfully proved withdrawn or proved erroneous. Admission may in certain circumstances, operate as an estoppel. The question which is needed to be considered is what weight is to be attached to an admission and for that purpose it is necessary to find out as to whether it is clear, unambiguous and a relevant piece of evidence and further it is prove in accordance with the provisions of evidence act. It would be appropriate to offer an opportunity to the person under cross examination to tender his explanation and clear the point on the question of admission.”[2]

In, Raman Pillai v. Kumaran Parameswarn[3]

The facts in question were admitted in written statement. In a suit for title, admissions were made by the predecessor in interest of the plaintiffs in their written statement in earlier judicial proceedings to the effect that the right in the suit property were lost by adverse possession and limitation and the predecessors of the respondents had perfected the title. Certified copy of written statement was held to statement in question was not a public document.

CONCLUSION

Taking into account the Indian Evidence Act provisions and the aforementioned judicial rulings, it can be determined that the facts are not legally recognizable by the courts, such as laws existing and applicable in India; articles of war; state seals; the facts relating to legislative, executive and judicial processes in India, or to any other sovereign or state recognised by the Indian Government; the rule of law etc. need not be proved by the parties to the suit.


[1] (2012) 8 SCC 148

[2] indiankanoon.org

[3] AIR 2002 Ker 133