Renowned Jurist Bentham defines evidence as “any matter of fact, the effect, tendency or design of which, when presented by to the mind, is to produce in the mind, a persuasion concerning the existence of some other matter of fact- a persuasion either affirmative or dis-affirmative of its existence.”
Section 3 of Indian Evidence Act states WHAT EVIDENCE MEANS AND INCLUDES – definition is inclusive and not exhaustive. The definition of “evidence” has to be read with “proved”. Affidavits are not included within this definition and S-1 of the Act bars the applicability of Indian Evidence Act 1872 to it. Anything by which alleged matter or fact is either established or disproved and that makes the thing in question evident to the Court is evidence.
Generally there are Seven types of Evidences:
1. Direct Evidence: Testimony of a witness as to the existence or non-existence of Fact-In-Issue by virtue of S-60 and Production of Original Documents by virtue of S-64 are examples of direct evidence.
2. Circumstantial Evidence: Testimony of a witness as to the existence of other relevant facts, from which the Facts-In-Issue may be inferred is the example of Circumstantial Evidence.
3. Hearsay Evidence: Newspaper, Third party statements etc. are the examples of Hearsay Evidences.
4. Primary Evidence: Document itself produced for the inspection of the court.
5. Secondary Evidence: Certified Copies; Copies made from original Mechanical processes; Counterparts of document; Oral accounts of the contents of the Document are the examples of Secondary Evidences.
6. Oral Evidence
7. Documentary Evidence includes Electronic Records by virtue of S-65 A & B
Often term “Judicial Evidence” is also used which can be defined as evidence received by Courts in proof or disproof of facts, the existence of which comes into question before it.
What the witnesses tender in Court is called Evidence tendered in Court. It can be Oral or Documentary (admissibility depends upon the stage of proceeding and relevancy to fact-in-issue). The Court should record the Oral evidence (if possible) word to word as spoken by the witness. Even otherwise the Court is bound to read out the evidence as and when it is being recorded and certify after the evidence tendered is completed. The evidence of the witness is treated as completed only if he is cross-examined. In case where there is no cross-examination, the evidence recorded-in-chief will be treated as the complete evidence of the witness. No cross-examination, here means the party who has a right to cross-examination the witness did not avail the opportunity. If the witness disputes the correctness of what is recorded, he should raise his objection then and there or at any date on the next day after reading the evidence by himself. A delayed request for correction of any errors in the evidence shall not be entertained. That is the reason why errors in the evidence shall not be the same is read out to the witness and that he has admitted the recorded deposition as true and correct. [Rambali v. State of U.P. AIR 2004 SC 2329 ].