Section 80 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872

Comments:

The scope and application of Section 80 are considerably wider than Section 79. Section 79 raises presumption that the certified copy of a document is genuine but under the Section 80 the presumption is about certain facts concerning the statement and confession which were duly taken and recorded in accordance with law. This section, therefore, deals with the presumption about record of evidence or confession.

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The section applies: (i) to the document which purports to be a record or memorandum of the evidence given by a witness in a judicial proceeding or before any official authorized by law to take such evidence, and (ii) to a statement or confession of an accused person taken and recorded as per law. For instance, when a person appeared before the court and recorded his statement or a confession is recorded by a Magistrate. In both the cases certified copies were issued. In subsequent proceeding the court will presume that the statement or confession recorded in earlier case is genuine and admissible once there is a presumption of truth in favour of the official document there heavy onus has to be discharged by a party who tampers the record not to be genuine.

The presumption can be raised only when the evidence is taken in accordance with law. When a confession duly taken is tented in the Sessions Court the statement as to the circumstances under which it was taken are true and that such confession was duly taken. The statements made soon after the incident are far move trustworthy than later denials or embellishments.

Record or memorandum of evidence:

Memorandum of evidence means “a record of statement by a witness as evidence before the court for the purpose of proving or disproving any relevant fact or fact in issue”. Thus the memorandum of evidence means the statement of evidence which is given by a witness before any judicial proceeding or before any legally authorized person who will record the statement in accordance with law.

Under this section the statements or confession are to be taken or recorded in accordance with law. It means that the courts have to follow Rule 5 of Order 18, C.P.C. and Sections 164, 355, 357 and 360 of the Cr. P.C. The statements recorded should be read over to the witness and to be signed by the judge. Confession recorded by a second class magistrate not specially empowered in that behalf and not being taken in accordance with law is inadmissible in evidence.