Evidentiary value of Expert Witness

Normally witnesses are not entitled to give their opinion in any proceedings. They should tell whatever they see or observe but Section 23 of Evidence Act 2031 provides for admission of opinions of different types of Experts in court, and the value  to be  given on such opinions as follows;

  1. If court has to form an opinion of foreign law, science, art, handwriting or finer impressions, it may take the opinions of experts of such subject as evidence.
  2. If court has form an opinion on handwriting of a person, it may take opinion of a person who has had opportunity to see handwriting and is in a situation  to identify handwriting  as evidence.
  3. If court has to form an opinion as to relationship between persons, it may take as evidence the opinions of people  who have special knowledge  of relationship.
  4. If court has to form an opinion as to meaning of certain words placed in certain places , it may take the opinion  of person  having special knowledge  of same as evidence.

Such opinions are however to be admitted as evidence  only if an expert  comes and testifies in the court.The expert’s opinion is only piece of evidence and cannot be taken  as substantive piece of evidence since it is to be judged along with other evidence. In other words, expert’s opinion must be corroborating with the other evidence. As for instance, report of handwriting expert is not admissible in evidence in the absence of formal proof. In the case of Mubark Ali vs.State  of Bombay, the Indian Supreme Court  laid down  that a witness  must confine himself to the facts and not to state of his opinion. But according to Section 23(7) of Evidence Act 2031, author of an article or book need not be present  in the court in person for  the article  or book  to be admitted as evidence. And also , if the  Post Mortem  Report does not  contradict  with other  facts collected  during the course of  investigation  or if the opponent  does not challenge  matter  in court, the Expert need not come to the court.