Meaning, Nature & Scope of Law of Evidence

The word ‘evidence “is derived from the Latin word  evider, which means  to show  clearly; to make  clear  to the sight ; to discover clearly; to make plainly certain ; to ascertain ;to prove. So evidence is about  proving or disproving  facts in issue , the means  by which  such facts  come  to be  proved  or disproved.

Black’s Law Dictionary  has defined the evidence  as something  including testimony  documents and tangible  objects) that  tends  to prove  or disprove  the existence  of an alleged  fact.E.g.the bloody glove is the key piece of evidence  for the prosecution .Evidence  is the  demonstration  of a fact , it signifies  that which  demonstrates makes  clear  or ascertains the  truth  of the very  fact or p0int in issue.

Moonir states that “The term evidence in its legal and general acceptation includes all means  by which alleged  fact is proved  or disproved  to the satisfaction  of the court”.

Phipson  states that –Evidence means  the testimony  whether oral, documentary ,real  which may be  legally  received  in order to  proved  or disproved  some fact in issue”.

As per the Indian  Evidence Act,1892 Evidence means;

1.All statements  which the court  permits  or requires  to be made before  it by witness in relation  to matter  of fact  under enquiry such statements are called oral evidence.

2.All documents produced for the inspection  of the court , such documents are called documentary evidence.

Black stone  says that which demonstrates, makes clear  or ascertain  the truth  of facts  or points  in issue  either  or one side  or other .

Evidence Act of Nepal 2031 does not define about the meaning or definition of evidence.

In conclusion evidence means  to prove or disprove , fact in issue  is evidence  and in another word it called relevant fact.

b. General principle of the law of evidence:

The evolution of evidence  law is based on certain basic principles . These are knowing as “five principles” as

1. Best evidence  must be produced in all cases: Where there is possibility  of availability of best evidence  the court insist  on its  production. The court would  not consider other  inferior evidence . Direct evidence is regarded as best evidence.

2. Hearsay is no evidence: Generally hearsay evidence is discarded  in the trial , where there is possibility  of availability  of direct evidence. So it is the negative  expression  of the first principle  state above. There are several exceptions to this rule.

3.He who sets the law in motion must establish his case  himself: The rule  concerns with burden of proof .The  Prosecution  in criminal  proceeding and the Plaintiff  in civil proceeding  must establish his case by evidence  before hearing  the other party.

4.In criminal proceeding  guilt must be proved beyond the reasonable doubt .Where there is doubt benefit  of doubt  goes to the accused.

5.In civil proceeding the case may be adjudicated on balance  of probability: The party wins the case  who is able to  adduce more evidence compare to  his opponent.

c.Nature and scope:

Evidence law is generally used in court. Its scope is very much high  and broad. Generally it comes  to use in two sectors as Judicial and Quasi Judicial.

Judicial Sector:

  1. In civil case: Law of evidence is playing vital role. If Plaintiff comes to court and ask for  Justice  then he/she  shall give evidence. If can not able  to produce  evidence , then he/she  lost his/her case. In other hand if Plaintiff produced evidence against  the defendant  then  defendant shall also produce  his/her  evidence  against plaintiff.

2. In criminal case:

Law of evidence  playing  most important  role in criminal case  as well as civil case. If anyone frames charge-sheet against anyone, the framer shall produce  evidence.If someone takes  plea of innocent  then he/she  shall produce  evidence of innocence.

Quasi Judicial Sector:

Administrator has jurisdiction to see certain case. As per the Interim Constitution of Nepal 2007(2063) Article …. Called them Judicial Institutions. They have  to follow  due process of law; it means  evidence  law is necessary them too.