Question: Is a document of title, which is more than 20 years old and the basis of the suit, admissible under Section 90 of the Evidence Act? Would it not be correct to say that sub-Section (2) of Section 90A inserted by the U.P. Civil Laws Amendment Act, overrides Section 90? Find the answer to the mains question… Read More »

Question: Is a document of title, which is more than 20 years old and the basis of the suit, admissible under Section 90 of the Evidence Act? Would it not be correct to say that sub-Section (2) of Section 90A inserted by the U.P. Civil Laws Amendment Act, overrides Section 90? Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [Is a document of title, which is more than 20 years old and the basis of the suit, admissible under Section 90 of the Evidence Act? Would it not be correct...

Question: Is a document of title, which is more than 20 years old and the basis of the suit, admissible under Section 90 of the Evidence Act? Would it not be correct to say that sub-Section (2) of Section 90A inserted by the U.P. Civil Laws Amendment Act, overrides Section 90?

Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [Is a document of title, which is more than 20 years old and the basis of the suit, admissible under Section 90 of the Evidence Act? Would it not be correct to say that sub-Section (2) of Section 90A inserted by the U.P. Civil Laws Amendment Act, overrides Section 90?]

Answer

Section 90 of the Indian Evidence Act talks about the presumption as to documents thirty years old. The U. P. Amending Act renumbers the existing Section 90 as Section 90 (1) and adds sub-section (2) to Section 90 and one more section as Section 90A. This amendment is applicable to Uttar Pradesh only.

“90A (1) Where any registered document or a duly certified copy of a document which is part of the record of a Court of Justice, is produced from any custody which the court in the particular case considers proper, the court may presume that the original was executed by the person by whom it purports to have been executed. (2) This presumption shall not be made in respect of any document which is the basis of a suit or of defence or is relied upon in the plaint or written statement.

The explanation to sub-section (1) of Section 90 will also apply to this section.”

The principles underlying the amended Section 90 (1) and (2) and Section 90A (as applicable to U. P.) may be summarized as follows:

  1. Where any document, purporting or proved to be 20 years old is produced from proper custody, the court may presume the genuineness of its execution and attestation. Accordingly, if a document is 20 years old, its genuineness may be presumed whether it is registered or not.
  2. Where a document purporting or proved to be 20 years old was registered in accordance with the law of registration, and a duly certified copy thereof is produced, the court may presume the genuineness of the execution and attestation of the original. According to this part of the amendment, if the copy of an unregistered document is produced, no presumption about the genuineness of the execution or attestation of the original can be made howsoever old the original or the copy may be.
  3. Where a registered document or a certified copy of a document that forms part of a record of a Court of Justice (plaint, written statement, application in a judicial proceeding, etc.) is produced from proper custody, the genuineness of the execution and attestation of the original may be presumed. But if the document or the copies referred to above are the basis of a suit or defence or are relied upon in plaint or written statement the presumption of the genuineness shall not be made. According to this section, if a registered deed or a copy of a paper of a judicial record is not the basis of a suit or defence and they have not relied upon a plaint or written statement the presumption of genuineness may be made even if the document is one day old.

Consequently in Uttar Pradesh, if an original deed is 20 years old (registered or unregistered), a copy of the registered deed is 20 years old, and the originally registered deed (not used as the basis of suit or defence and not relied upon in plaint or written statement) howsoever new, copies of documents forming part of the judicial record (not used as the basis of suit or defence and not relied upon in plaint or written statement) are produced the genuineness of their execution and attestation may be presumed.

The presumption under Section 90A, Evidence Act may be made only if the original shows on the fact of it the name of the person by whom it purports to have been executed. Where the document does not purport to show who prepared and signed it, the fact that it is 20 or 30 years old does not make it admissible without proof.

Section 90A (2) lays down that where any registered document or a duly certified copy of a document which is a part of a record is produced its genuineness may be presumed, but if such deed or document is a basis of a suit or defence etc. its genuineness shall not be presumed.

If a deed or document is covered by Section 90 (2) its genuineness may be presumed even if it is the basis of a suit. For instance in the case of Ram Jas v. Surendra Nath, AIR 1980 All 385 (FB) where A registered will was executed more than twenty years old, a certified copy was filed in the case, from the copy the court presumed the genuineness of the document, though it was the basis of the suit.

Thus, it would not be incorrect to say that the sub-Section (2) of Section 90A inserted by the U.P. Civil Laws Amendment Act, overrides Section 90 of the Indian Evidence Act by virtue of the principle that special laws prevail over general laws.


Important Mains Questions Series for Judiciary, APO & University Exams

  1. Law of Evidence Mains Questions Series Part-I
  2. Law of Evidence Mains Questions Series Part-II
  3. Law of Evidence Mains Questions Series Part-III
  4. Law of Evidence Mains Questions Series Part-IV
  5. Law of Evidence Mains Questions Series Part-V
  6. Law of Evidence Mains Questions Series Part-VI
  7. Law of Evidence Mains Questions Series Part-VII
  8. Law of Evidence Mains Questions Series Part-VIII
  9. Law of Evidence Mains Questions Series Part-IX
  10. Law of Evidence Mains Questions Series Part-X
Updated On 2021-10-01T07:25:56+05:30
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