Question: “The Court may presume the existence of any fact which it thinks likely to have happened, regard being had to the common course of natural events, human conduct and public and private business in their relation to the facts of the particular case”. Explain and illustrate the proposition. Find the answer to the mains question only on… Read More »

Question: “The Court may presume the existence of any fact which it thinks likely to have happened, regard being had to the common course of natural events, human conduct and public and private business in their relation to the facts of the particular case”. Explain and illustrate the proposition. Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [“The Court may presume the existence of any fact which it thinks likely to have happened… facts of the particular...

Question: “The Court may presume the existence of any fact which it thinks likely to have happened, regard being had to the common course of natural events, human conduct and public and private business in their relation to the facts of the particular case”. Explain and illustrate the proposition.

Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [“The Court may presume the existence of any fact which it thinks likely to have happened… facts of the particular case”. Explain and illustrate the proposition.]

Answer

Under Section 114, Indian Evidence Act, the court may presume the existence of any fact which it thinks likely to have happened, regard being had to the common course of

  1. natural events,
  2. human conduct, and
  3. public and private business,

in their relation to the facts of the particular case”.

There are facts that are so obvious that they may not be required to be proved as the court presumes their existence.

Section 114 is based on the maxim that ‘all are presumed to have been done correctly and regularly’. Section 114 authorizes the court to make certain presumptions of facts, without the help of any artificial rules of law. Such presumptions of facts are always rebuttable (i.e. can be disproved by a contrary fact).

Looking at so many factors if the court thinks that a particular fact should exist, it presumes the existence of the fact. If, for example, a person refuses to answer a question the court may presume that the answer if given, would have been unfavourable to the person concerned. There is the presumption that every person is presumed to intend the natural consequences of his act, that every person charged for a crime is innocent, etc.

The application of the section is very wide. The section covers not merely the particular instances given in the illustrations to the section, but all sorts of similar cases which are equally amenable to the. The Court may presume the existence of any fact which it thinks likely to have happened, regard being had to the common course of natural events, human conduct and public and private business, in their relation to the facts of the particular case.

Illustrations

  1. Every negotiable instrument is presumed that it is drawn for the purpose of good consideration.
  2. There shall be continuity of things unless proven contrary like if a property is considered to be an ancestral property, it shall be presumed that it is so until it is proven contrary to the presumption.
  3. If a person refuses to answer a question, which is not compelled by the law to answer, the court may presume that if he answers the question then the answer would be unfavourable to him.
  4. That if a man possesses some stolen goods soon after the theft then it is believed that he is either the thief or has received the goods knowing the nature of the goods unless he can account for his possession

1. Scope of section 114

This section authorizes the court to make certain presumptions of fact. They are all presumptions which may naturally arise, but the Legislature, by the use of the word “may” instead of “shall” both in the body of the section and in the illustrations, shows that the court is not compelled to raise them but is to consider whether in all the circumstances of the particular case they should be raised.

The section does not lay down any hard and fast rule with regard to the circumstances in which any fact or facts may be presumed to exist nor does it contain an exhaustive list of such facts, though it gives a few illustrations from various walks of life. In order to draw an inference that a fact in dispute has been established, there must exist, on record, some direct material facts or circumstances from which such an inference could be drawn.

In M. Narsingha Rao v. State of Andhra Pradesh (AIR 2001 SC 318), the Apex Court observed that Section 114 of the Evidence Act gives absolute discretion to the court to presume the existence of certain facts in the manner specified therein. The presumption is an inference of a certain fact drawn from other proved facts.

While inferring the existence of a fact from another the court is only applying a process of intelligent reasoning, what a prudent man would do under similar circumstances? The presumption here is not the final conclusion to be drawn from other facts. But it could be final if it remains undisturbed. In that event, the court can treat the presumption as equivalent to proof. But it would be unsafe to use one presumption to draw another discretionary presumption.

For instance, in the case of n the case of Madan Mohan Singh and Ors. v. Rajni Kant and Anr. [AIR 1992 SC 756] the Court at para 21, the court has relied upon a decision reported in where it was held that if man and woman are living under the same roof and cohabiting for a number of years, there will be a presumption under Section 114 of the Evidence Act, that they live as husband and wife and the children born to them will not be illegitimate.

Similarly, A case of adultery must be judged having due regard to the social conditions and the manner in which the parties are accustomed to live. If there is evidence enough to show that they had reasonable opportunities of having sexual intercourse in the conditions of life in which they live for days together then the court may be justified in raising an inference of adultery as held in Devyani v. Kantilal Gamanlal, (1962) 65 Bom LR 24.


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 2021-10-07T19:17:03+05:30
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