Question: Jolly informed John in the year 1988 that she had committed theft of the ornaments of her neighbour. Thereafter, Jolly and John were married in 1989. In the year 1992, the prosecution was started against Jolly in respect of the theft of ornaments. John is called to give evidence in this case. Can John disclose the communication… Read More »

Question: Jolly informed John in the year 1988 that she had committed theft of the ornaments of her neighbour. Thereafter, Jolly and John were married in 1989. In the year 1992, the prosecution was started against Jolly in respect of the theft of ornaments. John is called to give evidence in this case. Can John disclose the communication made to him by Jolly? [U.P.H.J.S. 2007] Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [Jolly informed John in the year 1988 that she...

Question: Jolly informed John in the year 1988 that she had committed theft of the ornaments of her neighbour. Thereafter, Jolly and John were married in 1989.

In the year 1992, the prosecution was started against Jolly in respect of the theft of ornaments. John is called to give evidence in this case. Can John disclose the communication made to him by Jolly? [U.P.H.J.S. 2007]

Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [Jolly informed John in the year 1988 that she had committed theft of the ornaments of her neighbour. Thereafter, Jolly and John were married in 1989. In the year 1992, the prosecution was started against Jolly in respect of the theft of ornaments. John is called to give evidence in this case. Can John disclose the communication made to him by Jolly?]

Answer

Section 122 lays down that a wife or husband may not be compelled to divulge the communication of husband to wife and vice versa. According to the section, any communication during the wedlock by the husband to his wife or by wife to her husband is prevented from being proved in a Court of Law. Under this section, a married person shall not be compelled to disclose any communication made to him during marriage by any person to whom he is married.

It is important to note that this section applies to such matters as having been communicated during the marriage. If a communication is made by one person to another after the dissolution of the marriage between them. This section does not apply. Similarly, if communication is made prior to the marriage, the wife or husband may be compelled to depose about it.

It was held in the leading case of M.C. Verghese v. T.J. Ponnan, AIR 1970 SC 1876 that in interpreting the rule, it is not material that the relation of husband and wife should be subsisting at the time when the evidence is required to be given so where a woman has been divorced and had married another husband was offered as a witness against her former husband to prove a communication made during the coverture, it was held that she was incompetent to do so.

The bar to the admissibility in evidence of communications made during marriage attaches at the time when the communication is made, and its admissibility will be adjudged in the light of the status at that date and not the status at the date when evidence is sought to be given in court.

Thus, it is important to note that the protection is limited to such matters as having been communicated ‘during the marriage’. Such communication (during the subsistence of marriage) remains protected even after the dissolution of marriage5 or when one spouse dies. But those made either before marriage or after its dissolution are not protected.

Therefore, in the present case at hand as the facts shows that Jolly informed John in the year 1988 that she had committed theft of the ornaments of her neighbour. Thereafter, Jolly and John were married in 1989, the communication was made to John prior to their marriage, and hence in view of the provisions of section 122, John is competent and can be compelled to disclose the communication made to him by Jolly regarding the commission of theft by her.


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 2021-10-26T07:38:12+05:30
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