Question: Write a note on the relevancy of evidence as to good character in civil and criminal cases. [D.J.S. 2008] Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [Write a note on the relevancy of evidence as to good character in civil and criminal cases.] Answer “Character is a combination of quality distinguishing a person,… Read More »

Question: Write a note on the relevancy of evidence as to good character in civil and criminal cases. [D.J.S. 2008] Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [Write a note on the relevancy of evidence as to good character in civil and criminal cases.] Answer “Character is a combination of quality distinguishing a person, the individuality of which is the product of nature, habits and environment.” Is a man honest, is he good-natured, is he of a violent temper,...

Question: Write a note on the relevancy of evidence as to good character in civil and criminal cases. [D.J.S. 2008]

Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [Write a note on the relevancy of evidence as to good character in civil and criminal cases.]

Answer

“Character is a combination of quality distinguishing a person, the individuality of which is the product of nature, habits and environment.”

Is a man honest, is he good-natured, is he of a violent temper, is he modest and retiring or imprudent and forward? These all constitute traits of character. In criminal proceedings, a man’s character is often a matter of importance in explaining his conduct and in judging his innocence or criminality

Section 53 says that “in criminal cases, the fact that the person accused is of a good character is relevant”. Normally, we presume that a person of good character and reputation will not generally resort to any criminal act. Thus, goodness if proved, leads to a presumption against the commission of a crime.

Thus it is said of a person that he bears a good reputation meaning that the person in question has reputation for being a person of good character. Evidence of good character is always admissible. But in any case, the character evidence is weak evidence; it cannot outweigh the positive evidence in regard to the guilt of a person. It may be useful in doubtful cases to tilt the balance in favour of the accused as held in Bhagwan Swarup v. State AIR 1965 SC 682.

The principle upon which good character may be proved is that it affords a presumption against the commission of a crime. This presumption arises from the improbability that a man who has uniformly pursued an honest and upright course of conduct will depart from it and do an act so inconsistent with it.

In criminal inquiries, the case is different (from civil cases). There is a broad line between crime and innocence, and when the question is whether a man has committed an offence, or not, his character becomes a material consideration, sometimes it becomes conclusive.

For instance, a murder is committed under such circumstances that one of two persons must be the murderer: one of them is a habitual robber, notorious, of civil life, of ferocious disposition, of lawless habits: the other is a person of refinement, delicacy and saintliness. Who can doubt that in such a case the character of the person concerned is the main element in consideration of the element of innocence or guilt?

Evidence of good character is accordingly always admissible.


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 2021-10-07T17:58:14+05:30
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