Question: Write a note on the Testimony to facts stated in the document mentioned in Section 159. [BIHAR J. 1979] Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [Write a note on the Testimony to facts stated in the document mentioned in Section 159.] Answer Section 159 of the Indian Evidence Act provides that whenever… Read More »

Question: Write a note on the Testimony to facts stated in the document mentioned in Section 159. [BIHAR J. 1979] Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [Write a note on the Testimony to facts stated in the document mentioned in Section 159.] Answer Section 159 of the Indian Evidence Act provides that whenever a witness may refresh his memory by reference to any document, he may with the permission of the Court, refer to a copy of such document: Provided the Court...

Question: Write a note on the Testimony to facts stated in the document mentioned in Section 159. [BIHAR J. 1979]

Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [Write a note on the Testimony to facts stated in the document mentioned in Section 159.]

Answer

Section 159 of the Indian Evidence Act provides that whenever a witness may refresh his memory by reference to any document, he may with the permission of the Court, refer to a copy of such document: Provided the Court be satisfied that there is sufficient reason for the non-production of the original treatises.

Types of material that can be used for refreshing memory

The Section enables a witness to look at the following types of paper for the purpose of refreshing his memory:

  1. writing made by him either at the time of the happening or within so short a time after the happening that the court considers that the happening must have been still fresh in his mind when he was recording it;
  2. any writing made by any other person about the transaction and which was read by the witness within the time mentioned in point number 1;
  3. any professional books where the witness is an expert.

When a witness is being questioned in a court, he is permitted to refresh his memory by referring to any writing made by himself at the time when the fact of which he gives evidence happened. Thus witnesses are permitted to consult their former written statements. This is known as refreshing memory.

The writing may have been made at the time when the fact happened or so soon after its happening the court considers that the transaction was at the time fresh in his memory. The witness is also permitted to refer to any such writing even if made by another person provided that the witness read it within the above-mentioned time and knew it to be correct.

When a witness wants to refresh his memory by referring to any document he may, with the permission of the court, refer to a copy of the document. The court will grant such permission if it is convinced that there is sufficient reason for the non-production of the original.

It is not necessary that the writing should be admissible in evidence. A document that was not produced within the time permitted for its production and, therefore, rejected by the court, may be used for refreshing memory if it otherwise satisfies the spontaneity requirement of the section.

Where the document is otherwise inadmissible, it should not be used by the court for considering the merits of the case. A document that is allowed to be used for this limited purpose does not become a piece of evidence if it is otherwise not admissible evidence.

Also, it is to note that the nature of the document or the purposes for which it was prepared is immaterial. This was clarified by the Supreme Court in the case of Z.B Bhukhari v. B.R. Mehra, A.I.R. 1975 S.C. 1788 election speeches delivered by a candidate contents of which were noted down by some of the persons who heard him and who appeared to testify on that point, they were allowed to look at their notings to refresh their memory.

The witness can give evidence of any facts mentioned in any such document, although he has no specific recollection of those facts, provided that he is sure that the facts were correctly recorded in the document.

This is so provided in Section 160 which says that when one refers for refreshing his memory to any such document the adverse party can require the document to be shown to him and he may cross-examine the witness about the document and the matter mentioned in the document though he has no specific recollection of those facts provided only that he is sure that the facts were correctly recorded in the document.


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 2021-11-12T10:53:46+05:30
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