The Indian Evidence Act, originally passed in India by the Imperial Legislative Council in 1872, during the British Raj, contains a set of rules and allied issues governing admissibility of evidence in the Indian courts of law.
The enactment and adoption of the Indian Evidence Act was a path-breaking judicial measure introduced in India, which changed the entire system of concepts pertaining to admissibility of evidences in the Indian courts of law. Until then, the rules of evidences were based on the traditional legal systems of different social groups and communities of India and were different for different people depending on caste, religious faith and social position. The Indian Evidence Act introduced a standard set of law applicable to all Indians. The law is mainly based upon the firm work by Sir James Fitzjames Stephen, who could be called the founding father of this comprehensive piece of legislation.
The Indian Evidence Act, identified as Act no. 1 of 1872, and called the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, has eleven chapters and 167 sections, and came into force 1 September 1872. At that time, India was a part of the British Empire. Over a period of more than 125 years since its enactment, the Indian Evidence Act has basically retained its original form except certain amendments from time to time.
The Criminal Law Amendment Act, 2005
This Act is divided into three parts and there are 11 chapters in total under this Act.
> Part 1: deals with relevancy of the facts. There are two chapters under this part: the first chapter is a preliminary chapter which introduces to the Evidence Act and the second chapter specifically deals with the relevancy of the facts.
> Part 2: consists of chapters from 3 to 6. Chapter 3 deals with facts which need not be proved, chapter 4 deals with oral evidence, chapter 5 deals with documentary evidence and chapter 6 deals with circumstances when documentary evidence has been given preference over the oral evidence.
> Part 3: consists of chapter 7 to chapter 11. Chapter 7 talks about the burden of proof. Chapter 8 talks about estoppel, chapter 9 talks about witnesses, chapter 10 talks about examination of witnesses, and last chapter which is chapter 11 talks about improper admission and rejection of evidence.