- Foreign Law
- Identity of handwriting
- Finger impressions
- Section 47 :Opinion as to handwriting, when relevant
- Section 48:Opinion as to existence of right or custom, when relevant
- Section 49:Opinion as to usages, tenets, etc., when relevant
- Section 50:Opinion on relationship, when relevant
- Section 51 :Grounds of opinion, when relevant
“When the Court has to form an opinion upon a point of foreign law, or of science or art, or as to the identity of handwriting, or finger impressions or, footprints or, palm impressions or typewriting or usage of trade or technical terms or identity of persons or animals, the opinions, upon that point, of persons specially skilled in such foreign law, science or art, or as to the identity of handwriting, finger impressions, footprints, palm impressions, typewriting, usage of trade, technical terms or identity of persons or animals, as the case may be, are relevant facts. Such persons are called "experts.”
Supply of copy of Expert`s Report:
“45A.(1) Except by leave of the Court, a witness shall not testify as an expert unless a copy of his report has, pursuant to subsections (2) and (3), been given to all the parties.
(2) An expert’s report shall be addressed to the Court and not to the party on whose behalf he is examined and he shall owe a duty to help the Court and this duty shall override any obligation to the party on whose behalf he is examined.
(3) An expert’s report must -
(a) give details of the expert’s qualifications;
(b) give details of any literature or other material which the expert has relied on, in making the report;
(c) state who carried out any test or experiment which the expert has used for the report and whether or not the test or experiment has been carried out under the expert’s supervision and the reasons if any, given by the person who conducted the test;
(d) give the qualifications of the person who carried out any such test or experiment;
(e) where there is a range of opinion on the matters dealt with in the report –
(i) summarise the range of opinion, and
(ii) give reasons for his own opinion;
(f) contain a summary of conclusions reached;
(g) contain a statement that the expert understood his duty to the Court and has complied with that duty;
(h) contain a statement setting out the substance of all material instructions (whether written or oral) of the party on whose behalf he is examined.;
(i) be verified by a statement of truth as follows:“I believe that the facts I have stated in the report are true and that the opinion I have expressed are correct ”; and
(j) contain a statement that the expert is conscious that if the report contained any false statement without an honest belief about its truth, proceedings may be brought for prosecution or for contempt of Court, with the permission and under the directions of Court.
45B. (1) A party to a suit or other civil proceeding who intends to raise an issue concerning the law of a foreign country shall give notice in his pleadings or other reasonable written notice.
(2) The Court, in determining a question of foreign law, in any particular case may, after notifying the parties, consider any relevant material or source, including evidence, whether or not submitted by a party, and the decision of the Court shall be treated as a decision on a question of law”.
For section 48 of the principal Act, the following section shall be substituted, namely:-
Opinion as to existence of right or custom, when relevant:
“48. When the Court has to form an opinion as to the existence of any general or public right or custom or any matter of general or public interest, the opinions, as to the existence of such right or custom or such matter, of persons who are likely to know of its existence if it existed or of that matter, as the case may be, are relevant.
Explanation: The expression ‘general or public right or custom or any matter of general or public interest` includes rights or customs or matters common to any considerable class of persons.
The right of the villagers of a particular village to use the water of a particular well is a general right within the meaning of this section.”
Some of the Rulings of Supreme Court&High Courts on Expert Evidences:
- Expert opinion need corroboration-AIR 1957 SC 318,AIR 1963 SC 1940
- Expert opinion must be supported by reasons-AIR 1974 Ker 308
- Expert evidence is weak type of evidence -1996 4 SCC 596 [Gopal Reddy V State of A.P ]
- Expert has to face Cross Examination to establish his creditability -1999 7 SC 280[State of H.P V Jai Lal ]
- The opinion of government experts are reliable in case of two conflicting reports - Cri.LJ 810 Raj Mohamaddan V State of H.P
- The expert opinion on hand writing needs corroboration -AIR 1964 SC 529
- Blood grouping perfect test to determine paternity -AIR 1986 M.P 57
- No one can be compelled to give sample of blood for analysis -AIR 1993 SC 2295 [Goutam Kundu V State of W.B]
- The court can order blood test on respondent but can not compelled to give blood sample-AIR 1993 SC 2295[Sadashiv M Kheradkar V Nandini S . Kheeradkar]
- A medical man is called an expert, he is not a witness of fact,A medical witness ,who performs a post-mortem examination is a witness of fact-1960 CrLJ 1020[ Nagindra Bala Mitra vs Sunil Chandra Roy]
- Medical certificates or reports are worst form of hearsay evidence and the writer who wrote or issued it should be called upon to prove its contents else there will be plenty of chance to create false certificates and reports.