Production of documents under evidence act
Under Section 162 of The Indian Evidence Act, 1872, A witness summoned to produce a document shall, if it is in his possession or power, bring it to the Court, notwithstanding any objection which there may be to its production or to its admissibility. The validity of any such objection shall be decided on by the Court. The Court, if it sees, fit, may inspect the document, unless it refers to matters of State, or take other evidence to enable it to determine its admissibility.
If for such a purpose it is necessary to cause any document to be translated, the Court may, if it thinks fit, direct the translator to keep the contents secret, unless the document is to be given in evidence: and, if the interpreter disobeys such direction, he shall be held to have committed an offense under section 166 of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860).
A witness summoned to produce a document shall, if it is in his possession or power, bring it to the Court, notwithstanding any objection which there may be to its production or to its admissibility. The validity of any such objection shall be decided on by the Court.
It was argued in Governor-General-in council v. H. Peer Mohd. AIR 1950 EP 228 (FB) (A) that the Civil P. C. being a later statute O. 11, K. 19(2) had the effect of repealing pro tanto the provisions of Section 162, Indian Evidence Act. The Pull Bench repelled this contention holding that the prohibition with regard to the inspection of a State document arises out of the privilege of the State, and is not a procedural matter with which alone Sub-rule (2), Rule 19, Order 11, C. P. C. deals. Then the matter of State privilege is a matter of constitutional law and is dealt with specifically under Sections 123 and 162 of the Indian Evidence Act. It will be obvious that para two of Section 162 of the Evidence Act is clear on the point that the Court can inspect other documents but cannot inspect a document if it refers to matters of State. Under Section 124 it is for the Court to decide whether a document is a communication made to a public officer in official confidence, and for its decision, the Court can surely inspect the document. In the present case, the documents have been inspected by the learned Sessions Judge who comes to the conclusion that they are not communications made to a public officer in official confidence within the meaning of Section 124 of the Evidence Act.