THE INSIGNIFICANCE OF CHARACTER UNDER THE INDIAN EVIDENCE ACT

Introduction

The pertinence of an awful person has been clarified under Sec. 53, Sec. 53A, and Sec. 54 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872. Sec. 53 clarifies about the individual blamed for a great person is unessential. Sec 53A was embedded by prudence of the Criminal Law Amendment, 2013 which was finished by the suggestions made by the Justice Verma Committee report. Sec 54[1] clarifies the way that the awful person of the accused is unimportant except if a proof has been given that he has a great person for the situation which becomes significant. This part has likewise an exemption where the awful person becomes superfluous. Right off the bat, the segment doesn’t make a difference to the cases in which the terrible person of any individual is itself a reality in the issue. Furthermore, an individual sentenced is important as proof of terrible proof.

The term ‘Character’

The word character has not been portrayed in Indian regulation. The Cambridge word reference characterizes lead as a specific blend of characteristics that make an individual not the same as others. Genuineness, easy-going, unobtrusive, savage attitude, and so forth are largely characteristics of character.

Interpretation Of Section 53A

In the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, the Section 53A explicitly manages the insignificance of character in assault cases which peruses as follows:

In an arraignment for an offence under Sec. 354, Sec. 354A, Sec. 354B, Sec. 354C, Sec.  354, Sec. 376, Sec. 376A, Sec. 376B, Sec. 376C, Sec. 376D and Sec. 376E of Indian Penal Code (45 and 1860) or for an endeavour to submit any such offence, where the topic of assent is in issue, proof of the personality of the person in question or such individual’s past sexual involvement in any individual will not be significant on the issue of such assent or the nature of assent.”

This part was embedded by Criminal Law Amendment, 1872 by the suggestions made by Justice J.S. Verma advisory group which was set by the public authority after the horrendous assault episode that happened in Delhi on December 16, 2012, also known as Nirbhaya Case. The committee was approached to audit the current regulations propose revisions to criminal regulation to manage the occurrences of sexual brutality. The board made a wide scope of proposals that incorporates new offences, alterations, and a few adjustments inside the established structure. The revisions which were made additionally incorporated the Indian Evidence Act i.e., the inclusion of new Section 53A.[2]

Foundation of the committee

On December 23, 2012, a three-part Committee headed by Justice J.S. Verma, previous Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, was comprised to prescribe alterations to the Criminal Law to accommodate faster preliminary and upgraded discipline for hoodlums blamed for carrying out rape against ladies. Different individuals on the Committee were Justice Leila Seth, previously appointed authority of the High Court, and Gopal Subramaniam, previous Solicitor General of India. The Committee presented its report on January 23, 2013. It made suggestions on regulations connected with assault, inappropriate behaviour, dealing, kid sexual maltreatment, clinical assessment of casualties, police, constituent, and instructive changes[3].

Relevant Case Laws

Habeeb Mohammad v. the State of Hyderabad[4]

       This situation relates to the personality of the denounced i.e., Section 53 of Indian Evidence Act, 1872. In a lawbreaker continuing, the charge will undoubtedly show that he is an individual of a good person. Demonstrations of the denounced would be dubious free when we are familiar with the personality of an individual. In dubious cases, proof of a good person helps the case for the denounced.

Bharpur Singh v. Parshotam Dass –

For this case the case number is  RSA No. 2778 of 2015 (O&M), the court portrayed the extent of Sec. 52 and Sec. 54 of the Indian Evidence Act,1872. This case was recorded to oppose an activity for recuperation welcomed on a promissory note. While choosing the extent of Sec. 52 of the Indian Evidence Act,1872, the court concluded that this segment alludes to a circumstance where proof of character delivers the likelihood or impossibility of any direct and is unessential in civil cases. On the off chance that the person is in issue, proof of the proof of character is significant.

Ram Lakhan v. State of Uttar Pradesh[5]

Wherein the depiction of the blamed as a criminal was viewed as character proof and hence denied by the high court. Be that as it may if the proof is other important it would not be delivered unacceptably under this part since it shows the awful person of the blamed.

Prithvi Singh v. State of Uttar Pradesh[6]

In this case, the homicide charged gave no proof to layout a great person, the indictment was banished from getting proof laying out the unfortunate person of the denounced. Proof can be given of a specific attribute that is given in the issue.

Raghunath Pandey v. Bobby Bedi[7]

In this case, the maker of a film ‘Mangal Pandey’ in light of the existence of a political dissident by a similar name, was sued by the relatives of Mangal Pandey, because a similar name, was sued by the relatives of Mangal Pandey because of the portrayal of his personality as an alcoholic having unlawful associations with whores impacted his standing and that of his relatives. Here the offended party’s personality turns into a reality in the issue.

Vasanthi v. Bakthavatchalu[8]

In this case, the characters of both the offended party and the respondent were realities in issue and the court considered proof of the personality of both to choose in the wellbeing, the authority of the youngsters. A terrible person isn’t characterized in Indian regulation yet it adds up to the overall importance as deciphered by the general public. Clarification 2 of Sec. 54 of the Evidence Act, 1872, gives that proof appearance any past conviction is additionally pertinent as proof of an awful person in criminal cases.

Conclusion

As per the Indian Evidence Act, the Civil cases relating to character aren’t important subject to specific exemptions. In criminal cases, the proof relating to a great person is applicable yet proof portraying the awful person isn’t pertinent subject to specific exemptions. Different nations like the United States of America, the United Kingdom and a lot more additionally manage the significance of the person as proof.

Author(s) Name: Ritika Kumari (Narvadeshwar Law College, Lucknow)

References:

[1] The Indian Evidence Act, 1872, Section 54.

[2] The Indian Evidence Act, 1872, Section 53A.

[3] PRS LEGISLATIVE RESEARCH, <https://prsindia.org/policy/report-summaries/justice-verma-committee-report-summary> accessed 23 February 2022.

[4] Habeeb Mohammad v. The State of Hyderabad, (1954) AIR 51, 1954 SCR 475.

[5] Ram Lakhan v. the State of U.P., AIR 1983 SC 352.

[6] Prithvi Singh v. State of Uttar Pradesh, (1968) WLN 275.

[7] Sh. Raghu Nath Pandey and Anr. v. Sh. Bobby Bedi and Ors., (2006) SCC Online Delhi 221.

[8] B. Vasanthi v. Bakthavatchalu and Others, AIR 1993 Mad 322.