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In this article, Sourav Bhola of RGNUL discusses Notice of Production of Document Under Order 12 Rule 8 of Civil Procedure Code,1908.

Introduction

The notice of Production of Document to the other party who is in possession of the documents which are supposed to be relevant for the proceeding of the case. Proofs and pieces of evidence are highly in demand by the court to decide the case. The evidence and proofs may in form of the official document. Documents can be the receipt of payment made between parties, official certificate/paper or signed paper of agreement, certificate of birth etc.

Order 12 Rule 8 of Civil Procedure Code, 1908

Notice to produce documents.

Notice to produce documents shall be in Form No. 12 in Appendix C, with such variations as circumstances may require. An affidavit of the pleader, or his clerk, or of the service of any notice to produce, and of the time when it was served, with a copy of the notice to produce, shall in all cases be sufficient evidence of the service of the notice, and of the time when it was served.”

The order was served on respondent by the petitioner to produce the documents that are relevant or related to the case. The notice served should be in the Form No. 12 in Appendix C.

The court will admit the provided documents as an Evidence by the respondent party, if relevant. And then, the court will further proceed with cross-examination of those documents in the Civil Proceedings.

Documents admissible in the proceeding of Civil Suit

Documents which are in the possession of other parties upon the notice is served. The documents which are admissible in the court can be called by the party.  Documents which are called by notice or order are the original documents:

  • Official signed agreement
  • Receipt of the payment
  • Official Certificates
  • Recording and photographs can also be treated as an admissible document as per the facts of the case.
  • According to Section 65 of Evidence Act, Electronic Records without the certificate is admissible as an Evidence in the Court.

What if the other party doesn’t provide the document?

Documents are not provided by respondent party due to various reasons:

  • Documents are damaged or lost.
  • Fraudulently conceal the documents with the intention to not to present them in court.
  • Documents are not available.

If the documents are not provided by the respondent party, then the court will give an opportunity to the petitioner to produce the secondary evidence.[1]

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What is Secondary Evidence

Secondary Evidence is mentioned in Section 63 of Indian Evidence Act,

According to Section 63 of the said Act:

“Secondary Evidence means and includes –

  • Certified copies given under the provisions hereinafter contained;
  • Copies made from the original by mechanical processes which in themselves ensure the accuracy of the copy and copies compared with such copies;
  • Copies made from or compared with the original;
  • Counterparts of documents as against the parties who did not execute them;
  • Oral accounts of the contents of a document given by some person who has himself have seen it.”

Secondary Evidence can be

  1. Certified copy of the original document. The copy of the original document must be true and accurate.
  2. The copies of the original documents made from the mechanical process are considered as secondary evidence.  It includes the photocopy and printing of the original document. The mechanical process ensures the originality and accuracy of the document.
  3. Copies made and compared from the original document are admissible if there is no use of Mechanical Procedure.
  4. Call Recordings, CCTV footage and tapes are admissible as Secondary evidence.
  5. Oral evidence by the person who himself has seen the document is permissible when the original and photocopy of the original document both are not available.
  6. Secondary evidence is permissible in court only when it is not altered from the original document.
  7. Certified copy of registered sale deed is not considered to be secondary evidence except the proper reason mentioned for the non-availability of the original document.
  8. Certified copy of Will is also not considered as Secondary evidence.
  9. Newspaper report can also be considered as Secondary Evidence.  

Other provisions related to the production of documents

Order 11 Rule 14 of Civil Procedure Code, 1908

Production of documents- “It shall be lawful for the court, at the time during the pendency of any suit, to order the production by any party thereto, upon oath, of such of the documents in his possession or power, relating to any matter in question in such suit, as the Court shall think right; and the Court may deal with such documents, when produced, in such manner as shall appear just.”

As per the Order 11 Rule 14, Court can order for the production of the document by any party in the suit. And the court can further proceed with such documents as appear just. This rule empowers the court to order the production of documents during the pendency of the suit.

Order 11 Rule 16 of Civil Procedure Code,1908

Notice to produce- “Notice to any party to produce any documents referred to in his pleading or affidavits shall be in Form No. 7 in Appendix C, with such variations as circumstances may require.”

According to Order 11 Rule 16, the notice is given to the party who is in possession of the documents which are specifically mentioned in the plaint or written statement or affidavit.

Difference between Order 12 Rule 8 and Order 11 Rule 16 of the Civil Procedure Code, 1908

Order 12 Rule 8 deals with the production of documents which may or may not be mentioned in the plaint or written statement by the party. A party can issue a notice to the other party which is in possession of the documents to produce the document.

Order 11 Rule 16, deals with the production of documents which are specifically mentioned in the written statement or affidavit or plaint by the party. A party can issue a notice to other party who is in possession of the mentioned document to produce the document.

Conclusion

Order 12 Rule 8 of Civil Procedure Code, 1908, deals with the notice of production of documents which are relevant for the civil proceedings. The notice is served on the party who is in the possession of the documents. If the documents are provided then the court will continue with the Cross-Examination of the Document in the proceedings. But when the documents are not available or not provided then the petitioner will be granted an opportunity to provide the secondary evidence.

References

[1] Ram Naresh Mudghal & Ors. vs. Munesh Chand Gupta, 2010.

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