Evidence law
Image Source - https://rb.gy/izt7lx

This article has been written by Subham Mund and Aditya Sinha.

Abstract

Proving something and relevancy of the nature of evidence could be considered as one of the most important aspects of Criminal Jurisprudence. Res gestate could be considered as one of the most important principles under the Evidence Act. The doctrine has been propounded on the hypothesis that relevant parts forming a chain of events should be taken into account before the disposal of the case by the judiciary. As under the legal system, no evidence can be exempted on the grounds of irrelevance if some trifle can vary from case to case.

The major reason behind the incorporation of this doctrine if that Res gestae under criminal law is the requirement of affirming related facts. It is improbable to prove the whole incident in the absence of relevant facts. And proving something is not possible then that can be proved by this doctrine. Res gestae is a term derived from Latin which means that it should form the same part of the transaction. Which broadly translates to the relevant portion so connected directly or indirectly to the main subject matter of the event.

The definition of Res gestae is not exhaustive in nature and it is not definitive so one cannot say with certainty as to what would qualify as res gestae, and rather it entirely depends on the discretion of courts to interpret the provision and apply it to various different cases based on the facts.

Introduction

The term Res Gestae is defined in Section 6 of the Evidence Act. It means something which Is spontaneous or something which is part of the same transaction, same subject matter. The term res gestae consists of that portion of the actual portion of an event that has happened out of which right or liability will be established. It is, therefore, necessary to understand what it really means. The concept can be seen from two aspects one which is a restricted sense which is world’s happening out of which the right or liability in question arises and if we talk about it in a wider sense it covers all the probative facts by which res gestae are reproduced to the tribunal where the direct evidence of witness or perception by the court are unattainable.

Thus the term ‘res gestae’ can be defined as those circumstances which are automatic or undersigned incidents of a particular act that can only be admissible when it is impossible to give an illustration of such an act which was committed. Thus, the term res gestae can be defined as those circumstances which are the automatic and undersigned incidents of a particular act. The incident may be separated from the act by a lapse of time. A transaction may or may not last for weeks, therefore, the incident may consist of saying and doing and they may compromise things that were left undone as were the things done. They must be necessary to the incident of the litigated act in the sense that they are not produced by the calculated policy of the actors.

They are the acts that speak for themselves, not what people say when they are talking about the act. In other words, they must stand on immediate casual relation to the actual relation not broken by the interposition of a voluntary individual witness seeking to manufacture evidence for itself. The test of the admissibility of evidence as part of res gestae is whether the act, declaration or exclamation is so intimately interwoven or connected with the principal facts or even which it characterises as to be regarded as a part of the transaction itself and also whether it negatives any premeditation or purpose to manufacture testimony.

Section 6 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 is underlined by the concept of Res gestae. Proclamations that build up a piece of the res gestae are credited with a particular degree of trustworthiness since they are contemporaneous, making them worthy by decency of ‘nature and strength’ of their relationship with a particular event and their ability to explain it totally. 

The law considers them as adequately solid to defeat the sweeping inclusion of the exclusionary prattle rule, offering acceptable expressions that would somehow or another establish prohibited noise. In understanding the idea of the res gestae exemption for gossip and the way in which it should be understood in singular cases by the Judiciary, it is critical to depend consistently on the fundamental thought that is frequently neglected – the dependability of the assertion. 

The law considers them as adequately solid to beat the extensive inclusion of the exclusionary noise rule, offering permissible expressions that would somehow comprise forbidden prattle. In understanding the idea of the res gestae exemption for prattle and the way in which it should be interpreted in singular cases by the Judiciary, it is essential to depend more than once on the hidden thought that is frequently disregarded – the dependability of the assertion.

Scope of Section 6 

Under the definition of the word “relevant” in Section 3, one fact is said to be relevant to another when one is connected with the other in any of the ways referred to in the provision of the act relating to the relevancy of fact. These particular ways which the law regards as relevancy have been described in Section 6 to 55 which deal with relevant facts. Facts that are not themselves in issue may affect the probability of the existence of the facts in issue and be used as the foundation of inferences respecting them, such facts are described in the Act as relevant facts. 

Every fact is a part of other facts. There is no fact that is unconnected with other facts. The affairs of men consist of a complication of circumstances so intimately interwoven as to be hardly separable from each other. Each owes its birth to some preceding circumstances and in its turn becomes the prolific parent of others and each during its existence has its inseparable attributes and its kindred facts materially affecting its character and essential to be known in order to right understanding of nature. Section 6 of the Indian Evidence Act lays down that the facts which are so connected with the facts in an issue that they form part of the same transaction are relevant facts. 

Same transaction

To comprehend the significance of Section 6 and the rule that underlies it which is res gestae we should initially comprehend “a similar exchange”. The term same exchange has not been characterized under the Evidence Act. In like manner speech, this expression intends to be interlinked or intently weave set of occasions. In legitimate terms, it could be characterized as a gathering of realities, associated together to be alluded to by a solitary lawful name, wrongdoing, an agreement, wrong, or some other subject of request that might be given. From its actual nature, this expression is unequipped for careful definition. It ought not be deciphered in any severe or specialized way yet ought to be perceived as per its etymological importance.

The standard of productive testing for deciding if a reality shapes part of same exchange or another relies on whether they are identified with each other in place of direction or not, as circumstances and logical results.

The instantaneousness of time isn’t so significant. Then again, in light of the fact that two demonstrations are close with respect to time doesn’t mean they are res gestae. To discover whether a progression of acts is a piece of a similar exchange, it is vital for see whether they are connected together to introduce a persistent entire. Segment 6 of the Evidence act expresses that any realities which structure the piece of a similar exchange are important truth.

Exception to hearsay 

Section 6 of the Evidence Act is an exception to the general rule of hearsay where under hearsay facts are not admissible in the court of law. Traditionally, there are two reasons as to why hearsay statements are considered unreliable or inadmissible they are as follows: 

  1. Unfairness 
  2. Possible inaccuracy   

It is considered to be unfair because the accused cannot cross-examine the witness if the witness is only speaking what was told to him and he/she was not present there at the time when the incident took place. Another problem associated with allowing hearsay statements to be admissible is that the witness may have misinterpreted or misunderstood it. 

All together for reality to fall under area 6 of proof it should see that the demonstration was practically contemporaneous and there ought not to be any length to take into account the creation of the act. The assertion tried to be conceded, hence as shaping piece of res gestae more likely than not been made contemporaneously with the demonstrations or quickly from that point.

The deceased had been killed in an accident by the speeding truck. The witness missed the actual occurrence of the accident but was able to see the speeding truck. The witness saw that the deceased was severely injured and rushed towards him. The deceased informed the witness of what had happened to him. The court held that the statement of the deceased to the witness was admissible. 

Duration of transaction 

There is no specified duration as per section 6 of the Evidence Act to qualify as acts forming the same transaction. A transaction may get over in a short period of time or it may drag on for a while, or days or even weeks if there are connecting circumstances.

Psychological facts

Acts in relation to res gestae need not be a material fact in order to form a part of the same transaction; physical facts or intangible facts are also considered to be included under section 6 of res gestae. Words spoken by the person doing the act, or the words spoken by the person on whom such act is done or even the words spoken by the people who are just observers (bystanders) are also considered to be relevant under Section 6 of the Evidence Act as long as these words spoken are contemporaneous to the facts in issue so that they person speaking those words are not allowed time to frame what they are about to state thus giving a spontaneous response to the situation at hand. 

Bear in mind that these statements should not be a mere repetition of past occurrences. These statements are admissible only when the statements are contemporaneous in the sense that there is no interval between the occurrence of the primary transaction and the above mentioned statement must be a reaction to the same. Any time to fabricate irrespective of how slight it is the statement shall not qualify as res gestae. There should not be any recollection involved. 

In this particular case, a woman came out of a room with a throat cut and said to her aunt who was sitting in the hall that look what bedingfied has done. In this case, it was observed by the court that the statement which was spoken was spoken after the conclusion of the act and not in the process therefore it shall not qualify as a res gestae because it was not substantially contemporaneous to the issue in hand. 

Similarly, in the case, a similar verdict was passed when a young boy informed his mother of an indecent assault on him by the offender. Applying the same principle as in the previous case it was determined by the court that this too did not qualify as a res gestae. 

in this case, a caller called and requested the phone operator to connect to the police and also provided the operator with her address. The caller requesting help seemed to be in distress and the call disconnected abruptly. When the police reached the said address they found the women to be dead. She was shot by her husband. The husband pleaded that it was an accident. In the above-mentioned case, the husband was held guilty because the phone call was taken into account and It would come under the ambit of section 6 of the Evidence Act. The court stated that this incident was not an accident because if it were an accident then why did the women call and asked for the police. 

Statement made by a bystander

As per Section 6 of the Evidence Act, a statement given by a by-stander is admissible provided that it shall form the part of the same transaction. The term by-standers in this context refers to people at the place when the incident occurred and not the people who arrived later and gathered information from others. It must be kept in mind that such statement is only relevant if the bystander observed the incident take place with his very own eyes and makes such statement simultaneously to such incident or in such proximity to the incident that it is reasonable to believe that the speaker is under the influence of the excitement or trauma of the incident. Any comment made by a person who is not an eye witness is not admissible under section 6 of the Evidence Act. 

In this case, Fakiria was deceased in this case. He was killed during the day time in a crowded marketplace. Mst. Aishan Bibi was a witness. In examining her the court learned that she did not witness the occurrence of the said incident instead she was informed by others that Raja, Jagari and Nasiria committed the crime. Based on the circumstance stated above the Court reached the conclusion that this statement is nothing more than hearsay at best.

In Chotka vs State, Bhutu was killed when he was sitting on a concert ledge in front of a tea shop when the accused hit him a number of times. Bhutu fell into a drain. The deceased was then picked up by a few people nearby. The mother of the deceased happened to visit the tea shop when the incident took place and she was informed by the by-standers of what had happened there. So in this case the Court observed that this does not fall within the meaning of res gestae. And that this too shall fall under hearsay because she was not present in the scene of the crime when the crime took place. 

F.I.R and Res Gestae 

If a witness present at the scene of the crime and observes the entire thing unfold and informs the nearby people who arrive to the scene and what had happened there and then proceed to the police station in order to make an F.I.R based on the above mention circumstance this shall be considered as a single transaction and therefore it shall be covered under res gestae. This statement is admissible under the Court of Law.

Conclusion

Normally, the term proof ought to be gone under the Res Gestae when it can’t be brought under the importance of the other area. The expectation of the legislator was to evade treachery Generally; the verification is brought under Res Gestae when it can’t be brought under any piece of the Indian Evidence Act. The point of the heads was to avoid bad form, where cases are pardoned in light of the shortfall of verification. Courts have reliably been mindful that this teaching should never be stretched out to a boundless degree. Each case in criminal law should be chosen by its own authenticity. At the point when it is demonstrated that the proof structures part of a similar exchange it is acceptable under Sec. 6, however, if it is solid relies upon the attentiveness of the Judge. This principle is more intricate and dubious; this structures the proviso.

The equivocalness of this tenet is exceptionally scrutinized. Along these lines, we can see that what initially began implied just demonstrations did to structure the term Res Gestae, presently It is a wider term having everything such as actions done or explanations made during at the occurrence of the event or the wrongdoing, simultaneously or the same spot of the wrongdoing or various occasions at better places, is supposed to shape a piece of a similar exchange and accordingly permissible by the righteousness of the teaching of Res Gestae. Senior members have always had the expression that the term Res Gestae is, in the current situation with the law, totally pointless, as well as even decidedly destructive It, should in this manner entirely be disavowed, as an awful component in our legitimate expressiveness. It ought to never be referenced.

Biblography

  1. http://www.legalserviceindia.com/legal/article-500-res-gestae-a-judicial-analysis.html
  2. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/335192529_The_Common_Law_Doctrine_of_Res_Gestae_Under_English_Law_and_Nigerian_Law_of_Evidence_An_Expansive_Ex
  3. The Law of Evidence by Batuk Lal
  4. Article on Doctrine of Res Gestae, Concept and Scope by Professor Aamir Khan

LawSikho has created a telegram group for exchanging legal knowledge, referrals and various opportunities. You can click on this link and join:

Follow us on Instagram and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more amazing legal content.

Did you find this blog post helpful? Subscribe so that you never miss another post! Just complete this form…

LEAVE A REPLY