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Interpretation clause(Definition IEA)

Flow Chart

An Introduction

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Section – 3. Interpretation-clause.––In this Act the following words and expressions are used in the following senses, unless a contrary intention appears from the context: ––

“Court”.––“Court” includes all Judges and Magistrates, and all persons, except arbitrators,  legally authorized to take evidence.

“Fact”.–– “Fact” means and includes ––

(1) anything, state of things, or relation of things,  capable of being perceived by the senses;

            (2) any mental condition (Psychological) of which any person is conscious.


  • That there are certain objects arranged in a certain order in a certain place, is a fact.
  • That a man heard or saw something, is a fact.
  • That a man said certain words, is a fact.
  • That a man holds a certain opinion, has a certain intention, acts in good faith or fraudulently, or uses a particular word in a particular sense, or is or was at a specified time conscious of a particular sensation, is a fact.
  • That a man has a certain reputation, is a fact.

“Relevant”. –– One fact is said to be relevant to another when the one is connected with the other in any of the ways referred to in the provisions of this Act relating to the relevancy of facts.

“Facts in issue”.–– The expression “facts in issue” means and includes ––

any fact from which, either by itself or in connection with other facts, the existence, non-existence, nature or extent of any right, liability, or disability, asserted or denied in any suit or proceeding, necessarily follows.

Explanation. ––Whenever, under the provisions of the law for the time being in force relating to Civil Procedure, any Court records an issue of fact, the fact to be asserted or denied in the answer to such issue is a fact in issue.


A is accused of the murder of B.

At his trial the following facts may be in issue: ––

 That A caused B’s death;

That A intended to cause B’s death;

That A had received grave and sudden provocation from B;

That A, at the time of doing the act which caused B’s death, was, by reason of unsoundness of mind, incapable of knowing its nature.

  • Thus ‘Facts in issue’ are those facts which are in question or those facts which need to be proved for the purpose of ascertaining some information and making inferences out of relevant information in the case in obtaining justice.
  • ‘Facts in issue’ are those facts out of which some legal right and liability or disability, involved in inquiry, necessarily arises  and upon which, accordingly,decision must be arrived at.
  • Matter which are affirmed by one party to suit and denied by the other may be denominated facts in issue. What facts are in issue in particular cases, is a question to be determined by the substantive law or in some cases by the branch of the law of procedure which regulates the law of pleadings, civil or criminal.

Criminal Cases –The charge constitutes and includes ‘facts in issue’ Ch. 17 of the CrPC.

CivilCases- ‘facts in issue’are determined by the process of framing issues. Ordinance 14 , rr 1-7, CPC.

“Document”. ––“Document” 2means any matter expressed or described upon any substance by means of letters, figures or marks, or by more than one of those means, intended to be used, or which may be used, for the purpose of recording that matter.

Similar to the definition in Sec. 29 of IPC.

Thus All Material Substances on which the thoughts of men are represented by writing, or any other species of conventional mark or symbol may be a document.


A writing is a document;

Words printed lithographed or photographed are documents;

A map or plan is a document;

An inscription on a metal plate or stone is a document;

A caricature is a document.

“Evidence”. ––“Evidence” means and includes ––

  • all statements which the Court permits or requires to be made before it by witnesses, in relation to matters of fact under inquiry, such statements are called oral evidence;
    • all documents including electronic records produced for the inspection of the Court, such documents are called documentary evidence.

The definition of evidence covers the evidence of witnesses and documentary evidence. Evidence can be both oral and documentary and electronic records can be produced as evidence.

“Proved”. –– A fact is said to be proved when, after considering the matters before it, the Court; either believes it to exist, or considers its existence so probable that a prudent man ought, under the circumstances of the particular case, to act upon the supposition that it exists.

“Disproved”. –– A fact is said to be disproved when, after considering the matters before it, the Court either believes that it does not exist, or considers its non-existence so probable that a prudent man ought, under the circumstances of the particular case, to act upon the supposition that it does not exist.

“Not proved”. –– A fact is said not to be proved when it is neither proved nor disproved.

1[“India”. –– “India” means the territory of India excluding the State of Jammu and Kashmir.]

But by J&K reorganisation act Jammu & Kashmir has been included in India from 31st Oct. 2019.

2[the expressions “Certifying Authority”, “3[electronic signature]”, 4[(Electronic Signature Certificate], “electronic form”, “electronic records”, “information”, “secure electronic record”, “secure digital signature” and “subscriber” shall have the meanings respectively assigned to them in the Information Technology Act, 2000 (21 of 2000).]


means Affirmative or Negative inference which is basically drawn about the truth or falsehood of a doubtful fact by the court.

In general, It is a process of ascertaining the few facts on the basis of possibility.

General Classification-

Presumption is devided in three parts-

Presumption of facts-

It is also known as natural or material Presumption of facts and prevail in Indian justice system.

Those inferences which are naturally & reasonably concluded on the basis of observations and circumtances in the courses of human conduct.

Presumption of Law –

It is known as artificial Presumption of facts and prevail in Indian justice system.

They are of compulsory nature which are concluded by court with respect to the existence of certain facts.

Mixed Presumption-

It consist of blend of both presumptions and doesn’t prevail in indian justice system reflects in english law..

Presumption of Law is of two types-

Rebuttable Presumption –

Which can be overthrown by evidence to the contrary.(May Presume and shall presume) come in this category.

Irrebuttable Presumption –

Which can not be ruled out by any additional argument or evidence and also known as conclusive proof. (conclusive proof) come in this category.

Differences b/w Presumption of facts & Presumption of Law

  1.  In position- Presumption of facts are uncertain whereas Presumption of Law are certain & universal.
  2. In Performance- Presumption of facts are rebutable whereas Presumption of Law are conclusive proof.
  3. For the purpose of Presumption of facts Court has own discrettionary power whereas For the purpose of Presumption of Law Court has not own discrettionary power.
  4. Source of Presumption of facts –they derive on the basis of natural law, Customary law, mankind experience etc. whereas Presumption of Law derive on the basis of judicial & custom practice and law under statutes.

Ex.of Presumption of facts are in Sections 86-88, 90, 113A,113B, 114B

Ex.of Presumption of Law are innocence, the child below 7 yrs. May not offender

Section – 4

“May presume”. Discretionary nature

  • Whenever it is provided by this Act that the Court may presume a fact,
  • it may  either regard such fact as proved, unless and until it is disproved,
  • or may call for proof of it.

For an example-If a man possess some stolen goods after the theft then it is believed that he either a thief or he has received the goods knowing the nature of goods stolen unless he account for the possession.

“Shall presume”. Mandatory Nature

  • Whenever it is directed by this Act that the Court shall presume a fact,
  • it shall regard such fact as proved, unless and until it is disproved.

Rebutable presumption is of good quality as they does not lose their quality until proven contrary to presumption

“Conclusive proof”.

  • When one fact is declared by this Act to be conclusive proof of another,
  • the Court shall, on proof of the one fact, regard the other as proved,
  • and shall not allow evidence to be given for the purpose of disproving it.

Irrebutable presumption cannot be ruled out by any additional probative evidence

Court in its consideration shall regard all other facts to be proved only if one fact of the case is proven without any reasonable doubt.

Case – Shanti v. State of Haryana It was held that if one fact of the case is proven without any reasonable doubt all other facts to be proved

Tukaram v. State of Maharashtra (1979) It was held that the presumption are most helpful for victims but also for justice sustem to deliver justice quickley and whole society.


Q. 1 An inscription on a metal plate or stone is a –Document

Q. 2 In relation to the expression defined u/s 3 of IEA, Which of the following statements is not correct?

  • Fact includes not only physical facts but also psycological facts.
  • Court includes arbitrators
  • An inscription on a stone is a document
  • A fact is said to be “ not proved” when it is neither proved nor disproved.

Q. 3 Evidence may be given in any suit or proceedings of the existence or non- existence

  • Fact in issue
  • Relevant fact
  • Both
  • Collateral

Q. 4 A is accused of B’s murder. Which of the following will not be a ‘fact in issue’-

  • A’s beating B with a club
  • A’s causing B’s death by such beating
  • A’s intention to cause B’s death
  • A’s going to filed with a club

Q.5 A Relevant Fact must be

  • Logically Relevant
  • Legally Relevant
  • Both\
  • None

Interpretation clause(Definition IEA)