Admissibility of Evidence


The term ‘admissibility of evidence’ means that the evidence must basically be relevant, material and competent in the eyes of the law and which has a full proof of validity that it can be admitted in the court. Admissible evidence should be testimonial, documentary, or tangible evidence that in a court of law it may be introduced as a fact finder usually for a judge or jury to establish or to bolster a point put forth by a party whose proceedings are going on. All the evidence is not admitted in the court, only those evidences are admitted which have a legal base or have reliable content. The evidence which is unfair in manner and unreliable cannot be put before the court; it would be held invalid. Evidence is introduced before a judge as it brings the power in the case solving and brings an important element in the case.

According to Section 17 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 the term admission is defined as a statement either oral or documentary or contained in electronic form which suggests the proof to  any fact in issue or relevant fact, which is made by any of the persons to bring a case in favor of them. In an ordinary sense, the term admission means power or permission to enter, admittance, entrance, access, the power to approach. In the legal sense, acquiescence or concurrence in a statement made by another and distinguishable from a confession in that an admission presupposes prior inquiry by another, but a confession may be made without such inquiry. A fact, point, or statement admitted; as the admission made out of Court is received in evidence. 

The term ‘evidence’ is defined in Section 3 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872. In the general sense, the term evidence means facts or observations presented in support of an argument which brings the valid point before the court which shows the proof. In the legal sense, the term evidence can be stated as anything admitted by a Court to prove or disprove the alleged matters of fact in a trial. 

Types of evidence

There are various kind of evidence as mention under Indian Evidence Act, 1872;

  1. Oral evidence– According to Section 60 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 oral evidence refers to evidence which is confined to the words spoken by mouth. It is sufficient to be proved without any documentary evidence provided it is creditworthy. The chapter IV of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 deals with the provisions of oral evidence. These are the evidence which a person is giving by himself or heard.
  2. Documentary Evidence- Documentary evidence is stated under Section 3 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872. Such type of documentary evidence which is permitted by the Court of Law for inspection. Thus, all the documents permitted by the Court for inspection can be termed as documentary evidence.
  3. Primary evidence- According to Section 62, primary evidence is considered to be the most superior class of evidence. Such evidence is an original document that needs to be submitted before the court for inspection. Moreover, it is admissible without any prior notice. Such evidence must be presented before the court before the secondary evidence. Moreover, secondary evidence can be presented only in the absence of primary evidence by explaining the reason for the absence of such evidence.
  4. Secondary Evidence- According to Section 63, secondary evidence is considered to be an inferior type of evidence. It implies that even after producing secondary evidence one needs to produce primary evidence in order to fill in the gaps. Such evidence can be presented in the absence of the primary evidence; however, the notice of the same is to be given.
  5. Real evidence- Real evidence is also known as material evidence. It is tangible evidence that the court can examine for itself. It is presented before the court by inspection of a physical or material object. Such evidence is not derived from a document or witness. However, such evidence needs to be supported by a witness, preferably an expert witness who can explain the significance of evidence.
  6. Hearsay evidence- Hearsay evidence is when a person has not particularly himself seen or heard something in the happening of that event but got the knowledge of a certain happening of an event from someone else. This kind of evidence is the weakest kind of evidence and is admissible only if it is backed up by strong evidence and can be proved.
  7. Judicial evidence- Judicial evidence is evidence which is put forth before the Court in proof or disproof of facts before it. This is the evidence which is produced directly in front of the magistrate. The statements provided by the witnesses are also termed as judicial evidence.
  8. Non judicial evidence- The Non-judicial evidence is the evidence which is done outside the Court and not in the front of any judicial administration. This evidence is only admissible if it could be proved in the Court later as judicial evidence.
  9. Direct evidence- Direct evidence is the kind of evidence which establishes a particular fact. This evidence plays a vital role in deciding the matter in a particular issue. For example, a testimony delivered by witnesses.
  10. Indirect evidence- This kind of evidence is not a definite proof but a general idea of what possibly could have happened in a given circumstance. This evidence attempts to prove the facts contained in the issue by providing other facts and affords an instance as to its existence.
  11. Electronic evidence- The electronic evidence is a type of virtual evidence. In today’s world we all know people are generally active on social media platforms so there is continuous monitoring of all the activities and events taking place in a particular area by the guards and policemen via CCTV cameras and other devices. The footages or snaps or call records obtained from sources that are authentic in nature and can be produced before the Court to prove the defendant guilty and are relevant and admissible are termed as e-evidence. Examples of electronic evidence are data stored in a computer system, information transmitted electronically through any communication network, etc.

Conditions of admissibility of evidence in the court

According to Section 20 of the Indian Evidence Act 1872, it states that the Admissions by persons expressly referred to by party to suit. Statements made by persons to whom a party to the suit has expressly referred for information in reference to a matter in dispute are admissions. There are basically the two factors that are important while determining the evidence is admissible or not:

  1. Relevant– First of all the evidence must be relevant with the facts of the case and also the evidence shall prove or disprove an important fact in the criminal case. If the evidence doesn’t satisfy or relate to a particular fact, it is considered “irrelevant” and is therefore inadmissible and is also not permissible in Court.
  2. Reliability- Secondly the evidence must be reliable which means that the evidence must support the credibility of a source that is being used as evidence. This usually applies to witness testimonies. The reliability of evidence is mainly tested if the evidence is fair and has a lawful base which the judge can rely upon in the court. The evidence should not be vague in the eyes of the law then it shall not be admitted.

Factors determining the inadmissibility of evidence

Unfairly Prejudicial 

The unfair prejudicial means that if evidence is unfair or unlawful and also it was put before the court to convict based on past history rather than on evidence about the case in hand. The evidence which is unfairly harmful, detrimental, injurious, or biased towards the case without establishing any proper fact and outraging the jury or the judge without providing any material fact but conjecture is often excluded from the Court proceedings.

Wastes Time 

There are certain instances when the advocates while representing their clients often provide such evidence or witness which automatically waste the time of the Court. Such witnesses or evidence are excluded from a Court proceeding as it wastes the time of the court. For example, it is a waste of time for the Court if the advocate produces twenty separate people to prove that the accused is an honest person. 


Evidence which can take away the attention of the jury or the judge from the existing issue of the case such evidence is considered as misleading evidence in the eyes of law and cannot be admissible in the court.

Expert Testimony

The expert testimony is only approved or admitted in the court if originally given by an expert and not by a layman. A layman cannot provide expert testimony because a layman’s testimony is not admissible in the court.


So the evidence is an important or integral factor for any proceedings of the case as it supports the case and gives a proof or disproves an important fact of the case. The evidence is only admissible in the eyes of the court if it satisfies or relevant to the facts of the case if the evidence is irrelevant or does not satisfy the issues in the matter of the case then it is inadmissible in the court. The evidence is admissible but not related to the facts of the case than it is just a waste of the time of the court. There are different kinds of evidence which can be put before the court in order to favor the judgment given by the judge and nowadays the electronic evidence is also admissible in eyes of the court.

Therefore. evidence is an integral part for the case and its weight to the facts in order to make judgment in favor of the party.


  1. How admissibility of evidence is defined under the Indian evidence act 1872?
  2. What are the kinds of evidence defined under the act?
  3. What are the conditions which satisfy the admissibility of evidence in the court of the law?
  4. What are the factors that determine the inadmissibility of evidence?


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