Sunday, 27 December 2015

Whether contents of document can be proved by proving signature on said document?

It was conceded that the report was an authentic public document of the Genoese Government. the statements, however, contained in the report were not based on the evidence of any of the relatives of the consul at Genoa. The information contained therein did not appear to have been received from any member of Mangini's family. One of the well-recognised exceptions under the English Law of Evidence to the reception of hearsay evidence is the evidence relating to pedigree. The only question, which their Lordships of the House of Lords were considering was, whether the contents of the report fell within the purview of the above exception and their Lordships held that it did not, because the statements contained in the report were not bases on the evidence given before the dispute started by any of the members of the deceased's family. We are not concerned with that part of the decision of the House of Lords in the present case. The point to be noted is that the statements contained in the report were treated as hearsay and since they did not fall within the well-recognised exceptions, they were excluded from evidence. To conclude this part of the discussion, we hold, in the first place, that what has been formally proved is the signature of Abrea and not the writing of the body of the document at Ex.28 and secondly, that even if the entire document is held formally proved, that does not amount to a proof of the truth of the contents of the document. The only person competent to give evidence on the truthfulness of the contents of the document was Abrea.
Bombay High Court
Mohammed Yusuf And Anr. vs D. And Anr. on 14 July, 1961
Equivalent citations: AIR 1968 Bom 112, (1966) 68 BOMLR 228, ILR 1966 Bom 420

Bench: Desai, Naik
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