Tuesday 10 July 2018

Supreme court: Basic principles court should follow while drawing adverse inference against a party

Thus, in view of the above, the law on the issue can be summarised to the effect that, issue of drawing adverse inference is required to be decided by the court taking into consideration the pleadings of the parties and by deciding whether any document/evidence, withheld, has any relevance at all or omission of its production would directly establish the case of the other side. The court cannot loose sight of the fact that burden of proof is on the party which makes a factual averment? The court has to consider further as to whether the other side could file interrogatories or apply for inspection and production of the documents etc. as is required under Order XI Code of Civil Procedure. Conduct and diligence of the other party is also of paramount importance. Presumption or adverse inference for non-production of evidence is always optional and a relevant factor to be considered in the background of facts involved in the case. Existence of some other circumstances may justify non-production of such documents on some reasonable grounds. In case one party has asked the court to direct the other side to produce the document and other side failed to comply with the court's order, the court may be justified in drawing the adverse inference. All the pros and cons must be examined before the adverse inference is drawn. Such presumption is permissible, if other larger evidence is shown to the contrary.

Civil Appeal No. 1374 of 2008

Decided On: 17.07.2012

 Union of India (UOI) Vs.  Ibrahim Uddin and Ors.

Hon'ble Judges/Coram:
B.S. Chauhan and Dipak Misra, JJ.

Citation: (2012) 8 SCC 148, 
Read full judgment here:Click here

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