Thursday 30 November 2023

What is basic concept of the expressions ‘Shall presume’, ‘May presume’ and ‘Conclusive proof’?

 According to S 4 of  the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, the expressions 'May presume','Shall presume', and 'Conclusive proof' have specific meanings and implications:

  1. May Presume: When the Act provides that the court may presume a fact, the court has the discretion to either regard that fact as proved unless and until it is disproved or to call for proof of it. This means that the court has the option to presume the fact or to require evidence to establish it.

  2. Shall Presume: When the Act directs the court to presume a fact, the court is obligated to regard that fact as proved unless and until it is disproved. In other words, the court must assume the truth of the fact unless there is evidence to the contrary. This presumption is considered irrevocable and definitive.

  3. Conclusive Proof: Conclusive proof refers to a situation where one fact is established, and as a result, other facts or conditions become conclusively proven. Once a fact is deemed to be conclusively proven, it cannot be challenged or disproved. This type of proof is considered absolute and final.

These expressions play a crucial role in determining the burden of proof and the weight given to certain facts in legal proceedings.


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