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What is Proof of contents of documents What is Primary evidence What is Secondary evidence Section 61, 62 and 63 of Indian Evidence Act 1872

Proof of contents of documents, Primary evidence and Secondary evidence are defined under section 61, 62 and 63 of Indian Evidence Act 1872. Provisions under these sections are:


Section 61 of Evidence Act "Proof of contents of documents"

The contents of documents may be proved either by primary or by secondary evidence.


Section 62 of Evidence Act "Primary evidence"

Primary evidence means the documents itself produced for the inspection of the Court.

Explanation 1 Where a document is executed in several parts, each part is primary evidence of the document :
Where a document is executed in counterpart, each counterpart being executed by one or some of the parties only, each counterpart is primary evidence as against the parties executing it.


Explanation 2- Where a number of documents are all made by one uniform process, as in the case of printing, lithography, or photography, each is primary evidence of the contents of the rest ; but, where they are all copies of a common original, they are not primary evidence of the contents of the original.

A person is shown to have been in possession of a number of placards, all printed at one time from one original. Any one of the placards is primary evidence of the contents of any other, but no one of them is primary evidence of the contents of the original.


Section 63 of Evidence Act "Secondary evidence"

Secondary evidence means and includes
(1) certified copies given under the provisions hereinafter contained;

(2) Copies made from the original by mechanical processes which in themselves ensure the accuracy of the copy, and copies compared with such copies.

(3) copies made from or compared with the original ;

(4) counterparts of documents as against the parties who did not execute them;

(5) oral accounts of the contents of a documents given by some person who has himself seen it.


(a) A photograph of an original is secondary evidence of its contents, though the two have not been compared, if it is proved that the thing photographed was the original.

(b) A copy compared with a copy of a letter made by a copying machine is secondary evidence of the contents of the letter, if it is shown that the copy made by the copying machine was made from the original.

(c) A copy transcribed from a copy, but afterwards compared with the original, is secondary evidence; but he copy not so compared is not secondary evidence of the original, although the copy from which it was transcribed was compared with the original.

(d) Neither an oral account of a copy compared with the original, nor an oral account of a photograph or machine copy of the original, is secondary evidence of the original.



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