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Shamsher Singh Verma vs. State of Haryana (Supreme Court)
January, 23rd 2016

(1) Word “document” is defined in Section 3 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, as under: – ‘Document’ means any matter expressed or described upon any substance by means of letters, figures or marks, or by more than one of those means, intended to be used, or which may be used, for the purpose of recording that matter.

(ii) In R.M. Malkani vs. State of Maharashtra (1973) 1 SCC 471: 1973 (2) SCR 417, this Court has observed that tape recorded conversation is admissible provided first the conversation is relevant to the matters in issue; secondly, there is identification of the voice; and, thirdly, the accuracy of the tape recorded conversation is proved by eliminating the possibility of erasing the tape record.

(iii) In Ziyauddin Barhanuddin Bukhari vs. Brijmohan Ramdass Mehra and others (1976) 2 SCC 17: 1975 (Supp) SCR 281, it was held by this Court that tape-records of speeches were “documents”, as defined by Section 3 of the Evidence Act, which stood on no different footing than photographs, and that they were admissible in evidence on satisfying certain conditions.

(iv) In view of the definition of ‘document’ in Evidence Act, and the law laid down by this Court, as discussed above, we hold that the compact disc is also a document. It is not necessary for the court to obtain admission or denial on a document under sub-section (1) to Section 294 CrPC personally from the accused or complainant or the witness. The endorsement of admission or denial made by the counsel for defence, on the document filed by the prosecution or on the application/report with which same is filed, is sufficient compliance of Section 294 CrPC. Similarly on a document filed by the defence, endorsement of admission or denial by the public prosecutor is sufficient and defence will have to prove the document if not admitted by the prosecution. In case it is admitted, it need not be formally proved, and can be read in evidence. In a complaint case such an endorsement can be made by the counsel for the complainant in respect of document filed by the defence.

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