There are some facts which even though relevant they need not be proved, that means evidence need not be given of such facts usually because either the court knows about it or the opposite side had already admitted them. In the evidence act, these types of facts are dealt in Sections 56 to 58 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872.
Section 56 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 speaks about, “Facts judicially noticeable need not be proved”. According to this section, all such facts of which the court will take judicial notice need not be proved. Judicial notice is a rule in the law of evidence which allows certain facts to be introduced in the court as evidence if the truth of such facts are so well known or notorious that it can’t be reasonably doubted. It is thus a tool which the judge can accept without having a party to prove it through evidence this allows the court to fast forward the proceedings and letting the judge accept some notorious or well-known facts.
Section 57 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 speaks about, “facts of which court must take judicial notice”. Section 57 lists out 13 facts regarding which the court has to take judicial notice. In those 13 items mentioned in the section items 1 to 3 comes under the topic of law and custom, items 4 to 7 comes under the topic of public administration and items 8 to 13 comes under the head of common knowledge.
It is provided that besides those cases explicitly mentioned in the section, the court has to take judicial notice in matters of public history, literature, science or art, the Court may resort for its aid to appropriate books or documents of reference.
It is also provided in this section that if the court is asked by any person to take judicial notice on any matter then the court can refuse to do so unless the books or documents or other things as the court may find it necessary to examine before taking the judicial notice is provided.
The real difficulty here is to distinguish between facts. For example, if we are asked to distinguish between a book of history and a book referred to for the purposes of Section 35 to 37. The real difference is that in case of matters judicially noticed the court is merely refreshing its memory, the court actually knows about the fact but still it refers to the book to refresh its memory whereas in the case of book tendered as evidence the court doesn’t know the facts or the information that is given by the book.
The court has to deal with a custom of Punjab that sisters have to be excluded during the distribution of property by collaterals. In this case, this custom was said to have been established by the Rattigan’s Digest. The court, in this case, held that it has not a uniformly recognised custom to exclude sisters during inheritance of non-ancestral property by collaterals. The court said that since it is not a uniformly recognised custom it thinks that the Rattigan’s Digest is not correct in this matter. Thus, the court did not take judicial notice of the said custom and stuck to the general rule that sisters should also be included during the inheritance of property by collaterals. Since the court did not take judicial notice the fact that sisters should not be included during inheritance of non-ancestral property by the collaterals need to be proved, according to section 48 of the Indian evidence act, by the party who asserts it.
Section 58 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 speaks about, “Facts admitted need not be proved”. Section 58 talks about admissions of the parties to a case. This section says that the facts admitted by a party during hearing or before hearing in writing or by any rule of pleading in force at the time of the case need not be proved and the court can take judicial notice of such facts, however, this section also says that if the court wants it can ask for proof of those admissions.
Admissions are made deliberately during or before a judicial proceeding in contemplation that judicial notice will be taken of such admissions. However, the court can ask for proof if it feels the need for the same. The admission made by a party in some earlier suit can be used against it in subsequent suits too. The admissions made by a party specifically are called express admission whereas a specific denial of certain facts may lead to implied admission.
The purpose of these sections is to curb out the time wasted by proving the facts that are well known or are of common knowledge. Such obvious facts are automatically taken into notice by the court. then comes admission, only when the court thinks that the admission needs to be proved the court can ask for proof, this happens generally when the court thinks that the admission is done in collusion of coercion or similar.