Admissibility of evidence of criminal case in civil case
(Querist) 19 December 2021
This query is : Open
I would like to know if evidence (statements and exhibits) from a criminal case is admissible in a civil case for compensation, and such evidence can be relied upon in the civil case.
Conviction was awarded in the criminal case, but appeal against it is pending before the High Court.
I found a judgment of Supreme Court that deals with admissibility of evidence between two criminal cases, and also two civil cases. https://www.casemine.com/judgement/in/5609aba4e4b014971140cf94
In the said judgment, it was held that evidence of one criminal case is not admissible in another criminal case. However, in (two) civil cases it is admissible when the parties agree or give consent.
What would be the legal position regarding admissiblity of evidence of a criminal case, in a civil case, and if such evidence can be relied upon in the civil case? Would such evidence be admissible with consent, if at all, and can be relied upon?
Please also provide important judgments/citations in this regard.
Raj Kumar Makkad
(Expert) 19 December 2021
As the parameters in civil and criminal cases are different so there is no blanket law that the evidence of criminal court is admissible in a civil suit, however, the test of admissibility has to be crossed in civil suit if the fact/exhibit/annexure/evidence of earlier criminal case has to be relied upon.
(Querist) 20 December 2021
I should add that the evidence (statements and exhibits) from criminal case in question has been put as exhibits in the civil suit, at the time of closing the petitioner's evidence in the civil suit.
Almost all witnesses, whose statements from the criminal case have been submitted, have not deposed in the civil suit. Similarly the exhibits from the criminal case, submitted in the civil suit, have not been referenced by any witnesses that deposed in the civil suit, but rather only in the witness statements from the criminal case that have not deposed in the civil suit.
As such, can such evidence (mere written witness statements and related exhibits) from criminal case be relied upon in the civil suit by the petitioner, without those witnesses deposing on the civil suit?
(I found it has been held in a criminal case that - "It is settled law that evidence of one case cannot be used in another case until and unless the witness has been confronted with his deposition in the other case."
in Shadab Siddique @ Aman vs. State of West Bengal and Anr., CRR 46 of 2017, Calcutta High Court
Will the same principle apply in our civil suit as well?
J K Agrawal
(Expert) 20 December 2021
Proceedings, evidence in criminal case not relevant in CIVIL suits and not admissible for any purpose. Mangla Ram v Oriental Ins company 2018 1 RAR 135 SC
You can call those witnesses of a criminal case in the civil case and confront them about their deposition of the criminal case.
Dr J C Vashista
(Expert) 22 December 2021
Both the case(s) are different as far as evidence in either of the case is concerned which cannot be used in other case. Very well analysed, opined and advised by expert, I endorse it.
(Expert) 23 December 2021
Except for section 43 of the IEA, Judgment of a criminal court shall not be admissible in a civil suit. What, however, would be admissible is the admission made by a party in a previous proceeding. Consider this legal position, admission of the party is recorded in writing. While he was deposing in the suit, he was confronted with the question as to whether he had admitted his guilt and pleaded guilty of the charges framed. He did so. Having, thus, accepted that he had made an admission in the criminal case, the same was admissible in the civil proceeding. The principle is that “Fact once admitted by a party need not be proved”
(Querist) 25 December 2021
Thank you for all the replies.
I would like to know any further citations / legal provisions which we can cite in our case.
In the above-mentioned case "Mangla Ram v Oriental Ins company 2018 1 RAR 135 SC", the civil appeal seems to be finally allowed in favour of the complainant, and charge sheet and other documents also seem to have been finally considered by the SC, which were earlier not considered by the HC.
However, considering that evidence from one case cannot be used in another case, should we move an application in the civil case to discard the evidence tendered by the complainant, from the other case (criminal case)?
Please also provide me any further citations / legal provisions that we can cite.