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Can Informations be used as evidence in court?

Can Informations be used as evidence in court?

After the advant of RTI Act, the Central and State administration are trying the things to set right with the fear of fine. But my short question is whether the information made available under the RTI Act could be used as evidence in Court.

According to me that the document furnished by the Public Information Officer is no doubt a document issued from the proper custody. But the PIO is totally ignorant of the purpose for which the applicant has made his request for information nor the PIO is any manner concerned with it. In the application for information the applicant is not required to state any reasons why he requires information. So, it is not an application for a certified copy of any information recorded by any adjudicating authority in a dispute.

As per the practices of the courts and tribunals the party applying for a certified copy should state whether it is required for purposes of appeal or for reference. But under RTI Act, no such condition is prescribed for the applicant for information to state the reason why he requires information. The copy furnished by the court can be used only for the purposes for which the copy application is made. If the applicant states that he wants informations to submit before court as evidence, the PIO may endorse on the documents "without prejudice".

Here we have to see the principal object of the said RTI Act also which says that the Act is to make available to the citizens all informations the Government has, for his self illumination to function as an enlightened, fully awared and well informed citizen and not to help him to score any point with his opponent in any dispute or suit.

Therefore my view is the informations made available under RTI Act cannot be used as evidence in court. Contra view if any, may be posted.



 12 Replies

octavious (LAWYER)     02 May 2008

Hello, I think it can be accepted as secondary evidence as per Evidence Act,and on the base of the same may be one can obtain a true copy via notice through the court Thank You Octavious

Ajay kumar singh (Advocate)     03 May 2008

Documents or certified copies obtained from courts are not the only documents which are admissible as evidence. There are many other kinds of papers which we tender as evidence like personal/official letters,survey records,rent-receipts etc. There is no reason why information obtained under the RTI Act should not be taken in evidence. It is as good as any other document admissible as evidence. Moreover,it is primary evidence and not secondary. What is the use of the information if it can not be used as evidence? I am of the firm opinion that the "information"under the RTI Act is an important piece of evidence.
1 Like

Hemant Agarwal ( Mumbai : 9820174108)     26 May 2008

Information obtained under RTI Act, are actually part of the documents held by Public Authority, who are actually Gazetted officers and also hold quasi-judicial authority. Any certified copy of any document received by virtue of RTI Act, is a document in conclusive. By virtue of the RTI Act, it is a perfect Primary and Secondary evidence as well, since it is part of the Government records and provided by Govt. Authorities, certified under Govt. Seal. The orders of the Appeal authorities (Lok-Ayukta ...) are final and no court has jurisdiction to admit any case against these orders made within the RTI Act. (u/s 23). (In other words, the court has no jurisdiction to object to accept as evidence, the documents obtained under the RTI Act). (In other words, the Court has no jurisdiction to summon or record evidences of the PIO's ..., giving them immunity against all acts, but the RTI Act) As it is the PIO / SIC / CIC, all are under Oath to uphold the Constitution and Laws u/s 13(3) and 16(3). HENCE, by that logical fact, the Information (Documents ...) that is given by this authorities are already under Oath under the Constitution and hence cannot be refuted. There is no reason the PIO could provide you with false / incomplete documents, as this itself is barred under the RTI Act. Hence the question of incomplete evidence does not arise. Keep Smiling ... Hemant Agarwal
1 Like

lakshmanan (advocate)     30 May 2008

source of evidence is secondary in evidence law. There is also no prohibition in the RTI Act to use information as evidence in courtof law
1 Like

Mubasher Hussain Ansari (B.Tec (--)     23 April 2010

Submission on the Admissibility of Certified Copies of Documents obtained under  the Right to Information Act, 2005 as Secondary Evidence under the provisions of the Evidence Act, 1872.


Section 61 of the Evidence Act, 1872 provides that the contents of documents may be proved either by primary or by secondary evidence. Further Section 65 of the Evidence Act provides for circumstances where under secondary evidence may be given of the existence, condition or contents of a document. Section 65(g) stipulates that in case of public documents as defined under Section 74, certified copies may be admitted as secondary evidence.


Section 74 (1) (iii) of the Evidence Act, 1872 stipulates the documents forming the acts or records of the acts of public officers, legislative, judicial and executive, of any part of India to be public documents.


The certified copies of public documents which are required to be submitted as secondary evidence can be obtained under the following provisions:

(I)                 Section 76 of the Evidence Act and

(II)              Provisions of the Right to Information Act, 2005.


(I)                 Section 76 of the Evidence Act provides that every  public officer having the custody of a public document, which any person has a right to inspect, shall give that person on demand a copy of it on payment of the legal fees therefor, together with a certificate written at the foot of such copy that it is a true copy of such document or part thereof, as the case may be, and such certificate shall be dated and subscribed by such officer with his name and his official title, and shall be sealed, whenever such officer is authorized by law to make use of a seal; and such copies so certified shall be called certified copies.


 Thus Section 76 in terms entitles a person, who has a right to inspect a public document, to a certified copy thereof. The section, however, does not specify the persons who would be entitled to inspect a public document. But judicial decisions have settled that question. It has been held that the right to inspect a public document is correlated to the interest which the person who seeks inspection has in the document and that interest should be a direct and tangible one in the document.


(II)               On the other hand section 2(j) of the Right to Information Act, 2005 defines right information as follows:



"right to information" means the right to information accessible under this Act which is held by or under the control of any public authority and includes the right to—



inspection of work, documents, records;



taking notes, extracts or certified copies of documents or records;



taking certified samples of material;



obtaining information in the form of diskettes, floppies, tapes, video cassettes or in any other electronic mode or through printouts where such information is stored in a computer or in any other device;


Section 3 of the said RTI Act provides that every citizen shall have the right to information and may obtain the same by submitting an application under Section 6 of the RTI Act and payment of the requisite charges as stipulated in the Right to Information (Regulation of Fee and Cost) Rules, 2005.


          Furthermore, Section 6(2) of the RTI Act clarifies that an applicant making request for information shall not be required to give any reason for requesting the information or any other personal details except those that may be necessary for contacting him.


An analysis of the relevant provisions of both Acts establishes that the provisions of the RTI Act imposes requirements, for obtaining certified copies, which are less stringent  from those contained in the Section 76 of the Evidence Act.


          Firstly, the certified copies under RTI Act can be obtained by any person whereas under the Section 76 of Evidence Act only a person who has a right to inspect i.e. a person having direct and tangible interest in the document can demand certified copies.


          Secondly, under Section 76 of the Evidence Act, certified copies can be provided only by public officer having custody of the public document; whereas the RTI Act designates a specific Central Assistant Public Information Officer (CAPIO) who is entrusted with the responsibility of providing certified copies. The said CAPIO may or may not have custody of the said public document.


Thirdly, Section 76 of the Evidence Act provides for a specific procedure for making a certified copy such a signing on the bottom of each document, date, name and official title of the said officer, recital that it is a true copy of such document etc. On the other hand no specific procedure for certification is provided under the RTI Act; putting the date and office seal on each document copy along with a covering letter by the CAPIO may be deemed to constitute a certified copy of the public document.


Coming back to the provisions of the Evidence Act, Section 63 of the said Act provides as follows:

63. 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 insure 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 document given by some person who has himself seen it.


                    It has been judicially settled that Section 63 is not exhaustive of all the kinds of secondary evidence. It has been held that the scope of section 63 does not strictly fall only within any of those sub-sections enumerated therein. The term ‘includes’ leaves scope for such an interpretation. However, the court must be satisfied that the document sought to be introduced as secondary evidence is a faithful and accurate reproduction of the document whose copy it purports to be. (Smt Lachcho vs Dwari Mal AIR 1986 ALL 303)


          Therefore, certified copies of documents obtained under the provisions of the RTI Act are admissible as secondary evidence under Section 63 of the Evidence Act, 1872 as long as the court does not have any reason to doubt that the said certified copies are not faithful and accurate reproductions of the original documents in custody of Government Departments.




1 Like

Vardhaman Magdum (ADVOCATE)     07 September 2012

can one help me in getting citation/authority on the subjecet that the information obtained under RTI Act can be used as evidence in the court.

Thanking you, 

Sudhir Kumar, Advocate (Advocate)     08 September 2012

These are being used. What is the use of getting copies of documents if you are not able to produce it before judicial or quasi-judicial authroity. Non-admissibility of this information as evidence will defeat the purpose of legislation.


If a prosecution is lanunched on the basis of recorded conversation the accuser is only required to satisfy the authenticity of the recording.  He is not required to prove that the same was obtained from accused by telling him on the beat of drum by saying,  "Hello dear, I am recording the conversation and please speak as much evidencs against you".



1 Like


Respected Sir,

I beg to differ. To my opinion, documents obtained and certified under RTI are certified copies and admissable as secondary evidence. IN support of my view, I have a judgement passed by Hon'ble Madhya Pradesh High Court in Narayan Singh v Kallaram @ Kalluram Kushwaha & Ors. reported as 2015 (2) M.P.L.J. 337 has held that the certified copies obtained under RTI are admissable as secondary evidence. The Hon'ble High Court interpreted words "or by any other law in force in India" as appearing in section 65(f) of The Evidence Act. The copy of the judgement is attached herewith for ready reference.



1 Like

RAJIV BHATARKAR   05 February 2018

Respected sir,

I want to know if there is any order given by Supreme Court of India regarding  Whether the document made available by the Central/State Public Information Officer through RTI is admissible as evidence in a Court of Law


RAJIV BHATARKAR   05 February 2018

 Whether the document made available by the Central/State Public Information Officer through RTI is admissible as evidence in a Court of Law???

Any order given by Supreme Court of India regarding above topic

Gopi   07 November 2019

S it's a legal document since got through an Act

Gopi   07 November 2019

S it's a legal document since got through an Act

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