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The Court can take judicial notice of public history as well as science u/s 57 of the Evidence Act: High Court of Patna

Section 57 of the Evidence Act deals with facts of which the Court must takes judicial notice. This Section of the Evidence Act is not exhaustive. The Court can take judicial notice of public history as well as science and the same was upheld by High Court of Patna through the learned bench led by JUSTICE SUNIL KUMAR PANWAR in the case of Harihar Singh Yadav @ Harihar Singh vs. The State of Bihar [CRIMINAL APPEAL (DB) No.197 of 1996] on 11.03.2022.

The facts of the case are that the accused are resident of village Barahana falling within the jurisdiction of Itahri Police Station of Buxar. Members of the prosecuting party including the deceased are resident of village Pithan Purwa falling under the jurisdiction of the same police station. Both these villages are situated in the vicinity of each other. The incident in question allegedly took place in an agricultural field wherein a brick-kiln was situated.

That place was regularly being used by the ladies of the prosecuting party for the purpose of easing themselves. According to the prosecution case, Sadhna Devi (deceased) along with her relatives and others had gone for easing themselves at the said agricultural field wherein the brick-kiln was situated. When all these women were relieving themselves, all accused persons holding guns in their hands came from the eastern direction. Thereupon accused Radhey Shyam Singh fired a bullet from the gun held by him.

The counsel for accused submitted that from cross-examination of the prosecution witnesses, it was brought on record that deceased Sadhna Devi in past had eloped with accused Radhey Shyan Singh with whom she was having a love affair. She was then brought back. Subsequently, she was married to another person just 40 days prior to the incident and therefore, the accused persons are falsely implicated in the subject crime.

The counsel for prosecution she argued that the witnesses are not corroborating the version of first informant by stating that they had disclosed the facts of the incident to the first informant. Therefore, version of the first informant is unbelievable.

The Court held that there was no merit in the instant appeals. If evidence of these eye witnesses are seen, then it is clear that a gunshot was fired at the deceased from a very close range. finding of charred on front side of the body of deceased Sadhna makes it clear that she was shot from a close range and this evidence fully corroborates the version of eye witnesses. Therefore, the appeals were accordingly dismissed. The Court observed, “Section 57 of the Evidence Act deals with facts of which the Court must takes judicial notice. This Section of the Evidence Act is not exhaustive. The Court can take judicial notice of public history as well as science.”

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Judgment reviewed by – Shristi Suman

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