Section 22 lays down that the contents of the documents can be proved by the documents itself and not by oral evidence. The contents of a document capable of being produced must be proved by the instrument and not by parole evidence.
Under the provisions of the Evidence Act the contents of the documents are proved either by primary evidence or by secondary evidence. According to Section 64, the document must be proved by primary evidence, i.e., by producing the document itself. In absence of primary evidence it can be proved by secondary evidence under section 65. Section 22, accordingly, states that oral evidence as to the contents of a document will be relevant only when the secondary evidence of the document can be given under this section. When acceptable materials are avoidable through witnesses, their depositions cannot be rejected merely on the ground that the complaints given by P.W. 4 and P.W. 21 were not marked and muchalka obtained from both parties were not produced. The contents of the documents like certified copy, Xerox or photocopy, attested or duplicate copies can be produced to support oral evidence.
In case the document is registered then except in the case of a will it is not necessary to call an attesting witness, unless the execution has been specifically denied by the person by whom it purports to have been executed. Where the original contract is available to ascertain the quantum of damages there is no question of letting in secondary evidence.
Section 22A – When oral admissions as to contents of electronic records are relevant:
Oral admissions as to the contents of electronic records are not relevant, unless the genuineness of the electronic record produced is in question.
Under this section the electronic records are presumed to be genuine unless any question arises in this regard. Oral evidence as to contents of electronic records may be allowed when the genuineness of such records is in question.