Section 6 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872

Illustrations:

(a) A is accused of the murder of  by beating him. Whatever was said or done by A or  or the by-standers at the beating, or so shortly before or after it as to form part of the transaction, is a relevant fact.

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(b) A is accused of waging war against the Government of India by taking part in an armed insurrection in which property is destroyed, troops are attacked, and goals are broken open. The occurrence of these facts is relevant, as forming part of the general transaction, though A may not have been present at all of them.

(c) A sues  for a libel contained in a letter forming part of a correspondence. Letters between the parties relating to the subject out of which the libel arose, and forming part of the correspondence in which it is contained, are relevant facts, though they do not contain the libel itself.

(d) The question is, whether certain goods ordered from  were delivered to A. The goods were delivered to several intermediate persons successively. Each delivery is a relevant fact.

Comments:

A case is nothing but a story consisting of numerous facts. It is duty of the court to ascertain what facts are relevant to a case under section 5. Afterwards the court has to see whether such relevant facts are so connected with each other for which the event took place. This situation has been dealt with under section 6 of the Act. The rule formulated in this section has been illustrated in Sections 7, 8 and 9.

Principle:

Section 6 lays down that facts which are connected with facts in issue form part of the ‘same transaction’ are relevant facts. All these facts are therefore, admissible in evidence. The law under this section applies to civil cases as feel as to criminal cases. It is technically known as res gastae. It means that “the things done (including words spoken) in the same course of transaction, such as, a crime, a contract, a wrong etc. Each fact is, therefore, a part of other facts found in a same transaction.” Fact deposed must be made contemporaneously with the act or immediately after it. Facts must be proved other than those in issue. In a rape case mere delay in lodging FIR is not by itself necessarily fatal to prosecution case; however, fact that report was lodged belatedly is a relevant fact of which court must take notice.

Therefore the res gastae as “a transaction is a group of facts connected together to be referred to by a single name such as a crime, a contract, a wrong or any other subject of enquiry which be in issue”—STEPHEN.

Facts are so connected with other facts as to form the component of the principle fact and these facts must not be excluded. But if there is an interval, however, slight it may be, which was sufficient enough for fabrication then the statement is not part of res gastae. Every fact being part of a transaction with the facts in issue is deemed to be relevant to the facts in issue although it cannot be actually in issue. If the facts are not part of the same transaction it might be excluded as hearsay evidence and not justified.

The hearsay evidence cannot be relied upon. Section 6 of the Evidence Act is an exception to the hearsay rule and admits to certain exceptions and makes the statement admissible when it is proved to form part of the same transaction, when it is res gastae. “It is important to bear in mind that what is adminissible under section 6 are facts which are connected with fact in issue, a part of the transaction under investigation”—SARKAR.

Test for determining facts forming same transaction:

The test for determining whether a fact forms part of the same transaction or another “depends upon whether they are so related to one another in point of purpose, or as cause and effect or as probable and subsidiary acts as to constitute one continuous action.” To ascertain whether a series of facts are part of the same transaction, it is essential to see whether they linked together to present a continuous whole. It implies a fact which though not in issue, is so connected with fact in issue “as to form part of same transaction” becomes relevant by itself.

Sections 6, 7, 8 and 9 of this Act lay down various ways in which the facts are so connected with the matter in issue that they form the same transaction. If there is an interval, however slight, which was sufficient for creating scope for fabrication, the statement is not fact of res gestae. The same transaction consists of both physical and psychological facts.

There are, of course, “four classes of facts which in common life would usually be regarded as falling within the definition of relevancy are excluded from it by the law of Evidence except in certain cases”—STEPHEN.

These include:

1. Facts contained in statements of witness not produced in evidence (Sections 32 and 33).

2. Facts contained in the opinion of persons (Section 45).

3. Facts regarding character (Section 53).

4. Facts similar but not specifically connected with other.

The above facts are admissible in exceptional circumstances.

Res gestae:

Res gestae is the basic principle contained in Section 6. It is latin term which literally means “things done.” In English it means “things said and done in the course of a transaction.” The essence of the principle is that a fact which though not in issue is so connected with the fact in issue as to form the part of the same transaction. The test for applying of rule of res gestae is that statement (or fact) should be spontaneous and should form part of the same transaction ruling out any possibility of concoction. The term has been used in two senses. “In the restricted sense it means world’s happening out of which the right and liability in question may arise.

In the wider sense it covers all the probative facts by which the res gestae are reproduced to the tribunal where the direct evidence of witness or perception by the court are unattainable.” For application of this section it is essential that the fact must not be too remote but must be part of a single transaction. According to Woodroffe the term res gestae “as those circumstances which are automatic and undesigned incidents of a particular litigated Act and which are admissible when illustrative of such Act.” It is transaction of various facts consisting of physical and psychological acts whether occur at the same time and place. Such facts are admitted as forming part of res gestae. Illustrations (b) and (d) of Section 6 are examples of the situation.

Section 6 embodies the rules of evidence relating to res gestae provided the statement which part of the res gestae does not narrate the part event. Immediately after the incident the prosecution witness came to the spot on hearing and gained the knowledge through another person who are present there when accused stabbed the victim. The evidence is admissible. Evidence of independent witness in particular facts can be treated as res gestae. FIR, if proved is admissible as res gestae .A witness stated that immediately after the incident he heard hue and cry of the deceased’s father who was present there and was crying and uttering that his son-in-law had killed his daughter. The evidence of such independence witness is admissible under this section as res gestae.

Hearsay statement of witness being admissible under section 6:

In Sukhar v State of U.P. the question whether the witness could give evidence of what the victim told him was raised? It was held that Section 6 as an exception to general rule that hearsay is not admissible as evidence. But it has to be established that ‘’the statement was about contemporaneous with the fact in issue and there should not be any interval for fabrication, so that it forms part of the same transaction.” In this case the evidence of the witness is admissible. When the witness came to the place of occurrence where they found the dead body of the deceased and injured victim in unconscious state.

The mother of deceased was weeping. They heard about entire incident from injured witnesses including the accused and others. Evidence of the said witnesses had corroborated evidence of prosecution witnesses and also allegations made in FIR. The evidence would be admissible under the section.

Statement of bystander:

The statements of bystander are admissible under section 6. The statement must be spontaneous reaction of the person witnessing the crime and must form a part of the transaction. The statement of the person is relevant only who has seen the actual occurrence. But statement made by the persons other than eye-witness could only be hearsay and not relevant.

Where a number of persons came to the spot immediately after murder and was told by the eye-witness who found the two culprits, their evidence is relevant. In order to admit the statements of bystander it must have been made as contemplated by Section 6 and Illustration (a). If the transaction was terminated and thereafter the statement was made, the statement is not relevant. Admissibility is depended on continuity.