Section 76 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872

Explanation:

Any officer who, by the ordinary course of official duty, is authorized to deliver such copies, shall be deemed to have the custody of such documents within the meaning of this section.

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Comments:

Section 76 prescribes two things, viz.—(i) it provides the means for proving public document and (ii) it provides the method of getting a certified copy of public document.

The section also lays down few conditions to be fulfilled for getting a certified copy of the public documents:

(a) The document must be a public document;

(b) The applicant must have right to inspect that document;

(c) Necessary fees must be paid by the applicant;

(d) The applicant has to file an application with fees before a officer who has the custody of the public document.

After fulfilling above conditions a certified copy duly signed, dated and sealed by the officer on whose custody the original is entrusted, will be issued. The certified copy must be a ‘true copy’ of the original and it must also bear a certificate at the foot of copy as true copy.

Right to seek certified copies of a public document is not absolute but depended upon right to inspect that document. The document must be authenticated by the stamp of legal keeper of record and duly signed. If it is collected in foreign country it can be certified by the Indian consulate in foreign country. It was held that the document is duly proved as if fulfilled the requirements of Section 78(6) of the Act.”