Certain matters which a person cannot be compelled to disclose or even if the
witness is willing to disclose, he will not be permitted to do so as a matter of
public policy or because interest of the state is supreme and overrides that of
Communication during marriage
Communications during marriage.:No person who is or has been married, shall be
compelled to disclose any communication made to him during marriage by any
person to whom he is or has been married; nor shall he be permitted to disclose
any such communication, unless the person who made it, or his representative in
interest, consents, except in suits between married persons, or proceedings in
which one married person is prosecuted for any crime committed against the
MC Verghese V TJ Ponnan 1970
- Acts apart from communication : Ram Bharose V State of UP 1954
- Waiver of privileges
- Suit Or criminal proceedings between the two spouses
- Communication made before marriage or after it's dissolution
- Proof of communication by third person: Appu V State 1971, Queen Empress
V Danoghue 1899
T.J. Ponnan (Respondent) married Rathi, M.C. Verghese's daughter.
From Bombay, Ponnan had addressed letters to Rathi, who was then staying with
her parents in Trivandrum. These letters were claimed to include defamatory
imputations against Verghese (Petitioner).. The father in law brought a suit on
the evidence of these letters.
The letters were passed on by the wife to her father.
When the case went to Kerala High Court, then it rejected the evidence on the
grounds of Section 122.
Appeal was made in Supreme Court:
Supreme Court propounded that:
Even though a spouse is debarred from deposing to the contents of such
communication but the same can be proved by a third person (wife's father, in
the present case)
In Rumping v Dir. Of Public Prosecutions
1862 the letter by the appellant
to his wife (containing a confession about the murder committed by him) was
given by the appellant to a colleague for posting it. After his arrest, the
colleague handed over the letter to captain of the ship, who gave it to the
police. The letter was held admissible in evidence; the crew members and captain
gave evidence, but the wife was not called as witness.
In the present case, the court thus held that the letters are
admissible in evidence. The letters could not claim the benefit of Sec. 122.]
Evidence as to affairs of State Section 123
Evidence as to affairs of State.:No one shall be permitted to give any evidence
derived from unpublished official records relating to any affairs of State,
except with the permission of the officer at the head of the department
concerned, who shall give or withhold such permission as he thinks fit.
This section must be r/w Section 162. Section 162 provides that when a person
has been summoned to produce a document he should produce it even if he has any
objection to its production and the court shall decide the matter of his
objection; the court may inspect the document, unless it refers to matters of
State Of UP v/s Raj Narain 1975
Facts of the Case: Mr. Raj Narain filed an election petition in which he alleged
misuse of public funds by a political party that fraudulently used the finances
to re-elect the Prime Minister of India.
The petition was filed before the Allahabad High Court. The petitioner Raj
Narain asked the Government of U.P. to produce the Blue Book, which contained
the guidelines for the safety of the Prime Minister when he/she travels.
The High Court of Allahabad ruled that the Blue Book did not certify the
conditions underlying Section 123 of the Indian Evidence Act. The High Court of
Allahabad ordered that the Blue Book need to be produced, as the non-production
of the document will jeopardize public interest, and gave the verdict in favor
of Mr. Raj Narain.
After the verdict of the Allahabad High Court, the Uttar Pradesh State
Government appealed this decision to the Supreme Court.
Does the Bluebook record come under the meaning of Section 123 of the Indian
Evidence Act, 1872, which defines a government record that is unpublished?
Does the non-disclosure of this document affect the public interest in any
The Supreme Court of India was of the opinion that the meaning of
Section 123 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, revolved around the principle of
preventing public injury. The judges stated that for any document which can
affect public policy and further developments, the court should have complete
access to the documents involved.
The decision made sure that when the amount of public interest affected by
non-disclosure outlasts the amount of public interest affected by disclosure;
the Court had every right to demand the production of the documents.
The Supreme Court of India held the decision of the Allahabad High court to be
valid and stated that the role of the judiciary is to decide if a document is
favorable to the public interest.
No public officer shall be compelled to disclose communications made to him in
official confidence, when he considers that the public interests would suffer by
Information as to commission of offences.:No Magistrate or Police officer shall
be compelled to say whence he got any information as to the commission of any
offence, and no Revenue officer shall be compelled to say whence he got any
information as to the commission of any offence against the public revenue.
Section 126 Professional Communication
The main ingredients of Sec. 126 are:
No barrister, attorney, pleader or vakil shall at any time be permitted, unless
with his client's express consent, to disclose any communication made to him by
or on behalf of his client, or any advise given by him to his client in the
course and for the purpose of his employment,
State the contents or conditions of any document with which he has become
acquainted in the course and for the purpose of his employment.
Disclose any advice given by him to his client in the course and for the purpose
of such employment.
Provided that nothing in this section shall not protect from disclosure:
- any such communication made in furtherance of any illegal purpose
- any fact observed by barrister, etc. in the course of employment
Showing that any crime or fraud has been committed since the Commencement of
- With consent (section 128)
- Information falling into the hands of third person
- Lawyer's suit against the client
- Documents already put on record
Section 127: Section 126 to apply to interpreters, etc.:
The provisions of section 126 shall apply to interpreters, and the clerks or
servants of barristers, pleaders, attorneys, and vakils.
Section 128: Privilege not waived by volunteering evidence:
If any party to a suit gives evidence therein at his own instance or otherwise,
he shall not be deemed to have consented thereby to such disclosure as is
mentioned in section 126; and if any party to a suit or proceeding calls any
such barrister, 1[pleader], attorney or vakil as a witness, he shall be deemed
to have consented to such disclosure only if he questions such barrister,
attorney or vakil on matters which, but for such question, he would not be at
liberty to disclose.
Section 129: Confidential communications with legal advisers.:
No one shall be compelled to disclose to the Court any confidential
communication which has taken place between him and his legal professional
adviser, unless he offers himself as a witness, in which case he may be
compelled to disclose any such communications as may appear to the Court
necessary to be known in order to explain any evidence which he has given, but
The main objective of providing such privileges is to protect the public,
whether it is about maintaining the marital institution Or about saving public
record from leakage Or about safeguarding professional communication.
The Indian Evidence Act is a wholesome act which has been created by keeping
public welfare in mind.
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