File Copyright Online - File mutual Divorce in Delhi - Online Legal Advice - Lawyers in India

Privileged Communication: Section 122 to 129 Indian Evidence Act

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 an individual.

Section 122
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 other.

  • 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

MC Verghese V TJ Ponnan 1970
Facts: 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.

Held: 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.

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.

Legal Issues:
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 sense?

Held: 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.

Section 124
Official Communication:
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 the disclosure.

Section 125
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:
  1. any such communication made in furtherance of any illegal purpose
  2. any fact observed by barrister, etc. in the course of employment
Showing that any crime or fraud has been committed since the Commencement of his employment

Other exceptions:
  • 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 no others.

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.

Also Read:

Law Article in India

Ask A Lawyers

You May Like

Legal Question & Answers

Lawyers in India - Search By City

Copyright Filing
Online Copyright Registration


How To File For Mutual Divorce In Delhi


How To File For Mutual Divorce In Delhi Mutual Consent Divorce is the Simplest Way to Obtain a D...

Increased Age For Girls Marriage


It is hoped that the Prohibition of Child Marriage (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which intends to inc...

Facade of Social Media


One may very easily get absorbed in the lives of others as one scrolls through a Facebook news ...

Section 482 CrPc - Quashing Of FIR: Guid...


The Inherent power under Section 482 in The Code Of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (37th Chapter of t...

The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in India: A...


The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) is a concept that proposes the unification of personal laws across...

Role Of Artificial Intelligence In Legal...


Artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing various sectors of the economy, and the legal i...

Lawyers Registration
Lawyers Membership - Get Clients Online

File caveat In Supreme Court Instantly