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All About The Relation Between Relevancy And Admissibility

"Relevancy and Admissibility are not co-extensive terms". Explain clearly with suitable examples.

Relevancy and Admissibility are not co-extensive terms in the context of Indian evidence act 1872. While relevancy determines whether a particular piece of evidence is logically connected to the fact in issue, admissibility refers to the acceptability of that relevant evidence in the court of law based on legal rules and provisions.
  1. Relevancy:

    Relevancy refers to the logical connection between a piece of evidence and the facts in issue. Under the Evidence act 1872, section 5 defines relevant evidence as those which directly or indirectly proves or disapproves the fact in issue or is circumstantial evidence which establishes the existence or non-existence of a fact in issue". In simpler terms, relevant evidence has the potential to make the existence and the non-existence of a fact more or less probable.

    Hence, Relevancy means what facts are to be proved before a court. The facts that are allowed to be proved under evidence act are called relevant facts. Thus, under the Evidence act the terms "Relevant" or "the facts that may be proved" are synonyms. The rules of relevancy are dealt under sections 5-55 of Indian evidence act 1872.

    For example: in a case where a person is charged with murder, evidence such as eyewitness testimony, DNA Samples or the weapon used in the crime would be considered relevant. These pieces of evidence are logically connected to the fact in issue which is whether the accused committed the murder.
  2. Admissibility:

    Admissibility, on the other hand, refers to whether the relevant evidence is allowed to be presented and considered by the court based on legal rules and provisions. Admissibility basically means that only the facts which are relevant are admissible in the court of law. Section 136 of Indian evidence, 1872, explains that all evidence is admissible. Section 136 states that it is the discretion of the judge to decide whether evidence is amissible or not.

    The rule of Admissibility lays down whether a certain form of evidence about relevant fact, may be allowed or excluded. The admissibility is the means and the method of proving the relevant facts.
An illustration to understand that relevancy and admissibility are not co-extensive terms.

A at night went to a jewelry shop with an empty bag with him but when he came out, his bag was full and bulky. B, who was hiding behind the tree was watching A from the beginning, he did not saw A doing the theft but he saw A going in with a small bag and coming out with a big and bulky bag. On investigation, the oral statement given by B will be considered as relevant evidence which has logical connection with the fact that A had done the theft.

Admissibility will be if that relevant evidence is acceptable by the court of law or we can say that the witness's testimony, is legally acceptable in court. Various rules and exceptions govern the admissibility of evidence. For example, if the witnesses is competent and their testimony is based on personal perception rather than hearsay, the testimony would likely be deemed admissible.

In Ram Bihari Yadav v. State of Bihar (1998), The Supreme court through Mohd. Quadari J, said that, more than often the expression relevancy and admissibility are used as synonym but their legal implications are different because more often than not facts which are relevant may not be admissible.

For e.g. the communication made by spouse during marriage, the communication between advocate and his client, though relevant are not admissible. So, also facts which are relevant, may not be admissible. For eg. Questions permitted to be cross examined to test the veracity or to impeach credit of witness though not relevant are admissible.

Difference between Relevancy and Admissibility

Relevancy Admissibility
Relevancy is based on logic and probability Admissibility is not based on logic but on strict rules of law
The rules of relevancy are mentioned under sections 5 to 55 of the Indian evidence act 1872. The rule of admissibility is mentioned under section 136 of the Indian evidence act 1872.
The rules of relevancy declare what is relevant is to be proved. The rule of admissibility means that the court can permit the evidence to be given of a fact only if it is relevant.
Relevancy is basically a cause. It is mainly an effect.
The court has the power to apply discretion in relevancy. The discretion cannot be applied by the court in admissibility.
The facts which are relevant are not necessarily admissible. The facts which are admissible are necessarily relavant.

So, in short, relevancy focuses on the logical connection between evidence and the facts in issue, while admissibility deals with whether the evidence meets the legal requirements for presentation and consideration in court. Admissibility is a broader concept that encompasses the relevance of evidence but also takes into account additional legal considerations.

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