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EXPERT OPINION UNDER THE INDIAN EVIDENCE ACT,1872

AUTHORS- Nishtha Kheria, Amity University, Noida & Varun Vikas Srivastav, Amity University, Noida.


Abstract:

The idea of experts is usually acceptable as evidence under Section 45 of the Indian Evidence Act. This proof usually performs an important part in many cases where professional perspectives are included. The reason behind the same is that it is not reasonable to assume the Judges to have enough information in medical issues. But there are several obstacles and hurdles in admitting expert evidence. In many cases, there has been abuse of expert evidence. There is also a powerful superstition in India. The parties do not understand that presenting expert evidence is their right. Generally, people believe that the court must call an expert witness. Hence, this right is not exercised. The court can call an expert, but it is not significantly bound to call an expert for their idea. In this paper, the researcher has tried to examine the concept of expert opinion. This is a doctrinal study and the researcher depends on secondary data like books, websites, journals, and case laws to provide a complete and holistic way towards the study.

Keywords: Evidence, Expert, Opinion, Admissible, Relevancy, Exclusionary Rule.

Introduction:Who is an “expert”?

Section 45 in The Indian Evidence Act, 1872[1]

45. Opinions of experts. —When the Court has to form a view upon a position of foreign law or science or art, or as to identification of handwriting [or finger impressions], the views upon that position of persons specifically skilled in such foreign law, science or art are relevant facts. Such characters are called experts (SRD Law Notes, 2017).

Illustration:

· The question is, whether the death of A was caused by infection. The views of experts as to the indication formed by the poison by which A is made up to have died are relevant (Indian Kanoon , n.d.).

The court cannot form an accurate judgment without the advice of a person with specialized abilities or expertise in a special subject. When the court requires an idea in a subject that needs specific support, the court calls an expert, a particularly experienced character. The idea given by a third person is regarded as appropriate facts if the person asserting is an expert.

· For example, the court was troubled that a letter has been written by person ‘X’ or not. The court calls a calligraphy specialist to find out the same. This person will be recognized as an expert and the idea which he delivers in the case is appropriate (IPleaders, 2019).

Expert is explained under section 45 of The Indian Evidence Act, 1872 (Vakilno1, 2013). The court requires an expert to form an impression upon:

· Foreign law

· Science & Art

· Identification of Handwriting

· Identification of fingerprint

· Electronic evidence

Duty of the expert: -

· A) An expert is not a spectator of fact.

· B) His evidence is consulting.

· C) An expert dismisses and does not resolve.

· D) An expert observer is to provide the judge required scientific models for testing the correctness of the summing-up to allow the judge to form his independent judgment by the applicability of the standards to the facts demonstrated by the evidence (Roy, 2015).

The SC of India in the proceeding of State of Himachal Pradesh Vs. Jai Lal and others[2] in the subsequent words defined who an expert is and what his duties are (State Of H1Machal Pradesh vs Jai Lal And Ors, 1999).

· An expert eyewitness is an individual who has given the matter upon which he addresses a matter of appropriate study, practice; or observations; and the must-have a special experience of the matter.

· To produce the testimony of a witness as that of an expert it has to be shown that he has caused a special study of the subject or obtained a special knowledge therein or in other words that he is proficient and has sufficient knowledge of the subject.

· An expert is not a spectator of fact. His evidence is consulting. An expert eyewitness must provide the Judge with the required scientific standards for examining the exactness of the results to allow the judge to establish his independent judgment by the applicability of these guidelines to the facts established by the evidence of the case (EXPERTS, 2019).

The scientific idea evidence, if understandable, reliable, and tested fits a factor and usually an important part for deliberation along with the other testimony of the case. The trustworthiness of such a spectator depends on the reasons stated in support of his conclusions and the data and materials furnished which form the basis of his conclusions. (National Center for Biotechnology Information, 2011)

One of the most initial cases which mentioned on the role of the authority was Titli v. Jones[3] (Mt. Titli vs Alfred Robert Jones , 1933), wherein it was stated that the true purpose of the authority is to place before the court all the elements, collectively with inferences which cause him to terminate, so that the court, although not an expert, may reach its judgment by its investigation of those matters.’

Value of expert opinion: -

The Expert testimony has two features ---

A) Data evidence [it can’t be rejected if it is incompatible to vocal evidence]

B) Opinion evidence [it is only a presumption extracted from the data and it would not get preference over the direct eye-witness attestation unless the discrepancy between the two is so great as to deceive the oral evidence] --[Arshad v. State of A.P. 1996 crlj 2893 (para34) (AP)] (Arshad vs State Of Andhra Pradesh , 1995)[4]

Expert evidence is opinion testimony and it can’t take the position of substantive evidence. It is a rule of method that expert evidence must be established either by clear primary evidence or by secondary evidence (Roy, 2015).

It is not secure to rely against this sort of evidence without soliciting sovereign and reliable corroboration -- [S. Gopal Reddy v. State of A.P. (Para27)][5][6] (S.Gopal Reddy vs State Of Andhra Pradesh, 1996)

Essentials of Expert evidence

The SC in the proceeding of Ramesh Chandra Agrawal vs Regency Hospital Ltd. &OR’s(Ramesh Chandra Agrawal vs Regency Hospital Ltd. & Ors , 2009) described the necessities of proficient evidence under Section 45 of the Evidence Act. The Court affirmed that the initial and principal necessity for expert evidence to be relevant is that it is essential to understand the expert evidence. The analysis is that the subject is outside the experience and knowledge of the layperson. Thus, there is a want to discover an expert idea where there is a therapeutic issue to be resolved.

What is the Evidentiary value of Expert Opinion?

A Court is not bound by the evidence of the authorities which is to a large degree advisory in essence.

The benefit of expert view holds on the facts on which it is based and his competency for building a reliable conclusion[7]. The evidentiary value of the estimation of expert depends on the information upon which it is related and also the soundness of the procedure by which the end is reached. Where the experts give no actual data in sustain of their opinion, the evidence even though admissible, may be barred from consideration the correct value[8] (Vakilno1, 2018).

The Allahabad Court in one of the most advanced cases regarding the matter in the subject said that the benefit of expert testimony depends largely on the cogency of the grounds on which it is based. In common, it cannot be the principle of condemnation except it is corroborated by other testimony (Indian Kanoon, 2012)[9].

Evidence of specialists after all is view evidence. The idea is to be approved by logic. The Court has to consider the same as any distinct evidence. The grounds in the comfort of the idea, if acceptable, make the idea acceptable. There is no room for the ipse dixit of the specialist[10]. Hence, from the judicial statements, it can be concluded that expert evidence or idea is not a cogent or convincing evidence, and to make it stronger evidence in a case it has to be approved by inferences and related data (Shodhganga, n.d.).

Thus, no expert can insist that he could be certain that his judgment was correct, expert depends to a magnificent extent upon the matters put before him and the quality of the proposal put to him[11].

Is it important to support Expert Evidence?

This legal aspect has been considered by the Judiciary in numerous cases and there has been a dichotomy of view. Nevertheless, the Supreme Court in the case of Murari Lal v. State of M.P.[12] seems to have resolved the matter by declaring that on the details of an appropriate case, a court may need corroboration of a diverse range (ArticlesonLaw, 2018). There can be no firm and speedy rule, but nothing will support the dismissal of the idea of an expert-approved by unchallenged objects on the sole ground that it is not corroborated. The advent of a court while dealing with the idea of a handwriting specialist should be to advance carefully, examine the grounds for the idea, weigh all other pertinent evidence and choose ultimately to admit or deny it (Indian Kanoon , n.d.)[13].

Conclusion & Suggestions:

Firstly, the difficulty with the expert view is that it is only an instructive idea. It is only collateral and not a decisive part of evidence. The Evidence Act does not envision any guidelines as to who can be termed as an expert? It only states subject-matters in which opinion can be sought by the court of law. The explanation of the expert view is also refraining. It has also not been mentioned in the Evidence Act on how the court of law will try to guarantee that the view of the authority is not biased or that expert is not willing to settle the matter of the accuser.

Secondly, the law on skillful view in India is not a complete one. This is why the expert view is held a weak evidence. No fitting burden has been laid on the expert qualification. Expertise and skill have only been given command. The government must take efforts to bring in guidelines to ensure that the expert’s opinion can be relied on by the Court of law while resolving cases. This proves the theory.

Thirdly, there should be some developments about the scheme of the generation of expert witnesses as discussed earlier.

Lastly, the role of proficient witnesses in India is insufficient. It is not wide enough to be implemented in all cases. Experts are selected only after the other means of obtaining evidence has been depleted by the common research team and the Judge. So, this causes is a delay in the case experiments

REFERENCES- [1]https://lawcorner.in/opinion-of-experts-section-45-of-indian-evidence-act-1872/ [2]AIR 1999 SC 3318 [3]AIR 1934 All 237 [4]1996 (3) ALD 410, 1996 (2) ALD Cri 264, 1996 (2) ALT Cri 433, 1996 CriLJ 2893 [5]AIR 1996 SC2184 [6]1996 SCC (4) 596, JT 1996 (6) 268 [7]Malay Kumar Ganguly v. Sukumar Mukherjee [8]Extract from the Article “Relevancy of Expert’s Opinion” [9]Saqlain Ahmad v. Emperor AIR 1936 Alld. 165 [10]State Vs. Kanhu Charan Barik 1983 Cr.L.J. 133 [11]The State (Delhi Administration) v. Pali Ram, AIR 1979 SC 14 [12][1980] 1 SCC 704 [13]1992 AIR 2100



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