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Indian Evidence Act, 1872-Chapter II-Sec. 45–Held, opinion of typewriter expert is admissible in evidence. Words and Phrases: “Science” “Handwriting”-Meaning of-In the context of opinion of typewriting expert-S.45 of Evidence Act. 1872. The respondent was tried in the Sessions Court, New Delhi for offences under Sections 302 IPC and Sections 3 and 4 of Explosive Sub-stances Act, 1908. When the prosecution wanted to examine a typewriter expert for proof of certain incriminating facts against the respondent based on the identity of a typewriter on which a material document was alleged to have been typed, an objection was taken to the admissibility of the opinion evidence of the typewriter expert under Section 45 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 based on the decision of the Supreme Court in Hanumant v. The State of Madhya Pradesh, AIR (19952) SC 343 = [1952] SCR 1091. The trial court upheld the objection. The Revision Petition before the High Court was also dismissed. The Appellants challenged the correctness of the findings in Hanumant’s case and sought for reconsideration of the said judgment. =Allowing the appeal, this Court HELD : 1. The observations made in the decision in Hanumant’s case on the basis of a concession does not reflect the correct position of law on this point and should, therefore, be treated as no longer good law on the point. The decision in Hanumant’s case proceeds on the concession that the evidence of a typewriter expert is not admissible in evidence under Section 45 of the Evidence Act. The decision in Hanumant cannot be taken as deciding that point event though on the basis of that observation the evidence of typewriter expert was excluded as inadmissible. [567-E-F; 559- D-E] Hanumant v. Tlie State of M.P., AIR (1952) SC 343 = [1952] SCR 1091, overruled. 2. The opinion of the typewriter expert in the present case is admissible under Section 45 of the Evidence Act and the contrary view taken by the Trial Court and the High Court is erroneous. [567-F] 3. Irrespective of the view that the word “handwriting” in Section 45 includes typewriting the word “science” is wide enough to meet the requirement of treating the opinion of a typewriter expert as an opinion evidence coming within the ambit of Section 45 of the Evidence Act. [567-B] Statutory Interpretation by Francis Bennion, Second edition pp. 617 to 619; ‘Question Documents, Second Edition, by Albert S. Osborn pg. 598; ‘Photographic Evidence’ by Charles C. Scott., Second Edition, Volume 1 pg. 636; ‘Law of Disputed and Forged Documents’, by J. Newton Baker pp. 451-453 and ‘Typewriting Identification (Identification System for Questioned (Typewriting)’ by Billy Prior Bates pg. 59, referred to. 4. The word “Science” occurring independently and in addition to the word “handwriting” in Section 45 of the Act of 1872, is sufficient to indicate that the opinion of a person specially skilled in the use of typewriters and having the scientific knowledge of typewriters would be an expert in this science and his opinion about the identity of typewriting for the purpose of identifying the particular typewriter on which the writing is typed is a relevant fact under Section 45 of the Evidence Act. [561-E-F] The Oxford Encyclopedic English Dictionary; the New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, Vol. 2; Collins Dictionary of the English Language, referred to. CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION : Criminal Appeal No. 461 of 1987. =1996 AIR 1491, 1996( 2 )SCR 556, 1996( 2 )SCC 428, 1996( 2 )SCALE37 , 1996( 2 )JT 186

CASE NO.: Appeal (crl.) 461 of 1987 PETITIONER: STATE (THROUGH CBI/NEW DELHI) RESPONDENT: S.J.CHOUDHARY DATE OF JUDGMENT: 13/02/1996 BENCH: JAGDISH SARAN VERMA & G.N.RAY & N.P.SINGH & FAIZAN UDDIN & G.T.NANAVATI JUDGMENT: JUDGMENT Delivered By: JAGDISH SARAN VERMA J.S VERMA. J. The reference made in this appeal to the Constitution Bench is for deciding the … Continue reading

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