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Production of Public Documents & Records

  • What are public documents – Documents forming part of the public documents or in public custody are called public documents. They also include municipal records. This has been defined u/s 74 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872.
  • According to Rule 106 of Civil Rules and Orders, subject to any provision of law to the contrary, the originals of public and municipal records should not be called for when duly authenticated and certified copies of the same are admissible in evidence and will serve the purpose for which the records are required.
  • The matter can be brought to the notice of the court through the Ld. Assistant Government Pleader that in view of the fragility of the records, it is necessary for the general public and the danger of any possible loss or damage to the public document due to which a considerable government expense would be involved for the de novo preparation, the records could at the most be inspected and returned the same day. In case, the court insists by a written order for it’s production then Rule 108 of the Civil Rules and Orders should be brought to the notice of the court.
  • According to Rule 108 of the Civil Rules and Orders, if the officer from whose custody the record has been produced, desires its prompt return, the court shall, after the document has been inspected or put in evidence, cause it to be returned with least delay to such officer, after the preparation of such copy as the court may require under Order 13, Rule 2 unless its detection is considered up to the judgment.

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