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Principle of Res Gastae (Section 6 of Indian Evidence Act)

Principle of Res Gastae (Section 6 of Indian Evidence Act)

Relevancy of facts, forming the same part of the transaction, it is also called the principle of Res Gastae

Before we start the interpretation, first we must know what the same part of the transaction is?

Statements of bystanders witnessing a transaction are relevant if they are made while the transaction is in progress or so shortly before or after it as to form part of the same transaction

So here will explain with an example

“A” along with one more chasing to B and at an isolated place, they shot dead to B and ran away. But when they were chasing some people saw, and when they were running away some people also saw but none saw shooting so whatever people saw is the same part of the transaction of shot dead of B.

Take another Example

“A” Begins assaulting “B” , “C” and “D” begin shouting that “A” is assaulting “B”. The Fact that “C” and “D” shouted about the assault when the transaction was on, is relevant

And if we simplify more, Lets take an latest example

In case of Shushant Sing Rajpur Suicide case, whatever fact has collected which tends to abetment of suicide is same part of transaction.

Fighting of Rea Chakraborthy, leaving house, or any more which connects to abetment all are same part of transaction.

In hindi we say “ Kadi se Kadi Judna” so all these “Kadi” is same part of the transaction

Section 6 of Indian Evidence Act 1872

As per section 6 of Indian Evidence Act 1872, Facts which are relevant whether they occurred same part of transaction at same time and place or at different time or place and such fact is not in issue are connected with fact in issue or forming same part of transaction.

It is not necessary that fact is of at time of occurrence of incident, it may be before incident or it may be after the incident, it is also not necessary that such facts must relate to place of occurrences of incident.

So Principle of Res Gastae is challenged by defence that such fact is not relevant but the principle Res Gestae clears that any facts which are connected with fact in issue or forming same part of transaction are all those relevant.

For an example

A is sitting in Delhi and made a Plan of Dacoity in Mumbai, he executed as per plan in next month. So all these forming same part of transaction in different place and time

Doctrine of Res Gestae

The doctrine of Res Gestae is criticized as it includes within the ambit, hearsay evidence as well , which is not considered to be a good piece of evidence . In RV Foster 1834, the witness had seen only a speeding vehicle but not the accident itself. The person injured explained to him the nature of the accident. The witness was allowed to give an account of what the deceased said , although it was only a derived knowledge , yet part of Res Gestae

The rule of Res Gestae is a confusing one, every part of rule is covered under some other section of the Act . Moreover, Since there are no limits to the doctrine(any fact could be included as Res Gestae) it also causes confusion regarding the limitation of other section. Thereby, because of its confusing nature, the doctrine has not been included in the Indian Evidence Act

Statement as Res gestae

Statement is also included as a part of same transaction. These conditions must be satisfied for the statement to be treated as part of same transaction.

  1. Statement must be made during transaction
  2. Statement must be spontaneous as to exclude any possibility of them being fabricated. 
  3. They must relate to and explain the act they accompany, and not independent facts prior or subsequent thereto 
  4. The statement must be a statement of facts and not an opinion 
  5. Hearsay evidence though admissible to explain, are not always taken as proof of the truth. 
  6. Statement made in the course of the investigation of a crime is not relevant. 

Case Law

R.M Malkani vs State of Maharashtra 1973 SCC 471

In this case , Hon’ble court held that a contemporaneous tape-record of a relevant conversation is a relevant fact. It is Res Gestae.

Basanti vs State of H.P 1987 SCC 227,

In this Supreme Court held that where shortly after a murder, the person suspected of the murder describe the absence of the deceased by saying that he had left the village, the court held that statement as part of the same transaction and thus relevant

Bishna vs State of W.B AIR 2006 SC 302

In this Supreme Court held that in a case of murder, witnesses came to the place of occurrence immediately and found dead body of the deceased and other injured victims. The mother of the deceased was weeping as also injured witness present there. They heard about the entire incident from injured witness including the role played by each of the accused and others. Hence the evidence of said witness would be admissible under Section 6 of Indian Evidence Act 1872.

Hadu v State, (1950) Cut 509.

In this Hon’ble court clears that What is admissible under this section is a fact which is connected with the fact in issue as "part of the same transaction". A transaction may consist of a single incident occupying a few minutes or it may be spread over a variety of facts, etc., occupying a much longer time and occurring on different occasions or at different places. Where the transaction consists of different acts, in order that the chain of such acts may constitute the same transaction, they must be connected together by proximity of time, proximity or unity of place, continuity of action and community of purpose or design

Mohd. Islam v State of UP, 1993 Cr LJ 1736

In this case it was said that Where the witness deposed that immediately after the occurrence, his niece told him that his wife was shot by the accused, it was held that his statement was admissible under section 6

Stephen's Digest of Evidence, Article 3.

If facts form part of the transaction which is the subject of enquiry, manifestly evidence of them ought not to be excluded. The question is whether they do form part or are too remote to be considered really part of the transaction before the court. A transaction is a group of facts so connected together as to be referred to by a single legal name, as a crime, a contract, a wrong or any other subject of inquiry which may be in issue

Rattan vs Queen Reginam

In this case a man was prosecuted for the murder of his wife. His defence was that the shot went off accidentally. There was evidence to the effect that the deceased telephoned to say: "Get me the police please". Before the operator could connect the police, the caller, who spoke in distress, gave her address and the call suddenly ended. Thereafter the police came to the house and found the body of a dead woman. Her call and the words she spoke were held to be relevant as a part of the transaction which brought about her death. Her call in distress showed that the shooting in question was intentional and not accidental for no victim of an accident could have thought of getting the police before the happening.

Om Singh v State, 1997 Cr LJ 2419 (Raj).

The accused intruded into the courtyard of the victim's house at night and inflicted gun-shot injury on her. She was able to identify him. She stated before her death that the accused was standing with a gun before her. She explained the time and space proximity between her and the assailant. The statement was held to be a part of the transaction and relevant as such under section 6. The eye-witness spontaneously told the persons reaching the place immediately after the occurrence that the accused killed the deceased. Such persons derived knowledge about the incident spontaneously with the happening from the eye-witness. Their evidence was held to be relevant under section 6 as forming part of the same transaction