Improper Admission and Rejection of Evidence
Improper Admission and Rejection of Evidence
Article 162 of Qanun e Shahadat Order provides that
- Improper admission, or
Of evidence in a civil or criminal case is no ground for a new trial, or reversal of any decision, if:-
- In the case of improper admission— there is sufficient evidence to justify the decision, independently of the evidence objected to and admitted; or
- In the case of improper rejection— the decision could not be varied, if the rejected evidence had been received.
The improper admission or rejection of evidence shall not be ground itself for a new trial of any decision in any case, if it shall appear to the court before which such objection is raised that, independently of the evidence objected to and admitted, there was sufficient evidence to justify the decision, or that if the rejected evidence had been received, it ought not to have varied the decision.
PLD 1978 SC 251
Article 162 provides that if a Court finds that a certain piece of evidence has been wrongly admitted the decision need not be reversed on that ground even in second appeal provided that the court holds that there is sufficient evidence on the record to justify the finding.
Article 162 is applicable to civil as well as criminal cases. The rule is equally applicable to the admission of secondary evidence.
PLD 1965 LAH 482
Improper Admission or Rejection itself no ground for new Trial:
Where admissible evidence has been improperly rejected or inadmissible evidence has been admitted by the judge, that is, where evidence should have been admitted, has been improperly rejected by the judge, or where evidence which according to the rules of the Order should have been rejected, has been improperly admitted, such improper reception or rejection of evidence shall not by itself be a ground for a new trial or reversal of any decision in any case, unless in the opinion of the court before which such objection is raised, substantial wrong or miscarriage of justice has thereby occasioned; or, in other words, if the court before such objection is raised considers that after leaving aside the evidence that has been improperly admitted, there was enough of evidence in the record to justify the decision of the lower court, or that if the rejected evidence were admitted the decision ought not to have been affected thereby, no court of appeal should set it aside. Generally speaking, the court of appeal, upon a review of all the facts and circumstances and consideration of improper admission or rejection of evidence will not interfere unless it is of opinion that the decision is unreasonable or cannot be supported by the evidence or is legally wrong or there has been a miscarriage of justice.
It has been observed that it is difficult to apply Article 162 to the improper rejection of evidence of a witness as the appellate court can have no idea as to what that witness is going to say. In the case of document, however, it is possible for the appellate court to judge what effect, if any, the admission or rejection of that document would have on the result of the case; but one cannot often estimate the effect of the admission of oral evidence.
Improper Admission or Rejection of Evidence in Civil Cases:
In Mohar Singh v. Ghuriba 8 BLR 495, Judicial Committee observed: “It seems to the Lordships that giving full weight to all these objections, there is still sufficient and more than sufficient proof in the unsuspected evidence in the cause to support the decrees against which appeal is brought— But it is the duty of their Lordships who are judges of the fact in such a case as this, to consider whether, throwing aside such evidence, there still remains such evidence to support the decrees. Their Lordship nevertheless, must express their regret that the court of first instance in the case before them should have been as lax as it has been in the admission of evidence. The improper reception of evidence is always to be deprecated, if only from its tendency to provoke appeal”.
Additional Evidence in Appellate Court:
The appellate court may admit evidence improperly rejected by the lower court or it may allow additional evidence to be given when it is of opinion that it is required for a proper decision of the case.
Improper Admission or Rejection of Evidence in Criminal Cases:
Where there is sufficient evidence to justify a decision arrived at by the court below, independently of the evidence objected to as being improperly received, such admission would be no ground for ordering a new trial. If, however, the court is of opinion that it is difficult to arrive at any conclusion, a retrial should be ordered.
Effect of Improper Admission or Rejection of Evidence without Objection:
When copies of documents are admitted in a court of first instance without objection, no objection to their admissibility can afterwards be taken in a court of appeal.
Reception of Unstamped or Improperly Stamped Document— Appellant Court’s Power to Interfere:
The question of the admissibility of insufficiently stamped document once admitted as evidence by a court can form no valid ground of appeal. An appellate court has no right to refuse to admit on technical ground a document which has been received and read in the court below without objection.