Evidence is the most important part of procedural law. Term “evidence” has been derived from Latin term, and this Latin term is evident or evidere, which means to show clearly, to discover, to ascertain or to prove. Evidence refers to anything, which is necessary to prove a certain fact. In short words, evidence is a mean of proof. There can be different kinds of evidence.
Definition of Evidence
(i) According To Salmond
“Evidence may be defined as any fact which possesses probative force.”
Meaning of Probative force
A probative force means the quality by virtue of which the Court presumed that one fact is evidence of another fact.
Various kinds of Evidence
Following are most prominent kinds of evidence
1. Original Evidence
Original evidence means production of documents in their original forms.
Following points are important for explanation of original evidence
(i) Original evidence is, in fact, primary evidence.
(ii) Original evidence relates to documents
(iii) In most of cases, original evidence is given more importance over oral evidence.
(iv) Written documents, which can be public or private documents, are usually produced as original evidence.
2. Un-original Evidence
Un-original evidence means production of copy of document in place of original document.
Following points are important for explanation of un-original evidence.
(i) Secondary evidence
Un-original evidence is, in fact, secondary evidence.
(ii) Insufficient Evidence
Usually un-original evidence is considered insufficient evidence. Therefore, it is not relied upon in most of cases. It is only relied upon when it is proved through other evidence that production of original document has become impossible and therefore, its copy has been produced.
(iii) When can un-original evidence be given?
Un-original evidence can be given when original document is not available or is lost or is destroyed or is in possession of some person, who does not produce. There can also be other reason due to which un-original evidence can be given.
3. Direct Evidence
Direct evidence means that evidence, which relates to real disputed question of case and which is sufficient to determine responsibility.
(i) Direct evidence can be oral evidence. In fact, Qanoon-e-Shahadat Order has provided that oral evidence should be direct in all cases.
(ii) Even direct evidence can be documentary evidence too.
(iii) Direct evidence is based on personal knowledge or observation.
(iv) Direct evidence cannot be based in inference or presumption.
4. Real Evidence
Real evidence usually takes from of some kinds of material object, which is produced be before court.
Following points are important for explanation of real evidence
(i) Material or physical evidence
Real evidence is also termed as material or physical evidence.
(ii) Purpose of Real evidence
On purpose of real evidence can be to prove existence of some material object and real evidence can be to make inference about use of some material object in commission of some offence. And also to prove presence of any material object at some place or possession of some person can be purpose of real evidence.
5. Circumstantial Evidence
Circumstancial evidence means that evidence, which is based on inference and which is not based on personal knowledge or observation.
6. Personal Evidence
When some person himself sees any incident or situation and gives statement about it in court, such statement is called personal evidence.
To conclude, it can be stated that concept of evidence is an old concept. Inquisitorial principle and adversary principle played important role in development of concept of evidence. According to inquisitorial principle, judge was to search for facts, listen to witnesses and experts, examine documents, and order to take evidence. Contrary to this, parties and their counsels are primarily responsible for finding and presenting evidence and judge does not investigate facts according to adversary principle.