Evidence Act 1893 - Singapore Statutes Online (2024)

PART 1

RELEVANCY OF FACTS

Preliminary

Short title

1.This Act is the Evidence Act 1893.

Application of Parts 1, 2 and 3

2.—(1)Parts1, 2 and 3 apply to all judicial proceedings in or before any court, but not to affidavits presented to any court or officer nor to proceedings before an arbitrator.

(2)All rules of evidence not contained in any written law, so far as such rules are inconsistent with any of the provisions of this Act, are repealed.

Interpretation

3.—(1)In Parts1, 2 and 3, unless the context otherwise requires—

“child abuse offence” means any offence specified in Part1 of the FirstSchedule, and includes attempting to commit, abetting the commission of, or being a party to a criminal conspiracy to commit, such an offence;

“copy of a document” includes—
(a)in the case of a document falling within paragraph(d) but not paragraph(e) of the definition of “document”, a transcript of the sounds or other data embodied in it;
(b)in the case of a document falling within paragraph(e) but not paragraph(d) of that definition, a reproduction or still reproduction of the image or images embodied in it, whether enlarged or not;
(c)in the case of a document falling within paragraphs(d) and (e) of that definition, such a transcript together with such a still reproduction; and
(d)in the case of a document not falling within paragraph(e) of that definition of which a visual image is embodied in a document falling within that paragraph, a reproduction of that image, whether enlarged or not,

and any reference to a copy of the material part of a document must be construed accordingly;

“country” includes a territory;

“court” includes all Judges and Magistrates and, except arbitrators, all persons legally authorised to take evidence;

“document” includes, in addition to a document in writing—
(a)any map, plan, graph or drawing;
(b)any photograph;
(c)any label, marking or other writing which identifies or describes anything of which it forms a part, or to which it is attached by any means whatsoever;
(d)any disc, tape, soundtrack or other device in which sounds or other data (not being visual images) are embodied so as to be capable (with or without the aid of some other equipment) of being reproduced therefrom;
(e)any film (including microfilm), negative, tape, disc or other device in which one or more visual images are embodied so as to be capable (with or without the aid of some other equipment) of being reproduced therefrom; and
(f)any paper or other material on which there are marks, impressions, figures, letters, symbols or perforations having a meaning for persons qualified to interpret them;

“electronic record” means a record generated, communicated, received or stored by electronic, magnetic, optical or other means in an information system or transmitted from one information system to another;

“evidence” includes—
(a)all statements which the court permits or requires to be made before it by witnesses in relation to matters of fact under inquiry: such statements are called oral evidence; and
(b)all documents produced for the inspection of the court: such documents are called documentary evidence;
“fact” includes—
(a)any thing, state of things, or relation of things, capable of being received by the senses; and
(b)any mental condition of which any person is conscious;

Illustrations

(a)That there are certain objects arranged in a certain order in a certain place is a fact.

(b)That a man heard or saw something is a fact.

(c)That a man said certain words is a fact.

(d)That a man holds a certain opinion, has a certain intention, acts in good faith or fraudulently, or uses a particular word in a particular sense, or is or was at a specified time conscious of a particular sensation, is a fact.

(e)That a man has a certain reputation is a fact.

“fact in issue” includes any fact from which either by itself or in connection with other facts the existence, non‑existence, nature or extent of any right, liability or disability asserted or denied in any suit or proceeding necessarily follows;

Illustration

A is accused of the murder of B.

At A’s trial the following facts may be in issue:

(a)that A caused B’s death;
(b)that A intended to cause B’s death;
(c)that A had received grave and sudden provocation from B;
(d)that A at the time of doing the act which caused B’s death was by reason of unsoundness of mind incapable of knowing its nature.
“sexual offence” means any offence specified in Part2 of the FirstSchedule, and includes attempting to commit, abetting the commission of, or being a party to a criminal conspiracy to commit, such an offence.

[4/2012; 16/2016; 20/2018]

“Relevant”

(2)One fact is said to be relevant to another when the one is connected with the other in any of the ways referred to in the provisions of this Act relating to the relevancy of facts.

“Proved”

(3)A fact is said to be “proved” when, after considering the matters before it, the court either believes it to exist or considers its existence so probable that a prudent person ought, under the circ*mstances of the particular case, to act upon the supposition that it exists.

“Disproved”

(4)A fact is said to be “disproved” when, after considering the matters before it, the court either believes that it does not exist or considers its non-existence so probable that a prudent person ought, under the circ*mstances of the particular case, to act upon the supposition that it does not exist.

“Not proved”

(5)A fact is said to be “not proved” when it is neither proved nor disproved.

(6)For the purposes of sections 23, 128, 130 and 131, a reference to “advocate or solicitor” in those sections includes a reference to the following:
(a)any public officer in the Attorney-General’s Chambers when he or she acts as an advocate or a solicitor;
(b)the Chief Public Defender, a Deputy Chief Public Defender, an Assistant Chief Public Defender or a public defender appointed under section 3 of the Public Defenders Act 2022, when he or she acts as an advocate or a solicitor.

[Act 23 of 2022 wef 01/12/2022]

(7)In sections23, 128A, 130 and 131, a “legal counsel” means—
(a)a person (by whatever name called) who is an employee of an entity employed to undertake the provision of legal advice or assistance in connection with the application of the law or any form of resolution of legal disputes;
(aa)any Deputy Attorney‑General; or
(b)a Judicial Service Officer or Legal Service Officer—
(i)working in a ministry or department of the Government or an Organ of State as legal adviser to that ministry or department or Organ of State; or
(ii)seconded as legal adviser to any statutory body established or constituted by or under a public Act for a public function.

[4/2012; 41/2014]

[Act 33 of 2021 wef 14/01/2022]

Presumptions

4.—(1)Whenever it is provided by this Act that the court may presume a fact, it may either regard such fact as proved unless and until it is disproved, or may call for proof of it.

(2)Whenever it is directed by this Act that the court is to presume a fact, the court is to regard such fact as proved unless and until it is disproved.

(3)When one fact is declared by this Act to be conclusive proof of another, the court is, on proof of the one fact, to regard the other as proved, and is not to allow evidence to be given for the purpose of disproving it.

Relevancy of facts

Evidence may be given of facts in issue and relevant facts

5.Evidence may be given in any suit or proceeding of the existence or non-existence of every fact in issue and of such other facts as are hereinafter declared to be relevant, and of no others.

Explanation.—This section does not enable any person to give evidence of a fact which the person is disentitled to prove by any provision of the law for the time being in force relating to civil procedure.

Illustrations

(a)A is tried for the murder of B by beating B with a club with the intention of causing B’s death.

At A’s trial the following facts are in issue:

(i)A’s beating B with the club;
(ii)A’s causing B’s death by such beating;
(iii)A’s intention to cause B’s death.

(b)A, a party to a suit, does not comply with a notice given by B, the other party, to produce for B’s inspection a document referred to in A’s pleadings. This section does not enable A to put such document in evidence on A’s behalf in such suit, otherwise than in accordance with the conditions prescribed by the Rules of Court or the Family Justice Rules, as the case may be.

[27/2014]

Relevancy of facts forming part of same transaction

6.Facts which, though not in issue, are so connected with a fact in issue as to form part of the same transaction are relevant, whether they occurred at the same time and place or at different times and places.

Illustrations

(a)A is accused of the murder of B by beating B. Whatever was said or done by A or B or the bystanders at the beating or so shortly before or after it as to form part of the transaction is a relevant fact.

(b)A is accused of waging war against the Government by taking part in an armed insurrection in which property is destroyed, troops are attacked and gaols are broken open. The occurrence of these facts is relevant as forming part of the general transaction, though A may not have been present at all of them.

(c)A sues B for a libel contained in a letter forming part of a correspondence. Letters between the parties relating to the subject out of which the libel arose and forming part of the correspondence in which it is contained are relevant facts though they do not contain the libel itself.

(d)The question is whether certain goods ordered from B were delivered to A. The goods were delivered to several intermediate persons successively. Each delivery is a relevant fact.

Facts which are the occasion, cause or effect of facts in issue

7.Facts which are the occasion, cause or effect, immediate or otherwise, of relevant facts or facts in issue, or which constitute the state of things under which they happened or which afforded an opportunity for their occurrence or transaction, are relevant.

Illustrations

(a)The question is whether A robbed B.

The facts that shortly before the robbery B went to a fair with money in B’s possession, and that B showed or mentioned the fact that B had it to third persons, are relevant.

(b)The question is whether A murdered B. Marks on the ground produced by a struggle at or near the place where the murder was committed are relevant facts.

(c)The question is whether A poisoned B. The state of B’s health before the symptoms ascribed to poison and habits of B known to A which afforded an opportunity for the administration of poison, are relevant facts.

Motive, preparation and previous or subsequent conduct

8.—(1)Any fact is relevant which shows or constitutes a motive or preparation for any fact in issue or relevant fact.
(2)The conduct of any party or of any agent to any party to any suit or proceeding in reference to such suit or proceeding or in reference to any fact in issue therein or relevant thereto, and the conduct of any person an offence against whom is the subject of any proceeding, is relevant if such conduct influences or is influenced by any fact in issue or relevant fact, and whether it was previous or subsequent thereto.

Explanation 1.—The word “conduct” in this section does not include statements unless those statements accompany and explain acts other than statements; but this explanation is not to affect the relevancy of statements under any other section of this Act.

Explanation 2.—When the conduct of any person is relevant any statement made to the person or in his or her presence and hearing which affects such conduct is relevant.

Illustrations

(a)A is tried for the murder of B.

The facts that A murdered C, that B knew that A had murdered C and that B had tried to extort money from A by threatening to make B’s knowledge public, are relevant.

(b)A sues B upon a bond for the payment of money. B denies the making of the bond.

The fact that at the time when the bond was alleged to be made B required money for a particular purpose is relevant.

(c)A is tried for the murder of B by poison.

The fact that before the death of B, A procured poison similar to that which was administered to B is relevant.

(d)The question is whether a certain document is the will of A.

The facts that not long before the date of the alleged will A made inquiry into matters to which the provisions of the alleged will relate, that A consulted lawyers in reference to making the will, and that A caused drafts of other wills to be prepared of which A did not approve are relevant.

(e)A is accused of a crime.

The facts that either before, or at the time of or after the alleged crime, A provided evidence which would tend to give to the facts of the case an appearance favourable to A, or that A destroyed or concealed evidence or prevented the presence or procured the absence of persons who might have been witnesses, or suborned persons to give false evidence respecting it, are relevant.

(f)The question is whether A robbed B.

The facts that after B was robbed, C said in A’s presence: “The police are coming to look for the man who robbed B”, and that immediately afterwards A ran away are relevant.

(g)The question is whether A owes B $10,000.

The facts that A asked C to lend A money, and that D said to C in A’s presence and hearing: “I advise you not to trust A for A owes B $10,000”, and that A went away without making any answer, are relevant facts.

(h)The question is whether A committed a crime.

The fact that A absconded after receiving a letter warning A that inquiry was being made for the criminal, and the contents of the letter, are relevant.

(i)A is accused of a crime.

The facts that after the commission of the alleged crime A absconded, or was in possession of property or the proceeds of property acquired by the crime, or attempted to conceal things which were or might have been used in committing it, are relevant.

(j)The question is whether A was raped.

The facts that shortly after the alleged rape A made a complaint relating to the crime, the circ*mstances under which and the terms in which the complaint was made, are relevant.

The fact that without making a complaint A said that she had been raped is not relevant as conduct under this section, though it may be relevant as a dying declaration under section32(1)(a), or as corroborative evidence under section159.

(k)The question is whether A was robbed.

The fact that soon after the alleged robbery A made a complaint relating to the offence, the circ*mstances under which and the terms in which the complaint was made, are relevant.

The fact that A said A had been robbed without making any complaint is not relevant as conduct under this section, though it may be relevant as a dying declaration under section32(1)(a), or as corroborative evidence under section159.

[4/2012]

Facts necessary to explain or introduce relevant facts

9.Facts necessary to explain or introduce a fact in issue or relevant fact, or which support or rebut an inference suggested by a fact in issue or relevant fact, or which establish the identity of any thing or person whose identity is relevant, or fix the time or place at which any fact in issue or relevant fact happened or which show the relation of parties by whom any such fact was transacted, are relevant insofar as they are necessary for that purpose.

Illustrations

(a)The question is whether a given document is the will of A.

The state of A’s property and of A’s family at the date of the alleged will may be relevant facts.

(b)A sues B for libel imputing disgraceful conduct to A; B affirms that the matter alleged to be libellous is true.

The position and relations of the parties at the time when the libel was published may be relevant facts as introductory to the facts in issue.

The particulars of a dispute between A and B about a matter unconnected with the alleged libel are irrelevant, though the fact that there was a dispute may be relevant if it affected the relations between A and B.

(c)A is accused of a crime.

The fact that soon after the commission of the crime A absconded from A’s house is relevant under section8 as conduct subsequent to and affected by facts in issue.

The fact that at the time when A left home A had sudden and urgent business at the place to which A went is relevant as tending to explain the fact that A left home suddenly.

The details of the business on which A left are not relevant, except insofar as they are necessary to show that the business was sudden and urgent.

(d)A sues B for inducing C to break a contract of service made by C with A. C on leaving A’s service says to A: “I am leaving you because B has made me a better offer”. This statement is a relevant fact as explanatory of C’s conduct, which is relevant as a fact in issue.

(e)A accused of theft is seen to give the stolen property to B who is seen to give it to A’s wife. B says as B delivers it: “A says you are to hide this”. B’s statement is relevant as explanatory of a fact which is part of the transaction.

(f)A is tried for a riot and is proved to have marched at the head of a mob. The cries of the mob are relevant as explanatory of the nature of the transaction.

(g)A seeks to adduce evidence against B in the form of an electronic record. The method and manner in which the electronic record was (properly or improperly) generated, communicated, received or stored (by A or B), the reliability of the devices and the circ*mstances in which the devices were (properly or improperly) used or operated to generate, communicate, receive or store the electronic record, may be relevant facts (if the contents are relevant) as authenticating the electronic record and therefore as explaining or introducing the electronic record, or identifying it as the relevant electronic record to support a finding that the record is, or is not, what its proponent A claims.

[4/2012]

Things said or done by conspirator in reference to common design

10.Where there is reasonable ground to believe that 2 or more persons have conspired together to commit an offence or an actionable wrong, anything said, done or written by any one of such persons, in reference to their common intention after the time when such intention was first entertained by any one of them, is a relevant fact as against each of the persons believed to be so conspiring, as well for the purpose of proving the existence of the conspiracy as for the purpose of showing that any such person was a party to it.

Illustrations

Reasonable ground exists for believing that A has joined in a conspiracy to wage war against the Government.

The facts that B procured arms in Europe for the purpose of the conspiracy, C collected money in Malacca for a like object, D persuaded persons to join the conspiracy in Province Wellesley, E published writings advocating the object in view at Singapore, and F transmitted from Singapore to G at Jakarta the money which C had collected at Malacca, and the contents of a letter written by H giving an account of the conspiracy are each relevant, both to prove the existence of the conspiracy and to prove A’s complicity in it, although A may have been ignorant of all of them, and although the persons by whom they were done were strangers to A, and although they may have taken place before A joined the conspiracy or after A left it.

When facts not otherwise relevant become relevant

11.Facts not otherwise relevant are relevant—
(a)if they are inconsistent with any fact in issue or relevant fact;
(b)if by themselves or in connection with other facts they make the existence or non-existence of any fact in issue or relevant fact highly probable or improbable.

Illustrations

(a)The question is whether A committed a crime at Singapore on a certain day.

The fact that on that day A was at Penang is relevant.

The fact that near the time when the crime was committed A was at a distance from the place where it was committed, which would render it highly improbable, though not impossible, that A committed it, is relevant.

(b)The question is whether A committed a crime.

The circ*mstances are such that the crime must have been committed either by A, B, C or D. Every fact which shows that the crime could have been committed by no one else and that it was not committed by either B, C or D is relevant.

In suits for damages facts tending to enable court to determine amount are relevant

12.In suits in which damages are claimed, any fact which will enable the court to determine the amount of damages which ought to be awarded is relevant.

Facts relevant when right or custom is in question

13.Where the question is as to the existence of any right or custom, the following facts are relevant:
(a)any transaction by which the right or custom in question was created, claimed, modified, recognised, asserted or denied or which was inconsistent with its existence; and
(b)particular instances in which the right or custom was claimed, recognised or exercised or in which its exercise was disputed, asserted or departed from.

Illustration

The question is whether A has a right to a fishery. A deed conferring the fishery on A’s ancestors, a mortgage of the fishery by A’s father, a subsequent grant of the fishery by A’s father irreconcilable with the mortgage, particular instances in which A’s father exercised the right, or in which the exercise of the right was stopped by A’s neighbours, are relevant facts.

Facts showing existence of state of mind or of body or bodily feeling

14.Facts showing the existence of any state of mind, such as intention, knowledge, good faith, negligence, rashness, ill will or goodwill towards any particular person, or showing the existence of any state of body or bodily feeling, are relevant when the existence of any such state of mind or body or bodily feeling is in issue or relevant.

Explanation 1.—A fact relevant as showing the existence of a relevant state of mind must show that the state of mind exists not generally but in reference to the particular matter in question.

Explanation 2.—But where upon the trial of a person accused of an offence the previous commission by the accused of an offence is relevant within the meaning of this section, the previous conviction of such person is also a relevant fact.

Illustrations

(a)A is accused of receiving stolen goods, knowing them to be stolen. It is proved that A was in possession of a particular stolen article.

The fact that at the same time A was in possession of many other stolen articles is relevant as tending to show that A knew each and all of the articles of which A was in possession to be stolen.

(b)A is accused of fraudulently delivering to another person a counterfeit coin, which at the time when A delivered it A knew to be counterfeit.

The fact that at the time of its delivery A was in possession of a number of other pieces of counterfeit coin is relevant.

The fact that A had been previously convicted of delivering to another person as genuine a counterfeit coin, knowing it to be counterfeit, is relevant.

(c)A sues B for damage done by a dog of B’s, which B knew to be ferocious.

The facts that the dog had previously bitten X, Y and Z and that they had made complaints to B are relevant.

(d)The question is whether A, the acceptor of a bill of exchange, knew that the name of the payee was fictitious.

The fact that A had accepted other bills drawn in the same manner before they could have been transmitted to A by the payee, if the payee had been a real person, is relevant, as showing that A knew that the payee was a fictitious person.

(e)A is accused of defaming B by publishing an imputation intended to harm the reputation of B.

The fact of previous publications by A respecting B showing ill will on the part of A towards B is relevant, as proving A’s intention to harm B’s reputation by the particular publication in question.

The facts that there was no previous quarrel between A and B and that A repeated the matter complained of as A heard it, are relevant as showing that A did not intend to harm the reputation of B.

(f)A is sued by B for fraudulently representing to B that C was solvent, whereby B being induced to trust C, who was insolvent, suffered loss.

The fact that at the time when A represented C to be solvent C was supposed to be solvent by his or her neighbours, and by persons dealing with him or her, is relevant, as showing that A made the representation in good faith.

(g)A is sued by B for the price of work done by B upon a house of which A is owner by the order of C, a contractor.

A’s defence is that B’s contract was with C.

The fact that A paid C for the work in question is relevant as providing that A did in good faith make over to C the management of the work in question, so that C was in a position to contract with B on C’s own account and not as agent for A.

(h)A is accused of the dishonest misappropriation of property which A had found, and the question is whether, when A appropriated it A believed in good faith that the real owner could not be found.

The fact that public notice of the loss of the property had been given in the place where A was, is relevant as showing that A did not in good faith believe that the real owner of the property could not be found.

The fact that A knew or had reason to believe that the notice was given fraudulently by C who had heard of the loss of the property and wished to set up a false claim to it, is relevant as showing that the fact that A knew of the notice did not disprove A’s good faith.

(i)A is charged with shooting at B with intent to kill B.

In order to show A’s intent, the fact of A’s having previously shot at B may be proved.

(j)A is charged with sending threatening letters to B.

Threatening letters previously sent by A to B may be proved as showing the intention of the letters.

(k)The question is whether A has been guilty of cruelty towards B his wife.

Expression of their feelings towards each other shortly before or after the alleged cruelty are relevant facts.

(l)The question is whether A’s death was caused by poison.

Statements made by A during A’s illness as to A’s symptoms are relevant facts.

(m)The question is, what was the state of A’s health at the time when an assurance on A’s life was effected? Statements made by A as to the state of A’s health at or near the time in question are relevant facts.

(n)A sues B for negligence in providing A with a motor car for hire not reasonably fit for use whereby A was injured.

The fact that B’s attention was drawn on other occasions to the defect of that particular motor car is relevant.

The fact that B was habitually negligent about the motor cars which B let to hire is irrelevant.

(o)A is tried for the murder of B by intentionally shooting B dead.

The fact that A on other occasions shot at B is relevant as showing A’s intention to shoot B.

The fact that A was in the habit of shooting at people with intent to murder them is irrelevant.

(p)A is tried for a crime.

The fact that A said something indicating an intention to commit that particular crime is relevant.

The fact that A said something indicating a general disposition to commit crimes of that class is irrelevant.

Facts bearing on question whether act was accidental or intentional

15.When there is a question whether an act was accidental or intentional or done with a particular knowledge or intention, the fact that such act formed part of a series of similar occurrences, in each of which the person doing the act was concerned, is relevant.

Illustrations

(a)A is accused of burning down A’s house in order to obtain money for which it is insured.

The facts that A lived in several houses successively, each of which A insured, in each of which a fire occurred, and after each of which fires A received payment from a different insurance office, are relevant as tending to show that the fire was not accidental.

(b)A is employed to receive money from the debtors of B. It is A’s duty to make entries in a book showing the amounts received by A. A makes an entry showing that on a particular occasion A received less than A really did receive.

The question is whether this false entry was accidental or intentional.

The facts that other entries made by A in the same book are false, and that the false entry is in each case in favour of A, are relevant.

(c)A is accused of fraudulently delivering to B a counterfeit dollar.

The question is whether the delivery of the dollar was accidental.

The facts that soon before or soon after the delivery to B, A delivered counterfeit dollars to C, D and E are relevant as showing that the delivery to B was not accidental.

Existence of course of business when relevant

16.When there is a question whether a particular act was done, the existence of any course of business, according to which it naturally would have been done, is a relevant fact.

Illustrations

(a)The question is whether a particular letter was despatched.

The facts that it was the ordinary course of business for all letters put in a certain place to be carried to the post, and that that particular letter was put in that place, are relevant.

(b)The question is whether a particular letter reached A.

The facts that it was posted in due course and was not returned are relevant.

Admissions and confessions

Admission and confession defined

17.—(1)An admission is a statement, oral or documentary, which suggests any inference as to any fact in issue or relevant fact, and which is made by any of the persons and under the circ*mstances hereinafter mentioned.

(2)A confession is an admission made at any time by a person accused of an offence, stating or suggesting the inference that the person committed that offence.

Admission by party to proceeding or his or her agent, by suitor in representative character, etc.

18.—(1)Statements made by a party to the proceeding or by an agent to any such party whom the court regards under the circ*mstances of the case as expressly or impliedly authorised by him or her to make them are admissions.

(2)Statements made by parties to suits, suing or sued in a representative character, are not admissions unless they were made while the party making them held that character.

(3)Statements made by—
(a)persons who have any proprietary or pecuniary interest in the subject matter of the proceeding, and who make the statement in their character of persons so interested; or
(b)persons from whom the parties to the suit have derived their interest in the subject matter of the suit,

are admissions if they are made during the continuance of the interest of the persons making the statements.

Admissions by persons whose position must be proved as against party to suit

19.Statements made by persons whose position or liability it is necessary to prove as against any party to the suit are admissions if the statements would be relevant as against the persons in relation to the position or liability in a suit brought by or against them, and if they are made while the person making them occupies the position or is subject to the liability.

Illustration

A undertakes to collect rents for B.

B sues A for not collecting rent due from C to B.

A denies that rent was due from C to B.

A statement by C that he or she owed B rent is an admission and is a relevant fact, as against A, if A denies that C did owe rent to B.

Admissions by persons expressly referred to by party to suit

20.Statements made by persons to whom a party to the suit has expressly referred for information in reference to a matter in dispute are admissions.

Illustration

The question is whether a horse sold by A to B is sound.

A says to B: “Go and ask C, C knows all about it”. C’s statement is an admission.

Proof of admissions against persons making them and by or on their behalf

21.Admissions are relevant and may be proved as against the person who makes them or his or her representative in interest; but they cannot be proved by or on behalf of the person who makes them or by his or her representative in interest except in the following cases:
(a)an admission may be proved by or on behalf of the person making it when it is of such a nature that, if the person making it were dead, it would be relevant as between third persons under section32;
(b)an admission may be proved by or on behalf of the person making it when it consists of a statement of the existence of any state of mind or body relevant or in issue, made at or about the time when such state of mind or body existed and is accompanied by conduct rendering its falsehood improbable;
(c)an admission may be proved by or on behalf of the person making it if it is relevant otherwise than as an admission.

Illustrations

(a)The question between A and B is whether a certain deed is or is not forged. A affirms that it is genuine; B that it is forged.

A may prove a statement by B that the deed is genuine, and B may prove a statement by A that the deed is forged; but A cannot prove a statement by A that the deed is genuine, nor can B prove a statement by B that the deed is forged.

(b)A, the captain of a ship, is tried for casting the ship away.

Evidence is given to show that the ship was taken out of the ship’s proper course.

A produces a book kept by A in the ordinary course of A’s business, showing observations alleged to have been taken by A from day to day, and indicating that the ship was not taken out of the ship’s proper course. A may prove these statements because they would be admissible between third parties if A were dead under section32(1)(b).

(c)A is accused of a crime committed by A at Singapore. A produces a letter written by A and dated at Penang on that day, and bearing the Penang postmark of that day.

The statement in the date of the letter is admissible, because if A were dead it would be admissible under section32(1)(b).

(d)A is accused of receiving stolen goods, knowing them to be stolen.

A offers to prove that A refused to sell them below their value.

A may prove these statements though they are admissions, because they are explanatory of conduct influenced by facts in issue.

(e)A is accused of fraudulently having in A’s possession counterfeit coin which A knew to be counterfeit.

A offers to prove that A asked a skilful person to examine the coin as A doubted whether it was counterfeit or not, and that that person did examine it and told A it was genuine.

A may prove these facts for the reasons stated in illustration(d).

[4/2012]

When oral admissions as to contents of documents are relevant

22.Oral admissions as to the contents of a document are not relevant unless the party proposing to prove them shows that he or she is entitled to give secondary evidence of the contents of the document under the rules contained in this Act, or unless the genuineness of a document produced is in question.

Admissions in civil cases when relevant

23.—(1)In civil cases, no admission is relevant if it is made—
(a)upon an express condition that evidence of it is not to be given; or
(b)upon circ*mstances from which the court can infer that the parties agreed together that evidence of it should not be given.

[4/2012]

(2)Nothing in subsection (1) is to be taken—
(a)to exempt any advocate or solicitor from giving evidence of any matter of which he or she may be compelled to give evidence under section128; or
(b)to exempt any legal counsel in an entity from giving evidence of any matter of which he or she may be compelled to give evidence under section128A.

[4/2012]

24.[Repealed by Act 15 of 2010]

25.[Repealed by Act 15 of 2010]

26.[Repealed by Act 15 of 2010]

27.[Repealed by Act 15 of 2010]

28.[Repealed by Act 15 of 2010]

29.[Repealed by Act 15 of 2010]

30.[Repealed by Act 15 of 2010]

Admissions not conclusive proof but may estop

31.Admissions are not conclusive proof of the matters admitted, but they may operate as estoppels under the provisions in this Act.

Cases in which statement of relevant fact by person who is dead or cannot be found, etc., is relevant

32.—(1)Subject to subsections(2) and (3), statements of relevant facts made by a person (whether orally, in a document or otherwise), are themselves relevant facts in the following cases:

when it relates to cause of death;

(a)when the statement is made by a person as to the cause of the person’s death, or as to any of the circ*mstances of the transaction which resulted in the person’s death, in cases in which the cause of that person’s death comes into question; such statements are relevant whether the person who made them was or was not at the time when they were made under expectation of death, and whatever may be the nature of the proceeding in which the cause of the person’s death comes into question;

or is made in course of trade, business, profession or other occupation;

(b)when the statement was made by a person in the ordinary course of a trade, business, profession or other occupation and in particular when it consists of —
(i)any entry or memorandum in books kept in the ordinary course of a trade, business, profession or other occupation or in the discharge of professional duty;
(ii)an acknowledgment (whether written or signed) for the receipt of money, goods, securities or property of any kind;
(iii)any information in market quotations, tabulations, lists, directories or other compilations generally used and relied upon by the public or by persons in particular occupations; or
(iv)a document constituting, or forming part of, the records (whether past or present) of a trade, business, profession or other occupation that are recorded, owned or kept by any person, body or organisation carrying out the trade, business, profession or other occupation,
and includes a statement made in a document that is, or forms part of, a record compiled by a person acting in the ordinary course of a trade, business, profession or other occupation based on information supplied by other persons;

or against interest of maker;

(c)when the statement is against the pecuniary or proprietary interest of the person making it, or when, if true, it would expose the person or would have exposed the person to a criminal prosecution or to a suit for damages;

or gives opinion as to public right or custom or matters of general interest;

(d)when the statement gives the opinion of any such person as to the existence of any public right or custom or matter of public or general interest, of the existence of which if it existed the person would have been likely to be aware, and when such statement was made before any controversy as to such right, custom or matter had arisen;

or relates to existence of relationship;

(e)when the statement relates to the existence of any relationship by blood, marriage or adoption between persons as to whose relationship by blood, marriage or adoption the person making the statement had special means of knowledge, and when the statement was made before the question in dispute was raised;

or is made in will or deed relating to family affairs;

(f)when the statement relates to the existence of any relationship by blood, marriage or adoption between persons deceased, and is made in any will or deed relating to the affairs of the family to which any such deceased person belonged, or in any family pedigree or upon any tombstone, family portrait or other thing on which such statements are usually made, and when such statement was made before the question in dispute was raised;

or in document relating to transaction mentioned in section13(a);

(g)when the statement is contained in any deed or other document which relates to any such transaction as is mentioned in section13(a);

or is made by several persons and expresses feelings relevant to matter in question;

(h)when the statement was made by a number of persons and expressed feelings or impressions on their part relevant to the matter in question;

or is made by person who is compellable but refuses to give evidence;

(i)when the statement was made by a person who, being compellable to give evidence on behalf of the party desiring to give the statement in evidence, attends or is brought before the court, but refuses to be sworn or affirmed, or is sworn or affirmed but refuses to give any evidence;

or is made by person who is dead or who cannot be produced as witness;

(j)when the statement is made by a person in respect of whom it is shown—
(i)is dead or unfit because of his or her bodily or mental condition to attend as a witness;
(ii)that despite reasonable efforts to locate him or her, he or she cannot be found whether within or outside Singapore;
(iii)that he or she is outside Singapore and it is not practicable to secure his or her attendance; or
(iv)that, being competent but not compellable to give evidence on behalf of the party desiring to give the statement in evidence, he or she refuses to do so;

or by agreement.

(k)when the parties to the proceedings agree that for the purpose of those proceedings the statement may be given in evidence.

Illustrations

(a)The question is whether A was murdered by B.

A dies of injuries received in a transaction in the course of which she was raped.

The question is whether A was raped by B; or

The question is whether A was killed by B under such circ*mstances that a suit would lie against B by A’s widow.

Statements made by A as to the cause of his or her death, referring respectively to the murder, the rape and the actionable wrong under consideration, are relevant facts.

(b)The question is as to the date of A’s birth.

An entry in the diary of a deceased surgeon regularly kept in the course of business, stating that on a given day he or she attended A’s mother and delivered her of a son, is a relevant fact.

(c)The question is whether A was in Singapore on a given day.

A statement in the diary of a deceased solicitor regularly kept in the course of business that on a given day the solicitor attended A at a place mentioned in Singapore for the purpose of conferring with A upon specified business is a relevant fact.

(d)The question is whether a ship sailed from Singapore harbour on a given day.

A letter written by a deceased member of a merchant’s firm by which the ship was chartered to their correspondents in London, to whom the cargo was consigned, stating that the ship sailed on a given day from Singapore harbour is a relevant fact.

(e)The question is whether rent was paid to A for certain land.

A letter from A’s deceased agent to B, saying that the agent had received the rent on A’s account and held it at A’s orders, is a relevant fact.

(f)The question is whether A and B were legally married.

The statement of a deceased clergyman that he married them under such circ*mstances that the celebration would be a crime is relevant.

(g)The question is whether A, a person who cannot be found, wrote a letter on a certain day.

The fact that a letter written by A is dated on that day is relevant.

(h)The question is, what was the cause of the wreck of a ship?

A protest made by the captain, whose attendance cannot be procured, is a relevant fact.

(i)The question is, what was the price of shares on a certain day in a particular market?

A statement of the price made by a deceased broker in the ordinary course of his or her business is a relevant fact.

(j)The question is whether A, who is dead, was the father of B.

A statement by A that B was his son is a relevant fact.

(k)The question is, what was the date of the birth of A?

A letter from A’s deceased father to a friend, announcing the birth of A on a given day, is a relevant fact.

(l)The question is whether and when A and B were married.

An entry in a memorandum-book by C, the deceased father of B, of his daughter’s marriage with A on a given date, is a relevant fact.

(m)A sues B for a libel expressed in a printed caricature exposed in a shop‑window. The question is as to the similarity of the caricature and its libellous character.

The remarks of a crowd of spectators on these points may be proved.

[4/2012]

(2)For the purposes of paragraph(a), (c), (d), (e), (f), (g), (h), (i) or (j) of subsection(1), where a person makes an oral statement to or in the hearing of another person who, at the request of the maker of the statement, puts it (or the substance of it) into writing at the time or reasonably soon afterwards, thereby producing a corresponding statement in a document, the statement in the document is to be treated for the purposes of those paragraphs as the statement of the maker of the oral statement.

[4/2012]

(3)A statement which is otherwise relevant under subsection(1) is not relevant if the court is of the view that it would not be in the interests of justice to treat it as relevant.

[4/2012]

(4)Except in the case of subsection(1)(k), evidence may not be given under subsection(1) on behalf of a party to the proceedings unless that party complies—
(a)in the case of criminal proceedings, with such notice requirements and other conditions as may be prescribed by the Minister under section428 of the Criminal Procedure Code2010; and
(b)in all other proceedings, with such notice requirements and other conditions as may be prescribed in the Rules of Court or the Family Justice Rules.

[4/2012; 27/2014]

(5)Where a statement is admitted in evidence under subsection(1), the court shall assign such weight as it deems fit to the statement.

[4/2012]

(6)Despite paragraph(k) of subsection(1), an agreement under that paragraph does not enable a statement to be given in evidence in criminal proceedings on the prosecution’s behalf unless at the time the agreement is made, the accused or any of the co‑accused is represented by an advocate.

[4/2012]

(7)Despite paragraph(k) of subsection(1), an agreement under that paragraph is of no effect for the purposes of any proceedings before the General Division of the High Court or any proceedings arising out of proceedings before the General Division of the High Court if made during proceedings before an examining Magistrate conducting a committal hearing under Division2 of Part10 of the Criminal Procedure Code2010 as in force immediately before 17 September 2018.

[4/2012; 19/2018; 40/2019]

Protest, greeting, etc., treated as stating fact that utterance implies

32A.For the purposes of section32(1), a protest, greeting or other verbal utterance may be treated as stating any fact that the utterance implies.

[4/2012]

Statement of opinion

32B.—(1)Subject to this section, section32 applies to statements of opinion as they apply to statements of fact.

[4/2012]

(2)A statement of opinion is only admissible under section32(1) if that statement would be admissible in those proceedings if made through direct oral evidence.

[4/2012]

(3)Where a person is called as a witness in any proceedings, a statement of opinion by him or her on a relevant matter on which he or she is not qualified to give expert evidence, if made as a way of conveying relevant facts personally perceived by him or her, is admissible as evidence of what he or she perceived.

[4/2012]

Admissibility of evidence as to credibility of maker, etc., of statement admitted under certain provisions

32C.—(1)Where in any proceedings a statement made by a person who is not called as a witness in those proceedings is given in evidence by virtue of section32(1)—
(a)any evidence which, if that person had been so called, would be admissible for the purpose of undermining or supporting that person’s credibility as a witness, is admissible for that purpose in those proceedings; and
(b)as regards any matter which, if that person had been so called, could have been put to him or her in cross‑examination for the purpose of undermining his or her credibility as a witness, being a matter of which, if he or she had denied it, evidence could not have been adduced by the cross‑examining party, evidence of that matter may with the permission of the court be given for that purpose.

[4/2012]

[Act 25 of 2021 wef 01/04/2022]

(2)Where in any proceedings a statement made by a person who is not called as a witness in those proceedings is given in evidence by virtue of section32(1), evidence tending to prove that, whether before or after he or she made that statement, he or she made another statement (orally, written or otherwise) inconsistent with the firstmentioned statement is admissible for the purpose of showing that the person has contradicted himself or herself.

[4/2012]

(3)For the purposes of section32(1)(b), subsections(1) and (2) apply in relation to both the maker of the statement and the person who originally supplied the information from which the statement was made.

[4/2012]

(4)Section 32(2) applies for the purposes of this section as it applies for the purposes of section32(1).

[4/2012]

Relevancy of certain evidence for proving in subsequent proceeding the truth of facts therein stated

33.Evidence given by a witness in a judicial proceeding, or before any person authorised by law to take it, is relevant for the purpose of proving in a subsequent judicial proceeding, or in a later stage of the same judicial proceeding, the truth of the facts which it states, when the witness is dead or cannot be found or is incapable of giving evidence, or is kept out of the way by the adverse party, or if the witness’s presence cannot be obtained without an amount of delay or expense which under the circ*mstances of the case the court considers unreasonable subject to the following provisions:
(a)the proceeding was between the same parties or their representatives in interest;
(b)the adverse party in the first proceeding had the right and opportunity to cross-examine;
(c)the questions in issue were substantially the same in the first as in the second proceeding.

Explanation.—A criminal trial or inquiry is deemed to be a proceeding between the prosecutor and the accused within the meaning of this section.

Statements made under special circ*mstances

Entries in books of accounts when relevant

34.Entries in books of accounts regularly kept in the course of business are relevant whenever they refer to a matter into which the court has to inquire, but such statements are not alone sufficient evidence to charge any person with liability.

Illustration

A sues B for $1,000 and shows entries in his or her account books showing B to be indebted to A to this amount. The entries are relevant, but are not sufficient without other evidence to prove the debt.

35.[Repealed by Act 4 of 2012]

36.[Repealed by Act 4 of 2012]

Rules for filing and receiving evidence and documents in court by using information technology

36A.—(1)The Rules Committee constituted under the Supreme Court of Judicature Act1969, and the Family Justice Rules Committee constituted under the Family Justice Act2014, may make rules to provide for the filing, receiving and recording of evidence and documents in court by the use of information technology in such form, manner or method as may be prescribed.

[27/2014]

(2)Without limiting subsection(1), such rules may—
(a)modify such provisions of this Act as may be necessary for the purpose of facilitating the use of electronic filing of documents in court;
(b)provide for the burden of proof and rebuttable presumptions in relation to the identity and authority of the person sending or filing the evidence or documents by the use of information technology; and
(c)provide for the authentication of evidence and documents filed or received by the use of information technology.

Relevancy of entry in public record made in performance of duty

37.An entry in any public or other official book, register or record, stating a fact in issue or relevant fact and made by a public officer in the discharge of his or her official duty or by any other person in performance of a duty specially enjoined by the law of the country in which such book, register or record is kept, is itself a relevant fact.

Relevancy of statements in maps, charts and plans

38.Statements of facts in issue or relevant facts made in published maps or charts generally offered for public sale, or in maps or plans made under the authority of Government as to matters usually represented or stated in such maps, charts or plans, are themselves relevant facts.

Relevancy of statement as to fact of public nature contained in certain Ordinances, Acts or notifications

39.When the court has to form an opinion as to the existence of any fact of a public nature, any statement of it made in a recital contained in—
(a)any Act or Ordinance;
(b)any legislation enacted by the Parliament of Malaysia or by the legislature of any part of the Commonwealth;
(c)any legislation enacted by the legislature of any State of Malaysia; or
(d)any printed paper purporting to be—
(i)the Government Gazette;
(ii)the London Gazette; or
(iii)the Gazette printed under the authority of the Government of Malaysia or of any State thereof or of the government of any other part of the Commonwealth including, where such partis under both a central government and a local government, any such local government,

is a relevant fact.

Relevancy of statements as to any law contained in law books

40.When the court has to form an opinion as to a law of any country, any statement of the law contained in a book purporting to be printed or published under the authority of the government of the country, and to contain any such law, and any report of a ruling of the courts of the country contained in a book purporting to be a report of the rulings, is relevant.

How much of a statement is to be proved

What evidence to be given when statement forms part of conversation, document, book or series of letters or papers

41.When any statement of which evidence is given forms part of a longer statement or of a conversation, or part of an isolated document or is contained in a document which forms part of a book or of a connected series of letters or papers, evidence is to be given of so much and no more of the statement, conversation, document, book or series of letters or papers as the court considers necessary in that particular case to the full understanding of the nature and effect of the statement and of the circ*mstances under which it was made.

Judgments of courts of justice when relevant

Previous judgments relevant to bar a second suit or trial

42.The existence of any judgment, order or decree which by law prevents any court from taking cognizance of a suit or holding a trial is a relevant fact when the question is whether the court ought to take cognizance of the suit or to hold the trial.

Relevancy of certain judgments in probate, etc., jurisdiction

43.—(1)A final judgment, order or decree of a competent court, in the exercise of probate, matrimonial, admiralty or bankruptcy jurisdiction, which confers upon or takes away from any person any legal character, or which declares any person to be entitled to any such character, or to be entitled to any specific thing, not as against any specified person but absolutely, is relevant when the existence of any such legal character or the title of any such person to any such thing is relevant.
(2)Such judgment, order or decree is conclusive proof—
(a)that any legal character which it confers accrued at the time when such judgment, order or decree came into operation;
(b)that any legal character to which it declares any such person to be entitled accrued to that person at the time when such judgment, order or decree declares it to have accrued to that person;
(c)that any legal character which it takes away from any such person ceased at the time from which such judgment, order or decree declared that it had ceased or should cease; and
(d)that anything to which it declares any person to be so entitled was the property of that person at the time from which such judgment, order or decree declares that it had been or should be that person’s property.

Relevancy and effect of judgments, orders or decrees other than those mentioned in section43

44.Judgments, orders or decrees other than those mentioned in section43 are relevant if they relate to matters of a public nature relevant to the inquiry; but such judgments, orders or decrees are not conclusive proof of that which they state.

Illustration

A sues B for trespass on A’s land. B alleges the existence of a public right of way over the land which A denies.

The existence of a decree in favour of the defendant in a suit by A against C for a trespass on the same land in which C alleged the existence of the same right of way is relevant, but it is not conclusive proof that the right of way exists.

Judgments, etc., other than those mentioned in sections42, 43 and 44 when relevant

45.Judgments, orders or decrees other than those mentioned in sections42, 43 and 44 are irrelevant unless the existence of such judgment, order or decree is a fact in issue or is relevant under some other provision of this Act.

Illustrations

(a)A and B separately sue C for a libel which reflects upon each of them. C in each case says that the matter alleged to be libellous is true, and the circ*mstances are such that it is probably true in each case or in neither.

A obtains a decree against C for damages on the ground that C failed to make out C’s justification. The fact is irrelevant as between B and C.

(b)[Deleted by Act 15 of 2019]

(c)A has obtained a decree for the possession of land against B. C, B’s son, murders A in consequence.

The existence of the judgment is relevant as showing motive for a crime.

(d)A is charged with theft and with having been previously convicted of theft.

The previous conviction is relevant as a fact in issue.

(e)A is tried for the murder of B. The fact that B prosecuted A for libel and that A was convicted and sentenced is relevant under section8 as showing the motive for the fact in issue.

[15/2019]

Relevance of convictions and acquittals

45A.—(1)Without affecting sections42, 43, 44 and 45, the fact that a person has been convicted or acquitted of an offence by or before any court in Singapore is admissible in evidence for the purpose of proving, where relevant to any issue in the proceedings, that the person committed (or, as the case may be, did not commit) that offence, whether or not the person is a party to the proceedings; and where the person was convicted, whether the person was so convicted upon a plea of guilty or otherwise.
(2)A conviction referred to in subsection(1) is relevant and admissible unless—
(a)it is subject to review or appeal that has not yet been determined;
(b)it has been quashed or set aside; or
(c)a pardon has been given in respect of it.

(3)A person proved to have been convicted of an offence under this section is, unless the contrary is proved, taken to have committed the acts and to have possessed the state of mind (if any) which at law constitute that offence.

(4)Any conviction or acquittal admissible under this section may be proved by a certificate of conviction or acquittal, signed by the Registrar of the Supreme Court, the registrar of the State Courts or the registrar of the Family Justice Courts (as the case may be), giving the substance and effect of the charge and of the conviction or acquittal.

[5/2014; 27/2014]

(5)Where relevant, any document containing details of the information, complaint, charge, agreed statement of facts or record of proceedings on which the person in question is convicted is admissible in evidence.

(6)The method of proving a conviction or acquittal under this section is in addition to any other authorised manner of proving a conviction or acquittal.

(7)In any criminal proceedings, this section is subject to any written law or any other rule of law to the effect that a conviction is not admissible to prove a tendency or disposition on the part of the accused to commit the kind of offence with which the accused has been charged.

(8)In this section —

“registrar of the Family Justice Courts” includes the deputy registrar or an assistant registrar of the Family Justice Courts;

“registrar of the State Courts” includes a deputy registrar of the State Courts;

“Registrar of the Supreme Court” includes the Deputy Registrar or an Assistant Registrar of the Supreme Court.

[27/2014]

Fraud or collusion in obtaining judgment or incompetency of court may be proved

46.Any party to a suit or other proceeding may show that any judgment, order or decree which is relevant under section42, 43 or 44, and which has been proved by the adverse party, was delivered by a court not competent to deliver it or was obtained by fraud or collusion.

Opinions of third persons when relevant

Opinions of experts

47.—(1)Subject to subsection(4), when the court is likely to derive assistance from an opinion upon a point of scientific, technical or other specialised knowledge, the opinions of experts upon that point are relevant facts.

[4/2012]

(2)An expert is a person with such scientific, technical or other specialised knowledge based on training, study or experience.

[4/2012]

(3)The opinion of an expert is not irrelevant merely because the opinion or part of the opinion relates to a matter of common knowledge.

[4/2012]

(4)An opinion which is otherwise relevant under subsection(1) is not relevant if the court is of the view that it would not be in the interests of justice to treat it as relevant.

[4/2012]

Facts bearing upon opinions of experts

48.Facts not otherwise relevant are relevant if they support or are inconsistent with the opinions of experts when such opinions are relevant.

Illustrations

(a)The question is whether A was poisoned by a certain poison.

The fact that other persons who were poisoned by that poison exhibited certain symptoms, which experts affirm or deny to be the symptoms of that poison, is relevant.

(b)The question is whether an obstruction to a harbour is caused by a certain seawall.

The fact that other harbours similarly situated in other respects but where there were no such seawalls began to be obstructed at about the same time is relevant.

Opinion as to handwriting when relevant

49.When the court has to form an opinion as to the person by whom any document was written or signed, the opinion of any person acquainted with the handwriting of the person by whom it is supposed to be written or signed, that it was or was not written or signed by that person, is a relevant fact.

Explanation.—A person is said to be acquainted with the handwriting of another person when he or she has seen that person write, or when he or she has received documents purporting to be written by that person in answer to documents written by himself or herself or under his or her authority and addressed to that person, or when, in the ordinary course of business, documents purporting to be written by that person have been habitually submitted to him or her.

Illustrations

The question is whether a given letter is in the handwriting of A, a merchant in London.

B is a merchant in Singapore, who has written letters addressed to A and received letters purporting to be written by A. C is B’s clerk, whose duty it was to examine and file B’s correspondence. D is B’s broker, to whom B habitually submitted the letters purporting to be written by A, for the purpose of advising him or her thereon.

The opinions of B, C and D on the question whether the letter is in the handwriting of A are relevant, though neither B, C nor D ever saw A write.

Opinion as to existence of right or custom when relevant

50.When the court has to form an opinion as to the existence of any general custom or right, the opinions as to the existence of such custom or right of persons who would be likely to know of its existence, if it existed, are relevant.

Explanation.—“General custom or right” includes customs or rights common to any considerable class of persons.

Illustration

The right of the inhabitants of a particular kampong to use the water of a particular well is a general right within the meaning of this section.

Opinion as to usages, tenets, etc., when relevant

51.When the court has to form an opinion as to—
(a)the usages and tenets of any body of men or family;
(b)the constitution and government of any religious or charitable foundation; or
(c)the meaning of words or terms used in particular districts or by particular classes of people,

the opinions of persons having special means of knowledge thereon are relevant facts.

Opinion on relationship when relevant

52.—(1)When the court has to form an opinion as to the relationship of one person to another, the opinion expressed by conduct as to the existence of such relationship of any person who as a member of the family or otherwise has special means of knowledge on the subject is a relevant fact.
(2)Such opinion is not sufficient to prove a marriage in prosecutions under section6A of the Women’s Charter1961.

Illustrations

(a)The question is whether A and B were married.

The fact that they were usually received and treated by their friends as husband and wife is relevant.

(b)The question is whether A was a legitimate son of B.

The fact that A was always treated as such by members of the family is relevant.

[51/2007; 15/2019]

Grounds of opinion when relevant

53.Whenever the opinion of any living person is relevant, the grounds on which such opinion is based are also relevant.

Illustration

An expert may give an account of experiments performed by him or her for the purpose of forming his or her opinion.

Character when relevant

In civil cases character to prove conduct imputed irrelevant

54.In civil cases the fact that the character of any person concerned is such as to render probable or improbable any conduct imputed to him or her is irrelevant, except insofar as such character appears from facts otherwise relevant.

In criminal cases previous good character relevant

55.In criminal proceedings, the fact that the person accused is of a good character is relevant.

Admissibility of evidence and questions about accused’s disposition or reputation

56.—(1)In any criminal proceedings, the accused may—
(a)personally or by his or her advocate ask questions of any witness with a view to establishing directly or by implication that he or she is generally or in a particular respect a person of good disposition or reputation;
(b)himself or herself give evidence tending to establish directly or by implication that he or she is generally or in a particular respect such a person; or
(c)call a witness to give any such evidence.

(2)Where any of the things mentioned in subsection(1) has been done, the prosecution may call, and any person jointly charged with the accused may call or himself or herself give, evidence to establish that the accused is a person of bad disposition or reputation, and the prosecution or any person so charged may in cross‑examining any witness (including, where he or she gives evidence, the accused) ask him or her questions with a view to establishing that fact.

(3)Where by virtue of this section a party is entitled to call evidence to establish that the accused is a person of bad disposition or reputation, that party may call evidence of the accused’s previous convictions, if any, whether or not that party calls any other evidence for that purpose.

(4)Where by virtue of this section a party is entitled in cross‑examining the accused to ask him or her questions with a view to establishing that he or she is such a person, section122(4) does not apply in relation to his or her cross‑examination by that party.

Character as affecting damages

57.In civil cases, the fact that the character of any person is such as to affect the amount of damages which the person ought to receive is relevant.

Explanation.—In sections 54, 55, 56 and 57, the word “character” includes both reputation and disposition; but, except as provided in section56, evidence may be given only of general reputation and general disposition, and not of particular acts by which reputation or disposition are shown.

Evidence Act 1893 - Singapore Statutes Online (2024)
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