Evidence Act – Proviso 6 To Section 92 Will Not Apply If The Document Is Straightforward With No Ambiguity : Supreme Court

first_imgTop StoriesEvidence Act – Proviso 6 To Section 92 Will Not Apply If The Document Is Straightforward With No Ambiguity : Supreme Court LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK7 May 2021 10:55 PMShare This – xThe Supreme Court has held that the proviso 6 to Section 92 of the Evidence Act will not apply if a document is straightforward, without any ambiguity in meaning.Section 92 of the Evidence Act bars giving oral evidence with respect to the contents of a written document. However, proviso 6 to Section 92 allows the admission of facts external to the document which shows in what manner the language of a document is related to existing facts.The Supreme Court was considering an appeal in which the question was whether the agreement in the case should be interpreted as a license to run a business or a license to occupy the rented premises in which the business was located.If the agreement was a leave and license agreement to occupy the rented premises, civil suit would not have been maintainable and the matter would have to go to the special court under the Bombay Rent Act.The Bombay High Court had held the agreement to be a leave and license agreement to occupy the rented premises, by relying on proviso 6 to Section 92 and also Section 95 of the Evidence Act. Hence, the High Court had held that the civil suit to be not maintainable.Section 95 states as follows :Evidence as to document unmeaning in reference to existing facts.—When language used in a document is plain in itself, but is unmeaning in reference to existing facts, evidence may be given to show that it was used in a peculiar sense.In appeal against the High Court judgment, the Supreme Court held that the it was clear from the reading of the contract that the parties had intended to transfer business from the appellant to the respondent and was not meant as a lease or license for the respondent to conduct business.The Supreme Court also held that reliance on proviso 6 to Section 92 and Section 95 was not called for in the case as the document was clear in its meaning.”It is manifest from these two sections that it is only in cases where the terms of the document leave the question in doubt, then resort could be had to the proviso. But when a document is a straightforward one and presents no difficulty in construing it, the proviso does not apply. In this regard, we may state that Section 95 only builds on the proviso 6 of Section 92″, a bench led by Chief Justice of India NV Ramana held.”fI the contrary view is adopted as correct it would render Section 92of the Evidence Act, otiose and also enlarge the ambit of proviso beyond the main Section itself. Such interpretation, provided by the High Court violates basic tenants of legal interpretation.Section 92 specifically prohibits evidence of any oral agreement or statement which would contradict, vary, add to or subtract from its terms. If,as stated by the learned Judge, oral evidence could be received to show that the terms of the document were really different from those expressed therein, it would amount to according permission to give evidence to contradict or vary those terms and as such it comes within the inhibitions of Section 92. It could not be postulated that the legislature intended to nullify the object of Section 92 by enacting exceptions to that section”, the bench, also comprising Justices Surya Kant and Aniruddha Bose, added. Holding so, the top court set aside the High Court judgment and restored the trial court decree, which had directed the respondent to hand over the premises to the appellant.Case DetailsTitle : Mangala Waman Karandikar (D) TR. LRS vs.Prakash Damodar RanadCoram : CJI NV Ramana, Justices Surya Kant and Aniruddha Bose.Citation : LL 2021 SC 247Click here to read/download the judgmentTagsIndian Evidence Act Section 92 Evidence Act CJI NV Ramana Justice Surya Kant Justice Aniruddha Bose Next Storylast_img


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