Section 3 of Indian Evidence Act, 1872 doesn’t define evidence while tells us that what kind of evidence can be produced in court. It tells us about two kinds of evidence i.e., Oral evidence and Documentary evidence which includes electronic evidence.

The term evidence is derived from Latin word ‘evident’ means anything by which the alleged matter or fact is either established or disproved.

The court examines the reliability of evidence to find out the truth. It can be tested by inherent consistency and probability of prosecution story.


  1. DIRECT EVIDENCE:  It is the best evidence of testimony of witnesses as to prinicipal fact to be proved. It has superior cogency for satisfying the court about the fact.
  2. CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE: it is the testimony of witness to other relevant facts from which the fact in issue may be inferred. Evidence must be so strong as to point out unmistakably to the guilt of accused. It is direct evidence which is implied indirectly.

In Hanumant Govind Nargundar vs state of Madhya Pradesh, 1952

The chain of evidence completely pointing towards the guilt of accused and inconsistent with innocence of accused.

In Prem thakur vs. State of Punjab, 1983

Circumstantial evidence that accused and deceased seen together on previous night isn’t sufficient.

In State of Uttar Pradesh vs. Ravinder Prakash Mittal, 1992, the court laid test for circumstantial evidence:Circumstance from which the conclusion is drawn should be fully established.

They should be conclusive in nature.

All the evidence which are established pointing towards the guilt of accused and inconsistent with guilt of accused.

3. REAL/PERSONAL EVIDENCE:  any fact of which court itself take the judicial notice is real evidence. Personal evidence is that which is presented by human agency.

4. HEARSAY EVIDENCE:  this is the second evidence. Generally court doesn’t accept this kind of evidence except in special circumstances.

5. PRIMARY EVIDENCE:  this is the best evidence because it is original piece of evidence.

6. SECONDARY EVIDENCE: secondary evidence is allowed only with the permission of court, when the primary evidence is not available.

7. POSITIVE/NEGATIVE EVIDENCE: when evidence tells us about existence of some fact is called positive evidence, and when it tells us about non existence of some fact called negative evidence.


9. DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE: document produced in court for the inspection of court.

10. CONCLUSIVE EVIDENCE: where the connection between prinicipal and evidentiary fact is necessary, fact established which cannot be disputed by any other evidence.

These are the various kinds of evidence which can be produced in court by plaintiff or defendant for satisfying the court to make the decision in his favour. This list is not exhaustive.

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