CHAPTER 74
EVIDENCE ACT

Arrangement of Sections

1. Short title.

2. Interpretation.

General Provisions

3. Oral evidence to prove occupation of immovable property.

4. Examination on unsworn personal answers.

5. Insufficiency of notices not to exclude evidence.

6. Republic need not file list of witnesses in reply.

7. Copies of public documents admissible.

8. Custodians of public documents not to be summoned as witnesses except in certain cases.

9. Privilege not affected.

10. Cross-examination on written statements of witness.

11. Rogation.

11A. Evidence of child.

11B. Evidence of vulnerable witness.

11C. Evidence of Witness from outside the courtroom.

12. English law of evidence to prevail except in certain cases.

13. Evidence to prove unrecorded event did not happen.

14. Evidence from documentary records.

15. Documentary evidence from computer records.

16. Provision supplementary to sections 13, 14 and 15.

17. Expert opinion.

Affirmation by Hindus and Mohammedans in lieu of oath

18. Affirmation by Hindus and Mohammedans.

19. Penalty for false statement.

20. Procuring false statement.

Oaths, declarations and affidavits

21. When declaration may be made instead of an oath.

22. Form of declaration.

23. Validity of oath, etc., not affected by error.

24. Form of declaration in writing.

25. Penalty for swearing false affidavit.

26. Swearing with uplifted hands.

Admission in evidence of Statutes passed by Legislatures of the
United Kingdom and British Possessions and Protectorates

27. Proof of statutes of British possessions.

Judicial recognition of documents sworn before diplomatic or
consular officers in foreign countries or public documents
executed in the territories of a convention state

28. Admissibility of document sworn in foreign country without proof of seal or signature.

Admissibility and Effect of Judgements given in Criminal Jurisdiction

29. Previous convictions as evidence.

30. Finding of adultery or adjudication in affiliation proceedings as evidence in civil proceedings.

31. Copy of documents.

32. Rules.

5 of 1900,

1 of 1908,

16 of 1915,

6 of 1958,

12 of 1962,

25 of 1965,

23 of 1976,

7 of 1990,

19 of 1994,

16 of 1996,

23 of 2013.

SI 95 of 1975,

72 of 1976,

76 of 1992.

*16 of 1856,

*15 of 1881.

[Date of commencement: 21st January 1882]

*Mauritius Acts

1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the Evidence Act.

2. Interpretation.

(1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—

“accused” means a person charged with any offence at a criminal trial;

“affidavit” includes affirmation, statutory or other declaration, acknowledgement, examination and attestation or protestation of honour;

“British possession” means any part of Her Majesty’s dominions exclusive of the United Kingdom, and, where parts of those dominions are under both a central and a local Legislature, shall include both all parts under the central Legislature and each part under a local Legislature;

“civil trial” includes any arbitration and any trial before a person or any tribunal or similar institution where the strict rules of evidence are applied;

“court” includes a court martial under the Defence Forces (Offences) Act;

“criminal trial” includes a court martial, trial before a peace officer or justice of peace under the Peace Officers (Inner Islands and Outlying Islands) Act and a preliminary inquiry held under the Criminal Procedure Code;

“document” includes—

(a) a map, plan, graph or drawing;

(b) a photograph;

(c) a disc, tape, sound track 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; and

(d) any film, negative, tape or other devices 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;

“evidence” includes testimony upon oath or solemn affirmation viva voce or by affidavit in writing and the unsworn personal answers of parties to trials;

“film” includes a microfilm;

“Government printer” means, as respects the United Kingdom or any British possession, the printer purporting to be the printer authorised to print the acts, Ordinances, or statutes of the Legislature of the United Kingdom or of that possession, or otherwise to be the Queen’s Printer of Acts of Parliament or the Government printer of that possession;

“oath” includes affirmation and declaration;

“statement” means any representation of facts, whether made in words or otherwise;

“trial” includes any inquiry, hearing or other proceeding in any court of justice or before any person having now or hereafter by law or by consent of parties authority to hear, receive or examine evidence.

(2) In this Act, any reference to a copy of a document includes—

(a) in the case of a document falling within paragraph (c) of the definition of document, a transcript of the sounds or other data embodied therein;

(b) in the case of a document falling within paragraph (d) of the definition of document, a reproduction or still reproduction of the image or images embodied therein, whether enlarged or not;

(c) in the case of a document falling within paragraphs (c) and (d) of the definition of document, a transcript of the sound or other data embodied therein together with a still reproduction of the image embodied therein, whether enlarged or not;

(d) in the case of a document not falling within paragraph (d) of the definition of document of which a visual image is embodied in a document falling within the paragraph, a reproduction of that image, whether enlarged or not,

and any reference to a copy of the material part of a document shall be construed accordingly.

General Provisions

3. Oral evidence to prove occupation of immovable property.

In any claim to rent or indemnity for the occupation of immovable property, oral evidence shall, when a lease is denied and is not completely established by writing, be admissible to prove or disprove the occupation and the amount or payment of the indemnity, and the party suing shall be entitled to such indemnity although it may result from the oral evidence given that the occupation existed under a lease:

Provided that such claim for indemnity shall be barred by one year’s prescription:

Provided further that nothing in this section contained shall alter any law by virtue of which the possessor of immovable property is entitled to retain the fruits thereof, and to make them his own.

4. Examination on unsworn personal answers.

Whenever a party to a suit is called upon to give his unsworn personal answers, he may be examined as an adverse witness by the party calling him and afterwards examined on his own behalf, but only as to matters arising out of the examination made by the party calling him, and he may then be re examined touching any question put to him on his behalf.

5. Insufficiency of notices not to exclude evidence.

Whenever the Republic or any other party to a trial is required by any law or rule of court in force in Seychelles to file a list of witnesses or give a notice of facts, if at the trial witnesses be tendered whose names have not been included in such list, or who have not been sufficiently described therein, or if evidence be tendered of a fact omitted from or not sufficiently set out in such notice of facts, or if such lists or notice shall not have been filed or given within the time fixed by law, it shall not be lawful for the court to reject the proof of such facts or refuse the witnesses offered merely on the ground that such notice of facts, list or description of witnesses has not been served in time, provided the court is satisfied that there has been no malafides, but the court shall be at liberty to postpone the trial with such terms as to costs, if any, as to the court may seem just:

Provided that the Republic shall not be condemned in costs in any criminal trial.

6. Republic need not file list of witnesses in reply.

It shall not be necessary for the Republic to file any list of witnesses to be called in reply to witnesses for the defendant in any criminal trial, but when the Republic shall call any witnesses in reply it shall be lawful for the court to allow the defendant to produce further evidence to rebut the witnesses heard in reply.

7. Copies of public documents admissible.

At any trial the contents of any record, book, deed, map, plan or other document in the official custody of the Supreme Court, the Registrar of Mortgages, the Land Registrar, or any Government department, of any magistrate’s or stipendiary court, or of any notary may be proved by means of a copy or extract certified under the hand of the Registrar of the Supreme Court, the Registrar of Mortgages, the Land Registrar, the chief clerk or head of such department, the magistrate’s or stipendiary clerk, or of such notary as the case may be, to be a true copy or extract. Such copy shall be admissible in evidence at any trial to the same extent, and in the same manner as the original would but for this Act be admissible. Certificates that such copies or extracts are true and purporting to be signed by the Registrar of the Supreme Court or other person aforesaid shall in the absence of proof to the contrary be held to have been so signed.

8. Custodians of public documents not to be summoned as witnesses except in certain cases.

No person having the official custody of such original documents as in section 7 mentioned shall be subpoenaed or summoned to produce the same, nor shall they be admissible in evidence at any trial except upon the order of a Judge of the Supreme Court. Such order shall only be made when it shall appear to the Judge that the authenticity of the document itself is in question, or that the proof sought to be given cannot be given by means of a copy or extract, and that the proof of such authenticity or such proof sought to be given is material to the matter at issue, and in every such case the same fee shall, in addition to the allowance to be paid for the attendance of the person so subpoenaed or summoned, be charged for the production of such document as would have been payable for a copy or extract:

Provided always that any record of any court shall be admissible in evidence in the court to which its custody belongs to the same extent and in the same manner as it would have been had this section not been enacted.

This section of the article is only available for our subscribers. Please click here to subscribe to a subscription plan to view this part of the article.

Please click here to login