Evidence Law - Laws of Evidence in Pakistan
The Holy Quran, Chapter 4 Verse 135 “O you who believe, be upholders of justice – witnesses for Allah, even though against (the interest of) your selves or the parents, and the kinsmen. One may be rich or poor, Allah is a better caretaker of both. So do not follow desires, lest you should swerve. If you twist or avoid (the evidence), then, Allah is all-aware of what you do.”

Laws of Evidence in Pakistan

In The laws of evidence in Pakistan, evidence is a crucial element of investigations (i.e. by police for an FIR) or during court proceedings (civil or criminal). Evidence is used to establish facts, verify claims or prove or disprove facts and statements made before a court. The rules of evidence in Pakistan are governed by the Qanoon e Shahadat Order 1984, which lays out the types of evidence that are admissible in court, as well as the procedures for collecting and presenting evidence.

The constitution of Pakistan gives every citizen the right to collect evidence, and every party needs to collect evidence for their case to ensure they receive a fair trial. In this article, we will be discussing the basics of the laws of evidence in Pakistan, and how you can use, obtain and defend (against false evidence) in Pakistan.

30 Types of Evidence

  1. Oral Evidence: Oral Evidence in Pakistan includes any spoken statements made by a witness or party to a case. It may include testimony given in court or statements made outside of court that are relevant to the case.
  2. Documentary evidence: This is considered any evidence which can be provided in written document form i.e an application to the court, a contract, etc.
  3. Conclusive Evidence: This is evidence that is considered to be irrefutable, and cannot be contradicted or disputed.
  4. Direct Evidence: This is evidence that directly proves a fact, without the need for inference or interpretation.
  5. Real Evidence: This includes any physical evidence that is relevant to the case, such as weapons, clothing, or other items that were collected from a crime scene.
  6. Extrinsic Evidence: This includes any evidence that is introduced from outside of the case, such as prior convictions or other legal documents that are not directly related to the current case.
  7. Incriminating Evidence: Evidence that incriminates an individual by clearly identifying the perpetrator and their involvement in the crime.
  8. Indirect Evidence: This includes any evidence that implies a fact, without directly proving it.
  9. Original Evidence: This is evidence that is considered to be the original or primary source of information, such as a signed contract or a video recording of an event.
  10. Derivative Evidence: This is evidence that is created from an original source, such as a photocopy of a document.
  11. Parole Evidence: This includes any evidence that is related to the negotiations or discussions leading up to the formation of a contract.
  12. Prima Facie: This is evidence that is sufficient to establish a fact or case unless it is contradicted or disproved by other evidence.
  13. Primary Evidence: This is evidence that is considered to be the best evidence available, such as an original document or a witness who directly observed an event.
  14. Secondary Evidence: This includes any evidence that is not the best or most reliable source of information.
  15. Tertiary Evidence: This is based on secondary evidence that is further removed from the original source of information. For example, a witness testifying about the contents of a contract based on their recollection of a conversation with one of the parties would be considered tertiary evidence. Tertiary evidence is generally considered less reliable than primary or secondary evidence and may not be admissible in court without additional verification or corroboration.
  16. Scientific Evidence: This includes any evidence that is based on scientific analysis, such as Chemical Analysis testing, or ballistics analysis.
  17. Electronic Evidence: This includes any evidence that is stored in electronic forms, such as emails, text messages, WhatsApp messages, CDR, or digital photos.
  18. Forensic Evidence: Forensic evidence includes scientific evidence such as DNA analysis, ballistics, and toxicology reports. This type of evidence is often used to establish a link between a suspect and a crime scene or to prove or disprove a particular theory of the case.
  19. Expert Evidence: Expert evidence is provided by an expert witness, who is often called upon to explain complex technical or scientific concepts to the court in a way that is easily understandable to the judge.
  20. Demonstrative Evidence: This includes any visual aids used in a case, such as photographs, maps, charts, or diagrams. These aids help to clarify complex information and make it easier for the judge to understand.
  21. Testimonial Evidence: This includes any statements made by witnesses, both in and out of court. Witnesses may be asked to testify under oath and provide information about their observations or experiences related to the case.
  22. Circumstantial Evidence: This includes any indirect evidence that implies a fact, without directly proving it. For example, if a suspect is seen running away from the scene of a crime(i.e. animal cruelty), this may be circumstantial evidence that suggests they were involved.
  23. Hearsay Evidence: This includes any statements made by a person who is not present in court and cannot be cross-examined. Hearsay evidence is generally not admissible in court unless it falls under certain exceptions.
  24. CCTV Evidence: CCTV evidence is evidence collected from cameras that are stationed to monitor premises. These can be challenged, but prove to be valuable.
  25. Confession: A Confession is a statement made directly before a court or adjudicating individual by a person about something they themselves have done. Police confessions in Pakistan are usually not considered if the individual claims they made it due to police brutality.
  26. Medical Evidence: This is evidence that is usually supplied with a medical report i.e. in cases of drug abuse or a second opinion in a medical negligence case.
  27. Physical evidence: such as fingerprints, DNA samples, and other forensic evidence, is also commonly used in criminal cases in Pakistan. This type of evidence can be used to establish the identity of a suspect, to link a suspect to a crime scene, or to disprove alibis.
  28. Handwriting Analysis: In cases where the identity of a writer, or signatory (i.e. in matters of a signature in a cheque fraud case) a handwriting expert’s report would be considered evidence.
  29. Geographical Evidence: Evidence that can prove the whereabouts of an individual or an item. For example, in cybercrime cases, a laptop can be traced by its IP Address.
  30. Evidence related to Movement: Any evidence that can prove the movement of an individual or item, i.e. a delivery receipt or a flight record.

Evidence in Pakistan by a witness

In the Laws of evidence, a witness is a person who has seen a matter (that is under legal scrutiny) or who has personal knowledge of the facts of a case and can provide information about what they saw, heard, or experienced. Witnesses play a crucial role, whether it’s a nikah, a court case (either criminal or civil cases), or an investigation.

They are typically called upon to provide information upon the initiation of an FIR or to testify in court. In the laws of evidence, the testimony provided by a witness can be used to establish the facts of a case, to prove or disprove allegations, and to help determine the guilt or innocence of a defendant.

Exempted Evidence

Under QSO 1984 (The law of evidence) , some forms of evidence are inadmissible in court and are considered to be exempt. For example, privileged information; like the discussion between a lawyer and their client.

In Laws of evidence in Pakistan, another form of exempted form of evidence would be any communication between a husband and wife (unless the two are now divorced, in certain cases, i.e. in relation to child custody). Weak evidence is also exempted.

Challenging Evidence

When evidence is presented before a court or an investigating authority, the accused is granted the right to challenge the evidence. This can be done by giving justifications for the evidence and its irrelevance to the allegations, or its authenticity.

Evidence that is presented may also have been tampered with, to falsely incriminate the alleged suspect. In most cases, having evidence alone is not usually enough to indict an individual.

Fake Evidence

Giving false evidence to a court is a criminal offense in Pakistan, but the evidence must first be proven to be false. An example of this is when (in common practice) some women through divorce proceedings claim fake dowery.

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