What are the meaning of “Fact-in-Issue” and Relevant fact under the Indian Evidence Act 1872? State the difference between both of them.



Section 3 of the Act defines “fact-in-issue” as follows-The expression “fact-in-issue” means and 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.

Explanation.– Whenever, under the provisions of the law for the time being in force relating to civil procedure, any court records an issue of fact, the fact to be asserted or denied in the answer to such issue is a “fact-in-issue”.

The court has to draw an inference for delivering justice. Thus the facts which are not disputed require no consideration or evidence. But the facts which are not accepted by the parties are to be settled through evidence. These disputed facts form the “fact-in-issue”.

The “fact-in-issue” may be themselves or in connection with other facts constitute such state of things that the existence of the disputed right, or liability would be a legal inference from them. The expression means the matter which are in dispute or which form the subject of investigation.

“Fact in Issue” are those facts which are alleged by one party and denied by the other in the pleading in a civil case or alleged by the prosecution and denied by the accused in a criminal case.

Also Read Doctrine of Estoppel under Indian Evidence Act

Also Read What is the meaning of ‘Hearsay Evidence’? What are the reasons for not admitting ‘Hearsay as Evidence’? When’Hearsay Evidence’ is admissible?

Two things are relevant for determining whether a fact is in issue or not

(i) The fact should be in dispute between the parties.

(ii) The fact should touch the question of right or liability.

What facts are in issue in a particular case is a question to be determined by the Substantive Law or in some cases by that branch of the procedure which regulates the Law of Pleadings, Civil or Criminal.

The existence of facts-in-issue has to be proved before the court to its satisfaction, before a court pronounces its judgment on the basis of those facts. In Civil cases, courts frame the issues on “fact-in-issue” whereas in criminal cases, it frames the charge on disputed issues.


A is accused of the murder of B. At the trial the following fact may be in issue, viz (i) that A caused B’s death; (ii) that A intended to cause B’s death; (iii) that A had received grave and sudden provocation from B; (iv) 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.

Criminal cases

As regards criminal cases, the charge constitutes and includes the “fact-in-issue”.

Civil cases

As regards civil cases, “facts-in-issue” are determined by the process of framing issues. (Order XIV, Rules 1-7 Civil Procedure Code.)

Also Read What do you understand by Relevancy of facts under the Indian Evidence Act 1872? What is distinction between Relevancy and Admissibility of Facts?

Also Read History of Law of Evidence

Also Read Document and its Presumption under the Indian Evidence Act

The Act defines the term ‘Fact’ and ‘Relevant’ separately. Section 3 defines ‘Fact’ as follows:

Fact means and includes-(a) Physical & Psychological facts, (b) Positive & negative facts.

(a) (i) anything, state of things, or relation of things, capable of being perceived by the senses (Physical fact);

(ii) any mental condition of which any person is conscious (Psychological facts);

Thus fact is what is actually seen or heard & which is not the opinion.

(b) (i) positive fact is that by which the existence of facts is firmed positively.

(ii) Negative fact is a fact through which non-existence of a fact is asserted. In other words, existence of facts are denied.

Certain examples of ‘facts’ are given in this definition-

(a) that a man heard or saw something, is a fact,

(b) that a man said certain words, is a fact,

(c) that a man has a certain reputation, is a fact, etc.

Relevant facts

Section 3 defines the word ‘relevant’ fact as follows : “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.” (Chapter II, Section 5-55). The word ‘relevant’ means that any to facts to which it is applied are so related to each other that according to the common course of events, one, either taken by itself or in connection with other facts, proves or renders probable the pass, present or existence or non-existence of the other.

‘In short, relevant facts are facts so connected with each other as to prove or disprove the facts in issue. Relevant facts are not themselves issue, but are foundations of inferences regarding them.’

The word ‘relevant’ has not been defined in the Act. The word relevant in one sense means ‘connected.’ According to Stephen ‘relevancy’ means connection of events as cause and effect. What is really meant by relevant fact is a fact that has a certain degree of probative force. This Act does not give any definition of the word ‘relevant’. It only lays down that a fact becomes relevant only when it is connected with other fact in any of the ways referred to in this Act relating to the relevancy of facts.

A fact in order to be relevant fact must be connected with the “facts-in-issue” or with any other relevant fact in any of the ways referred to in Section 5 to 55. A fact not so connected is not relevant fact. The scheme of the Act seems to be to
make all relevant facts admissible.

The General rule of all rule of evidence, the most universal and the most obvious is that the evidence adduced should be alike, direct and confined to the matters which are in dispute, or which form the subject of investigation. The theoretical property of this rule can never be a matter of doubt whatever difficulties may arise in its application. Evidence may be rejected as irrelevant for the following one or two reasons:

Indian Evidence Act MCQ

(1) That the connection between the principal and evidentiary facts is too remote and conjectural.

(2) That it is excluded by the state of the pleadings, or which is analogous to the pleadings; or is rendered superfluous by the admissions of the party against whom it is offered.

One has to keep in mind the distinction between relevancy and admissibility. All relevant facts may not be admissible and also admissible facts need not always be relevant.

Distinction between Facts-in-Issue and Relevant Facts

Serial No.Fact-in IssueRelevant Facts
1.Facts-in-issue are those facts on which the rights and liabilities of the party to the proceeding rest.Relevant Facts are those which make the existence or non-existence of facts in issue or other relevant facts highly probable or highly improbable.
2.Fact-in-issue or those facts upon which the judgment of court is to be based.Relevant facts if are admissible have probation value.
3.Fact-in-issue is necessary ingredient of a right or liability.A relevant fact is not necessary ingredient of right liabilities.
4.Fact-in-issue is called principal facts or factum probandum.A relevant fact is called the evidentiary fact or factum probandi.
5.Fact-in-issue as the fact denied by one party and asserted by other party.A relevant fact is the fact which is advanced by the party to prove the existence or non-existence of a fact in issue.
6.Fact-in-issue are facts which are matter of continuation or which are at issue.Relevant facts are not themselves in issue but they are foundation of inference regarding them.


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