Evidence Act of Bhutan, 2005

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Evidence Act of Bhutan 2005_English version_

THE EVIDENCE ACT
OF

BHUTAN, 2005

“The ability to call the state laws to witness

must be given prime importance, without

being influenced solely by what is said by the

incumbents.”

Zhabdrung Rimpochhe

The Evidence Act of Bhutan, 2005

I

THE EVIDENCE ACT OF BHUTAN, 2005

Preamble ................................................................................................ 1
CHAPTER 1 ........................................................................................... 1
PRELIMINARY.........................................................................................1
Title, commencement and extent ....................... ........................................... 1
Repeal .............................................. . ........................................................ 2
CHAPTER 2 ........................................................................................... 2
GENERAL PROVISIONS .......................................................................... 2
Evidence ................................................................................................. 2
Types of evidence........................................................................................ 2
Examination of evidence...........................................................................3
Objections to evidence ...........................................................................3
Waiver of objections to evidence................................................................ 4
Offer of proof........................................................................................... 4
Limited admissibility of evidence................................................................... 4
Full understanding of words and documents ............................................ 5
Illegible characters and words .................................................................... 5
CHAPTER 3 ........................................................................................... 5
RELEVANCY AND ADMISSIBILITY........................ ................................ 5
Evidence that may be given ............................................................................5
Relevancy of the prior judgments and Court orders ................................. 6
Expert reports............................................................................................. 7
Motive...................................................................................................... 8
Preparation and Conduct ...............................................................................8
Rights and customs................................................................................ 8
Ascertainment of damages.........................................................................9
Alibi ......................................................................................................... 9
Subsequent remedial measures ...................................................................... 9
Settlement............................................................................................... 9
Evidence taken in another legal proceeding ............................................... 10
Exclusion of relevant evidence ................................................................. 10
CHAPTER 4 .........................................................................................11
PHYSICAL AND DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE.................. ................. 11

The Evidence Act of Bhutan, 2005

II

Physical evidence ................................... ............................................... 11
Valid written agreement ............................................................................11
Invalid written agreement ............................................................................ 11
Revision of a written agreement .................................................................. 12
Extrinsic evidence................................................................................. 13
Oral evidence as to the contents of a document.......................................... 13
Duplicate documents ...................................................................................13
Electronic documents ..............................................................................14
Signatures on official documents ............................................................. 14
Content of official records ........................................................................14
CHAPTER 5 .........................................................................................15
ORAL EVIDENCE .................................................................................... 15
Non-expert witnesses.............................................................................15
Expert witnesses .................................................................................. 16
Number of witnesses..............................................................................16
Competency of witnesses .............................................................................. 16
Child witness......................................................................................... 17
Drangpon as witness..............................................................................18
Accomplice witness...............................................................................18
Hostile witness ..................................................................................... 18
Spouse as witness...................................................................................... 18
Demeanour of a witness ...........................................................................19
Refreshing a witness’s memory....................... ............................................ 19
Impeachment of a witness............................................................................. 19
Impeachment of a witness by a prior inconsistent sta ement.................... 19
Impeachment of a witness by evidence of conviction of a crime............... 20
Admissibility of evidence showing conviction of a defendant ................... 20
Evidence of a victim’s sexual behaviour in a sexual misconduct .............. 21
Evidence of habit or routine...................................................................... 21
CHAPTER 6 .........................................................................................22
QUESTIONING OF WITNESSES........................................................... 22
Role of the Court .................................................................................. 22
Limitation of cross-examination .................................................................. 22
Re-examination......................................................................................... 23
Leading questions................................................................................23
Improper questions ................................................................................23

The Evidence Act of Bhutan, 2005

III

Exclusion of witnesses ...........................................................................24
CHAPTER 7 .........................................................................................24
HEARSAY ............................................................................................ 24
Hearsay................................................................................................. 24
Oral statements that are not hearsay .......................................................... 24
Written statements that are not hearsay.................................................. 25
Hearsay exceptions...............................................................................25
CHAPTER 8 .........................................................................................26
ADMISSIONS........................................................................................26
Admissions ........................................................................................... 26
Proof of admissions ...................................................................................26
Admission in civil cases, when relevant................................................... 27
CHAPTER 9 .........................................................................................28
CRIMINAL CONFESSIONS..................................................................... 28
Criminal confession...............................................................................28
Validity of a confession ..........................................................................28
Proceeding when there is a confession............... . ...................................... 29
Confession to a police officer....................................................................29
Verification of a confession..........................................................................29
Irrelevancy of a confession .......................................................................29
Retraction or denial of a confession............................................................. 30
CHAPTER 10 ........................................................................................30
PROOF AND BURDEN OF PROOF....................................................... 30
“Proved”, “disproved” and “not proved”............. ...................................... 30
Proof of a document .................................. ...............................................31
Burden of proof ........................................................................................ 31
CHAPTER 11 ........................................................................................32
PRESUMPTIONS ..................................................................................... 32
Judicial notice ....................................................................................... 32
Presumption of authenticity of certain documents .................................. 32
Presumption as to thirty years old documents ........................................ 33
Presumption as to persons, who have not been heard of for nine years or
more ...................................................................................................... 33
Adverse presumption, when evidence is not produced.... ......................... 34
CHAPTER 12 ........................................................................................34
PRIVILEGED EVIDENCE ......................................................................... 34

The Evidence Act of Bhutan, 2005

IV

Official records ......................................................................................... 34
Professional legal communications .......................................................... 35
Communications during marriage .............................................................. 35
Communications to a doctor or medical personnel................................. 36
Information as to commission of offences ................................................... 36
CHAPTER 13 ........................................................................................36
AMENDMENT AND AUTHORITATIVE TEXT................... .................. 36
Amendment............................................................................................... 36
Authoritative text ..................................................................................... 36

The Evidence Act of Bhutan, 2005

1

THE EVIDENCE ACT OF BHUTAN, 2005

Preamble

In obedience to His Majesty the Druk Gyalpo Jigme Singye
Wangchuck’s vision for enlightened laws to pursue jstice “no
person shall be convicted on the basis of suspicion, doubt or
hearsay until the charges are proven and supported by witnesses or
evidences”, and to consolidate the Law of Evidence, it is hereby
enacted as follows:

CHAPTER 1

PRELIMINARY

Title, commencement and extent
1. This Act shall:

(a) Be called the Evidence Act of Bhutan, 2005;
(b) Come into force on the Twenty Eighth Day of the

Ninth Month of the Wood Bird Year, which
corresponds to the Twenty Ninth Day of Eleventh
Month of the Year 2005; and

(c) Extend to legal proceedings in any Royal Court of
Justice in the Kingdom of Bhutan.

The Evidence Act of Bhutan, 2005

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Repeal
2. The following provisions of laws in force are hereby

repealed: Sections DA-1.7, 2.12, 3.6, 3.7, 3.8, 3.911,
3.12, 3.13 and 3.14 of the Thrimzhung Chhenmo, 1959.

CHAPTER 2

GENERAL PROVISIONS

Evidence
3. Evidence means all types of proof or probative matter

presented and permitted by the Court at a legal proceeding
by the act of the parties or required by the Court n its own
through the medium of witnesses, documents inclusive of
electronic records and physical evidence in relation t
matters under inquiry.

Types of evidence
4. Evidence shall be categorized into the following types:

(a) Testimonial;
(b) Documentary including electronic records;
(c) Physical; and
(d) Expert opinion.

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5. Evidence may be:

(a) Direct; or
(b) Circumstantial or indirect.

Examination of evidence
6. Evidence may be examined by the:

(a) Plaintiff or prosecutor;
(b) Defendant or victim;
(c) Witnesses; and
(d) Court.

Objections to evidence
7. If a party believes that any evidence, including oral,

physical, or documentary is improper under the Evidence
Act, then that party shall at the time the evidence is given or
sought to be given, state the grounds why the evidence is
improper with specific reference to the applicable section of
the Evidence Act.

8. When a party objects to evidence, the Court shall rule

whether the evidence can be given or not and may her
arguments from either party on whether the evidence is
admissible or not.

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Waiver of objections to evidence
9. If a party fails to object to evidence at the time it is

introduced, then that party shall be deemed to have waived
the right to object to the admission of that evidence
thereafter and on any appeal.

Offer of proof
10. If a party believes that the Court wrongfully refused to admit

evidence, then that party shall at the time the Court rules
against admissibility, state the type of evidence excluded
and what the evidence consisted and would have proved.

Limited admissibility of evidence
11. When evidence that is admissible as to one party or for one

purpose but not admissible as to another party or for another
purpose is admitted, the Court, upon request of a party or on
its own, shall have the discretion to restrict the evidence to
its proper scope and instruct the parties accordingly.

The Evidence Act of Bhutan, 2005

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Full understanding of words and documents
12. Evidence shall be given of so much and no more of a

statement, conversation, or document as the Court cnsiders
necessary to provide a full understanding of the nature and
effect of the statement, conversation or document and with
respect to a statement of conversation, the circumstances
under which it was made or took place.

Illegible characters and words
13. Evidence may be given to show the meaning of the

following:

(a) Illegible or not commonly intelligible characters;
(b) Foreign, obsolete, technical, local or provincial

expressions;
(c) Abbreviations; or
(d) Words used in a peculiar manner.

CHAPTER 3
RELEVANCY AND ADMISSIBILITY

Evidence that may be given
14. Evidence may be given in any legal proceeding of every fact

in issue (i.e., the points of facts for determination n a case)
and of every other fact and circumstance which does th
following:

(a) Proves a fact in issue;

The Evidence Act of Bhutan, 2005

6

(b) Disproves a fact in issue; or
(c) Rationally renders the existence of a fact in issue

probable or improbable.

Relevant facts
15. Evidence may be given in a legal proceeding of facts that are

connected with a fact in issue.

16. A fact though not in issue is relevant, if it forms part of the

same transaction as the fact in issue.

17. A fact that is the cause and effect of a fact in issue or a

relevant fact is relevant.

18. A fact that is necessary to explain or introduce a fact in issue

or a relevant fact is relevant.

Relevancy of the prior judgments and Court orders
19. The existence of any judgment or order from a Court about

the same subject matter is a relevant fact, when it:

(a) Helps the Court to arrive at a correct conclusion as to
a fact in issue or relevant fact; or

(b) The existence of the judgment or order is a fact in
issue or relevant fact.

The Evidence Act of Bhutan, 2005

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20. Any party to a legal proceeding may challenge any judgment

or order of a Court which is relevant or which is relied upon
by showing that the judgment or order:

(a) Was delivered by a Court not competent to deliver it;
(b) Was obtained by fraud or collusion; or
(c) Is against the laws of the country.

21. Any judgment or order from a Court in the criminal
proceeding shall not be relevant in the civil proceeding.

Expert reports
22. An expert report shall be admissible as evidence in a legal

proceeding, if the expert, who wrote the report, gives oral
evidence in the proceeding.

23. If the expert, who wrote the report does not give oral

evidence at the legal proceeding, then that expert’s report
shall be admissible with leave of Court after the Court
examines:

(a) The content of the report;
(b) The reasons why the expert, who wrote the report is

not giving oral evidence at the legal proceeding; and
(c) Any other circumstances that appear to the Court to be

relevant and need to be considered in the interest of
justice.

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Motive
24. Any fact that establish the requisite intention or motive for

any fact in issue or relevant fact are relevant and admissible.

Preparation and Conduct
25. Any fact, which shows preparation or conduct of the

defendant for any fact in issue or relevant fact, is relevant
and admissible.

Rights and customs
26. Where there is a question as to the existence of any right or

custom, the following facts are relevant:

(a) Any transaction by which the right or custom in
question was created, claimed, modified, recognized,
asserted or denied or which is inconsistent with its
existence;

(b) Particular instances in which the right or custom was
claimed, recognized, or exercised or in which its
exercise was disputed, asserted or departed; or

(c) Whether it conflicts with the laws of the country.

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Ascertainment of damages
27. In cases in which damages may be awarded, facts tending to

determine the amount of damages are relevant.

Alibi
28. The claim that a person at a relevant time was in a different

place than that which another person claims is relevant.

Subsequent remedial measures
29. Evidence tendered after an injury or harm occurred that a

party took certain actions to prevent the same injury or harm
from occurring in the future shall not be admissible to show
that the party is liable for the injury or harm originally
caused.

Settlement
30. Evidence about failed attempts to resolve a legal proceeding,

all non accepted offers of settlement and statements made
during negotiations are not admissible in a legal proceeding.

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Evidence taken in another legal proceeding
31. The evidence given in one legal proceeding upon the issues

raised in that proceeding may be relevant and be taken into
consideration in another legal proceeding in which the same
issues arise.

Exclusion of relevant evidence
32. Although relevant, evidence may be excluded if:

(a) Its probative value is substantially outweighed by the
danger of unfair prejudice;

(b) It could cause undue confusion of the issues;
(c) It could mislead the Court;
(d) It could cause undue delay or a waste of time; or
(e) It is cumulative.

33. No person’s identification shall be revealed, if the person is
the source of evidence or a witness to the issue and the
Court believes that his identification needs to be protected.

The Evidence Act of Bhutan, 2005

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CHAPTER 4

PHYSICAL AND DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE

Physical evidence
34. Where there is physical evidence produced before the Court,

other evidence shall not be admitted unless there is
substantive and reasonable ground for such physical
evidence to be untrue and irrelevant.

Valid written agreement
35. A written agreement shall be valid, if it is:

(a) Made in the presence of one witness of each party;
(b) Signed by all parties or another person duly

empowered by a legally binding writing in that behalf;
and

(c) Legally executed with a legal stamp.

Invalid written agreement
36. A written agreement shall not be valid, if it:

(a) Has an erased word;
(b) Has an alteration which is not counter-signed by the

parties executing the agreement;
(c) Has a defective seal or signature;
(d) Does not have the proper legal stamp;

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(e) Is entered into while a party was mentally unsod;
(f) Is entered into while a party was under duress;
(g) Is entered into by a party, who is a child;
(h) Is objected to by any party in a Court within 10 days;
(i) Is in breach of law;
(j) Is executed to conceal an illegal act; or
(k) Does not conform to any of the requirements for a

valid written agreement as set forth in this Evidence
Act.

Revision of a written agreement
37. A revision to a written agreement shall be valid, when it

fulfills the requirements for a valid written agreem nt as set
forth in this Evidence Act.

38. If there is more than one written agreement executed

between the same parties regarding the same subject matter
then the last agreement shall be the valid written agreement.

39. If there is more than one written agreement between th

different parties regarding the same subject matter th n the
prior agreement by date signed by the parties shall be the
valid written agreement.

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13

Extrinsic evidence
40. Extrinsic evidence to show the meaning of a document shall

not be admitted, except, when a party demonstrates that the
language in the document is ambiguous.

Oral evidence as to the contents of a document
41. Oral evidence as to the contents of a document that is or

could be produced in Court is not admissible unless and
until the party proposing to prove the contents shows that
the genuineness of the document is in question and the Court
determines that oral evidence about the content of the
document is not unduly prejudicial to a party and is in the
interest of justice.

Duplicate documents
42. A duplicate document is admissible to the same extent as an

original unless:

(a) A genuine question is raised as to the authenticity of
the original; or

(b) Under the circumstances, it would be unfair and
prejudicial to a party to admit the duplicate in lieu of
the original.

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14

Electronic documents
43. An electronic document, including an electronic signature, is

admissible to the same extent as a non-electronic document
unless a genuine question is raised as to the security or
integrity of the electronic document system by or in which
the electronic document or electronic signature was recorded
or stored.

Signatures on official documents
44. No proof shall be required of the handwriting or signature of

an official on an official document.

Content of official records
45. The contents of an official record, including data

compilations in any form, if otherwise admissible, may be
proved by a copy certified as correct.

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CHAPTER 5

ORAL EVIDENCE

Non-expert witnesses
46. Oral evidence from non-expert witness shall be based on

personal knowledge, if it is:

(a) A fact which could be seen, it shall be the evidence of
the witness, who says he saw it;

(b) A fact which could be heard, it shall be the evidence
of the witness, who says he heard it;

(c) A fact which could be perceived by any sense or in
any other manner, it shall be the evidence of the
witness, who says he perceived it by that sense or in
that manner; or

(d) An opinion or the grounds on which that opinion is
held, it shall be the evidence of the person, who holds
that opinion on those grounds provided that the
opinions of experts expressed in any treatise
commonly offered for sale, and the grounds on which
such opinions are held, may be proved by the
production of such treatises, if the author is dead,
cannot be found, has become incapable of giving
evidence or cannot be called as a witness without an
amount of delay or expense that the Court regards as
unreasonable.

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47. If oral evidence refers to the existence or consideration of a

document or physical thing, the Court may, if it thinks fit,
require the production of such document or material thing to
the Court for inspection by the Court and the parties.

Expert witnesses
48. If scientific, technical or other specialized knowledge will

assist the Court to assess the evidence or a fact in issue, a
witness, who is qualified as an expert in skill, knowledge,
experience, training or education may testify as an expert
witness when required by the Court.

Number of witnesses
49. No particular number of witnesses shall be required to give

oral evidence in a legal proceeding.

Competency of witnesses
50. All persons shall be deemed competent to give oral evidence

in a legal proceeding unless the Court determines that they
are unable to understand the questions put to them or give
rational answers to questions.

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51. If a witness has difficulty communicating by reason f a

physical or mental disability, the Court may order that the
witness give oral evidence by any mean that enables th
evidence to be intelligible.

52. A witness, who is unable to speak, may give evidence i any
other intelligible manner, such as by writing or by signs, but
such writing shall be written and the signs shall be made in
open Court, unless that part of the legal proceeding is held
“in camera”. Evidence so given shall be deemed to be oral
evidence.

Child witness
53. At every stage in a legal proceeding, a child shall testify

only in the presence of the child’s parent or guardian except
when:

(a) Court is satisfied that the child is intelligent enough to

understand and answer the question; and
(b) The child’s parent or guardian is unavailable and there

exists good cause for their absence.

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Drangpon as witness
54. No Drangpon shall testify in relation to any case adjudicated

by him.

Accomplice witness
55. The Court may permit any person, who was connected with

the crime at issue in the legal proceeding to give oral
evidence but that accomplice has the right to refuse to give
oral evidence on the grounds that doing so may implicate
him in the crime.

Hostile witness
56. If the witness gives testimony that is adverse to the party

questioning the witness or acts in a manner that is dverse to
that party, then the party may ask the Court’s permission to
treat the witness as hostile.

Spouse as witness
57. The husband or wife of any party to the legal proceeding is

competent as a witness, except that husband or the wife shall
not be required to give evidence about any privileged
communications.

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19

Demeanour of a witness
58. When the Court has recorded the evidence of a witness, the

Court may also record such remarks about the demeanour of
such witness while under examination that the Court may
find material.

Refreshing a witness’s memory
59. If the memory of a witness is refreshed by a document, then

the adverse party may cross-examine the witness upon that
document.

Impeachment of a witness
60. A witness shall not be impeached by evidence of bad

character except, when the evidence of bad character relates
to the person’s truthful or untruthful character and such
character has been put in issue.

Impeachment of a witness by a prior inconsistent sta ement
61. Where a party alleges that a witness had made a statement

orally, in writing, or recorded on audio tape or video tape
that is inconsistent with the witness’s present statement, the
Court may grant leave to the parties to cross-examine the
witness using the prior inconsistent statement.

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62. If the witness does not admit that the witness has m de the

prior inconsistent statement, the cross-examiner is not to
adduce evidence of the prior inconsistent statement unless
and until the cross-examiner:

(a) Informs the witness of the circumstances surrounding

the making of the prior inconsistent statement to
enable the witness to identify or remember the prior
inconsistent statement;

(b) Shows the witness the prior inconsistent statement or
plays the recording of the prior inconsistent statement
to the witness; and

(c) Draws the witness’s attention to so much of the prior
inconsistent statement as is inconsistent with the
witness’s present statement.

Impeachment of a witness by evidence of conviction of a crime
63. A witness other than the accused shall not be impeached by

the evidence of conviction of a crime except when the crime
of which the witness was convicted involved dishonesty or
fraud.

Admissibility of evidence showing conviction of a defendant
64. Evidence showing that on another occasion the defenant

has been convicted of a crime or committed a wrong or other
act is not admissible except as relevant to show motive,
opportunity, intent or plan in relation to the crime at issue in
the legal proceeding.

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Evidence of a victim’s sexual behaviour in a sexual misconduct
65. In a sexual offence or any criminal or civil case in which

sexual misconduct is at issue, evidence of a victim’s past
sexual behaviour or alleged sexual predisposition is not
relevant except:

(a) If offered to show the victim’s consent;
(b) If offered to show that a person other than the accused

was the attacker or aggressor; or
(c) The victim puts past sexual behaviour or

predisposition in issue.

Evidence of habit or routine
66. Evidence of the habit or routine practice of a person or a

corporation is relevant to prove that the conduct of that
person or corporation on a particular occasion was in
conformity with the habit or routine practice.

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CHAPTER 6

QUESTIONING OF WITNESSES

Role of the Court
67. The Court may question witnesses whether called by itself

or by a party.

68. The Court shall exercise reasonable control over th mode

and order of questioning of witnesses and presenting
evidence so as to:

(a) Make the questioning and presentation effective for

the ascertainment of the truth;
(b) Avoid needless consumption of time; and
(c) Protect a witness from harassment or undue

embarrassment.

69. The Court on its own or at the request of a party may call
witnesses and all parties are entitled to cross-examine such
witnesses.

Limitation of cross-examination
70. Cross-examination shall be limited to the subject ma ter of

the direct examination and matters affecting the credibility
of the witness. The Court may, in the exercise of discretion
permit inquiry into additional matters.

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Re-examination
71. The party, who has called a witness may question the

witness again on re-examination after the cross-examination
but the re-examination shall be limited to matters stified to
on cross-examination.

Leading questions
72. Leading questions shall not be permitted on direct

examination of a witness except as the Court determin s is
necessary to develop the witness’s testimony or the Court
has declared the witness hostile.

73. Leading questions are permitted on cross-examinatio.

Improper questions
74. The Court may disallow a question put to a witness in direct

examination, cross-examination or re-examination and
inform the witness that the witness need not answer th
question, if the question is:

(a) Misleading;
(b) Repetitive; or
(c) Unduly annoying, harassing, intimidating, offensive

or oppressive.

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Exclusion of witnesses
75. The Court on its own or at the request of a party ma order a

witness to be excluded from the courtroom except a arty
witness.

CHAPTER 7
HEARSAY

Hearsay
76. Hearsay is an out of court statement made by a person who

is not examined as a witness.

Oral statements that are not hearsay
77. The types of oral statements which are not hearsay, when a

prior statement by the witness:

(a) Who is giving oral evidence and the prior statement is
inconsistent with the statement made while giving oral
evidence or was made in another legal proceeding or
was written down in a document that is available for
inspection by the Court and the parties;

(b) Giving oral evidence is consistent with a statement
given by the witness while giving oral evidence and is
offered to rebut an expressed or implied charge
against the witness of fabrication or improper
influence or motive; or

(c) Giving oral evidence is one of identification of a
person made after seeing or perceiving the person.

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Written statements that are not hearsay
78. The following types of written statements are not hearsay:

(a) Records of regularly conducted business activity
made at or near the time of that activity by a person
with knowledge of that activity and kept in the course
of the regularly conducted business;

(b) Records maintained by the Government that are
generally available to the public for inspection or sale;

(c) Entries in any public or official book, register or
record made by a public servant in the regular course
of official duties; or

(d) Published maps, charts, and plans offered for public
sale and made under the authority of the Government.

Hearsay exceptions
79. Hearsay evidence is not admissible except with leave of the

Court in considering whether:

(a) It would have been reasonable and practicable for the
party by whom the evidence was introduced to have
produced the maker of the original statement as a
witness;

(b) The original statement was made contemporaneously
with the occurrence or existence of the matters stated;

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26

(c) The statement involves multiple hearsay; and
(d) Any person involved in the statement had any motive

to conceal or misrepresent the matters involved in the
statement.

CHAPTER 8

ADMISSIONS

Admissions
80. An admission is a statement, oral or documentary, made by

a party, someone authorized by the party to speak on behalf
of the party, an agent of the party or a co-conspirator, which
suggests any inference as to any fact in issue or relevant
fact.

Proof of admissions
81. Admissions are relevant and may be proved as against the

person who makes them or the representative-in-interest, but
they cannot be proved by or on behalf of the persons, who
makes them or by the representative-in-interest, except in
the following cases:

(a) When the admission is of such a nature that, if the

person making the admission is dead, it would be
relevant as between third persons;

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(b) When the admission consists of a statement of the

existence of any state of mind or body, relevant or in
issue made on or about the time such state of mind or
body existed, and is accompanied by conduct
rendering its falsehood improbable; or

(c) If the admission is relevant otherwise than as an
admission.

82. When evidence of an admission is adduced or taken, the

Court shall consider that the admission was:

(a) Actually made;
(b) Made voluntarily;
(c) Not made in one’s own favour or with ulterior

motives;
(d) True and reliable; or
(e) Relevant to the content of the document.

Admission in civil cases, when relevant
83. No admission shall be relevant in civil cases, if it is made

either upon an express condition that evidence of it is not to
be given or under circumstances from which the Court can
infer that the parties agreed together that evidence of which
it should not be given.

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CHAPTER 9

CRIMINAL CONFESSIONS

Criminal confession
84. Any statement, which is made at any time by a person

charged with a crime stating or suggesting that the person
committed the crime, shall be the confession of the person.

Validity of a confession
85. The Court shall not consider any confession to be valid

unless the confession is proven to be:

(a) Made voluntarily;
(b) Given independently; and
(c) Made without duress, coercion, undue influence or

inducement.

86. If the confession is made to the police officer or any other
police official, it shall not be valid unless the confession is
proven to be made, after the police officer or the police
official had:

(a) Warned the person that anything he says can be used

against him in a legal proceeding;
(b) Notified that he has a right to a Jabmi; and
(c) Informed that, if he cannot afford a Jabmi, the

Government will provide him with a Jabmi.

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Proceeding when there is a confession
87. A person, who confesses and a person to whom the conf ssion

was made, both shall be present at the legal proceeding in
which the confession is at issue.

Confession to a police officer
88. A confession made to a police officer or other police official

shall not be admissible without corroborating evidence of
the validity of the confession.

89. When a person confesses to a police officer, the police
officer must follow the procedure set forth in this Act.

Verification of a confession
90. The Court shall verify a confession in the presence of the

person who confessed and the person to whom the
confession is made.

Irrelevancy of a confession
91. A confession made by any person is irrelevant and

inadmissible in a criminal proceeding, if the making of the
confession appears to the Court to have been caused by any:

(a) Inducement;
(b) Threat;
(c) Promise;
(d) Intoxication; or
(e) Incompetence or incapability.

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Retraction or denial of a confession
92. The Court shall proceed further, if a person:

(a) Had confessed and then denies the confession; or
(b) Has made counter-charges.

93. In instances where a confession is retracted or denie , the
person shall be:

(a) Examined in the Court;
(b) Warned of the consequence of giving false

information;
(c) Called upon to remember whether the person has or

has not consciously committed the offence;
(d) Liable to be charged of perjury; and
(e) Investigated for the difference between the statement

and words given or spoken before and after.

CHAPTER 10
PROOF AND BURDEN OF PROOF

“Proved”, “disproved” and “not proved”
94. Any fact is said to be proved or disproved, when the Court

after considering the matters before it:

(a) Believes that such fact exists or does not exist; or

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(b) Considers the existence or non-existence so probable

that a reasonable person ought, under the
circumstances of the particular case, to act upon the
supposition that it does or does not exist.

95. A fact is said, “not to be proved” when it is neithr proved
nor disproved.

Proof of a document
96. A document must be proved by the production of the

document itself except, when the original is:

(a) In the possession of any person out of reach or not
subject to the process of the Court;

(b) Lost or destroyed; or
(c) Not easily movable.

97. When a document cannot be proved as set forth in section
96(a) to (c) of this Act, then oral evidence as to the contents
of the document may be given.

Burden of proof
98. A party who substantially asserts the affirmative of the

existence of the facts or issues must prove the existence of
those facts or issues.

99. When any fact is within the knowledge of the person, the
burden of proving that fact falls upon the person.

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CHAPTER 11
PRESUMPTIONS

Judicial notice
100. The Court may presume the existence of any fact, which is

not subject to reasonable dispute because it is:

(a) Generally known in the jurisdiction of the Court; or
(b) Capable of ratification by a source whose accura y

cannot be disputed.

101. Any party may object and give evidence as to why judicial
notice should not be taken about a particular fact.

102. Judicial notice may be taken at anytime during a legal

proceeding.

Presumption of authenticity of certain documents
103. A Court may presume the authenticity of the following types

of documents:

(a) A Government Notification;
(b) A document issued by the Government;
(c) A map or plan made by the Government;
(d) A document printed or published under the authority

of the government of any country;

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(e) A law of another country;
(f) A report or decision of another country;
(g) A power-of-attorney;
(h) A certified copy of any judicial record of any country;

or
(i) A document certified by any representative of the

government of another country.

Presumption as to thirty years old documents
104. Where a document is proved to be thirty years old or m re,

the Court may presume that the signature and every other
part of such document, which purports to be in the
handwriting of any particular person, is in that person’s
handwriting and, in the case of a document executed or
attested, that it was duly executed and attested by the
persons by whom it purports to be executed and attested.

Presumption as to persons, who have not been heard of for
nine years or more
105. Where a person was proved to have been not heard of for

nine years or more by those, who would naturally have
heard, if the person had been alive, the Court may presume
that the person is dead.

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Adverse presumption, when evidence is not produced
106. The Court may presume that evidence, which could be and

is not produced, would, if produced, be unfavourable to the
person, who withholds it except that no adverse presumption
shall apply to a defendant, who refuses to give oral evidence
in a legal proceeding.

CHAPTER 12

PRIVILEGED EVIDENCE

Official records
107. The Head of the Department concerned of the Governmnt

may withhold evidence consisting of unpublished andnon-
public official records relating to affairs of state or
communications made to a public officer in official
confidence, when public interest would suffer by the
disclosure thereof.

108. The Court may in such cases determine whether the claim of

privilege is correct by examining such records “in camera”
for the limited purpose of deciding whether the evid nce
should be disclosed or not and if the Court decides that the
evidence shall not be disclosed, such evidence shall be
regarded as privileged.

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Professional legal communications
109. The Court shall not compel any Jabmi without the cli nt’s

express consent to disclose:

(a) Any communication made to the Jabmi by the client
in the course and for the purpose of his professional
employment as a Jabmi;

(b) The contents or condition of any document of which
the Jabmi has become acquainted in the course and for
the purpose of professional employment; or

(c) Any advice given by the Jabmi to the client in the
course and for the purpose of professional
employment.

110. Nothing in this Act shall protect from disclosure any:

(a) Communication made by the client to the Jabmi in

furtherance of any illegal purpose; or
(b) Fact observed by the Jabmi in the course of

professional employment that he reasonably believes
that the client has committed a crime or fraud.

Communications during marriage
111. No person, who is or has been married shall be compelled to

disclose any communication made to the person by the
person’s spouse or ex-spouse during his or her marriage.

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Communications to a doctor or medical personnel
112. No doctor or medical personnel shall be compelled to

disclose any conversation between the doctor or medical
personnel and a patient about the patient’s physical or
mental health.

Information as to commission of offences
113. No Drangpon or Public Officer shall be compelled to

disclose the source of information of the commission of
offence.

114. No Revenue Officer employed by any branch of public

revenue of the Government shall be compelled to say, when
the information as to the commission of any offence against
the public revenue was obtained.

CHAPTER 13

AMENDMENT AND AUTHORITATIVE TEXT

Amendment
115. The addition, variation or repeal of this Act shall be made by

the Parliament.

Authoritative text
116. The Dzongkha text shall be the authoritative text, if there

exist any difference in meaning between the Dzongkha and
the English text.