THE COMMERCIAL DOCUMENTS EVIDENCE ACT, 1939

 

An Act to amend the Law of Evidence with respect to certain documents.

Whereas it is expedient to amend the Law of Evidence with respect to certain commercial documents;

It is hereby enacted as follows:

1. Short title and extent. (1) This Act may be called The Commercial Documents Evidence Act, 1939.

(2) It extends to the whole of India except [i][1] [the territories, which immediately before the 1st November, 1956, were comprised in Part B States.]

2. Statements of relevant facts in scheduled documents to be themselves relevant facts. -Notwithstanding anything contained in the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, statements of facts in issue or of relevant facts made in any document included in the Schedule as to matters usually stated in such document shall be themselves relevant facts within the meaning of that Act.

3. Presumption as to genuineness of documents. -For the purpose of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, and notwithstanding anything contained therein, a Court -

(a) shall presume, within the meaning of that Act, in relation to documents included in Part I of the Schedule, and

(b) may presume, within the meaning of that Act, in relation to documents included in Part II of the Schedule, -

that any document purporting to be a document included in Part I or Part II of the Schedule, as the case may be, and to have been duly made by or under the appropriate authority, was so made and that the statements contained therein are accurate.

Comments

The presumption under Section 3(b) is not compulsory as in the case of Section 3(a). It is the discretion of the Court. (AIR 1958 S.C. 437).

4. Definition. -In the Schedule the expression “recognised Chamber of Commerce” means a Chamber of Commerce recognised by the Government of its country as being competent to issue certificates or origin, and includes any other association similarly recognised.

THE SCHEDULE

[See Sections 2 and 3]

1. Lloyd's Register of Shipping.

2. Lloyd's Daily Shipping Index.

3. Lloyd's Loading List.

4. Lloyd's Weekly Casualty Reports.

5. Certificate of delivery of goods to the Manehester Ship Canal Company.

6. Official log book, supplementary Official log book and official wireless log kept by a British ship.

7. Certificate of Registry, Safety Certificate, Safety Radio-Telegraphy Certificate, Exemption Certificate, Certificate of Survey, Declaration of Survey, International Load Line Certificate, Indian Load Line Certificate, Report of Survey of a ship provisionally detained as unsafe, Report of Survey to be served upon the master of a ship declared unsafe upon survey, Docking certificate, Memorandum issued under Article 56 of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1929.

8. Certificates A and B issued under the Indian Merchant Shipping Act, 1923.

9. The following documents relating to marine insurance, namely, insurance policy, receipt for premium, certificate of insurance and insurance cover note.

10. Certificate concerning the loss of country-craft issued by the appropriate authority under Department of Commerce, Mercantile Marine Department Circular No. 2 of 1938.

11. Protest made before a Notary Public or other duly authorised official by a master of a ship relating to circumstances calculated to affect the liability of the ship owner.

12. Licence or permit for radio-telegraph apparatus carried in ships or aircraft.

13. Certificate or registration of an aircraft granted by the Government of the country to which the aircraft belongs.

14. Certificate of airworthiness of an aircraft granted or validated by, or under the authority of, the Government of the country to which the aircraft belongs.

15. Licences and certificates of competency of aircraft personnel granted or validated by, or under the authority of, the Government of the country to which the personnel belongs.

16. Ground Engineer's Licence issued by a competent authority authorised in this behalf by Government.

17. Consular Certificate in respect of goods shipped or shut out, consular certificates of origin and consular invoice.

18. Certificate of origin of goods issued (but not merely attested) by a recognised Chamber of Commerce, or by an Indian or British Consular Officer or by an Indian or British Trade Commissioner or Agent.

19. Receipt for payment of customs duty issued by a Customs authority.

20. Schedule issued by a port, harbour, dock, wharfage or warehouse authority, or by a railway company, showing fees, dues, freights or other charges for the storage, transport or other services in connection with goods.

21. Tonnage schedule and schedule of fees, commission or other charges for services rendered, issued by a recognised Chamber of Commerce.

22. The publication known as the Indian Railway Conference Association Coaching and Goods Tariffs.

23. Copy, certified by the Registrar of Companies, or the memorandum or the articles of association of a company, filed under the Indian Companies Act, 1913.

24. Protest, noting and certifying the dishonour of a bill of exchange, made before Notary Public or other duly authorised official.

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