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G-TREE (GENO LOGICAL TREE) - PRINCIPLES GOVERNING THEM AS EXPLAINED BY SUPREME COURT

IN a case of STATE OF BIHAR Vs. RADHA KRISHNA SINGH & ORS. AIR 1983 SC 684 it was observed on G-TREE as follows “The principles governing such cases are: (i) Genealogies admitted or proved to be old and relied on in previous cases are doubtless relevant and in some cases may even be conclusive of the facts proved, but there are several considerations which must be kept in mind viz.: (a) Source of the genealogy and its dependability. (b) Admissibility of the genealogy under the Evidence Act. (c) A proper use in decisions or judgments on which reliance is placed. (d) Age of genealogies. (e) Litigations where such genealogies have been accepted or rejected. (2) On the question of admissibility the following tests must be adopted: (a) The genealogies of the families concerned must fall within the four- corners of s. 32(5) or s. 13 of the Evidence Act. (b) They must not be hit by the doctrine of post litem motam. (c) The genealogies or the claims cannot be proved by recitals, depositions or facts narrated in the judgment which have been held by a long course of decisions to be inadmissible. (d) Where genealogy is proved by oral evidence, the said evidence must clearly show special means of knowledge disclosing the exact source, time and the circumstances under which the knowledge is acquired, and this must be clearly and conclusively proved.”


 IN a case of STATE OF BIHAR Vs. RADHA KRISHNA SINGH & ORS. AIR 1983 SC 684 it is observed as follows: “In considering the oral evidence regarding a pedigree a purely mathematical approach cannot be made because where a long line of descent has to be proved spreading over a century, it is' obvious that the witnesses who are examined to depose to the genealogy would have to depend on their special means of knowledge which may have come to them through their ancestors but, at the same time, there is great risk and a serious danger involved in relying solely on the evidence of witness given from pure memory because the witness who are interested normally have a tendency to draw more from their imagination or turn and twist the facts which they may have heard from their ancestors in order to help the parties for whom they are deposing. The court, must therefore safeguard that the evidence of such witness may not be accepted as it is based purely on imagination or an imaginary or illusory source of information rather than special means of knowledge as required by law. The oral testimony or the witness on this matter is bound to be hearsay and their evidence is admissible as an exception to the general rule where hearsay evidence is not admissible. In the appreciation of evidence of such witnesses, the principles to be borne in mind are: (1) The relationship or the connection however close it may be, which the witness bears to the persons whose pedigree is sought to be deposed by him. (2) The nature and character of the special means of knowledge through which the witness has come to know about the pedigree. (3) The interested nature of the witness concerned. (4) The precaution which must be taken to rule out any false statement made by the witness post litem motam or one which is derived not by means of special knowledge but purely from his imagination, and (5) The evidence of the witness must be substantially corroborated as far as time and memory admit.”


 IN a case of STATE OF BIHAR Vs. RADHA KRISHNA SINGH & ORS. AIR 1983 SC 684 it was observed as follows: “Admissibility of a document is one thing and its probative value, quite another: a document may be admissible and yet may not carry any conviction and weight or its probative value may be nil. It is also well settled that statements or declarations before persons of competent knowledge made ante litem motam are receivable to prove ancient rights of a public or general nature. The admissibility of such declarations is, however, considerably weakened if it pertains not to public rights but to purely private rights. It is equally well settled that declarations or statements made post litem motam would not be admissible because in cases or proceedings taken or declarations made ante litem motam, the element of bias and concoction is eliminated. Before, however, the statements of the nature mentioned above can be admissible as being ante litem motam they must not only be before the actual existence of any controversy, but should be made even before the commencement of legal proceedings. This position however cannot hold good of statements made post litem motam which would be clearly inadmissible in evidence. The reason for this rule seems to be that after a dispute has begun or a legal proceeding is about to commence, the possibility of bias, concoction or putting up false pleas cannot be ruled out.”

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