Updated: Jul 1, 2021
Privileged Communication: Sns. 121 to 132 of the Indian Evidence Act provide for privileged communications. The general rule Of evidence is that a witness should tell the whole truth and produce all the documents in his custody Relevant to the matter in issue before the court. However, this is subject to certain exceptions. They are Called privileged communications. Privileged communications are based on public policy, Judge or Magistrate: Sn 121 No Judge or Magistrate shall be compelled to answer any questions as to his conduct in his court. This is his privilege. Anything which came to the knowledge of the Judge or the Magistrate in the trial is Also privileged. The exception is when the Superior Court makes a special order he should answer. In the Session Court, A is charge-sheeted for 'giving false evidence' (Sn. 192 I.P.C.) in Magistrate B's court. B cannot be asked what A said, except on the special orders of the Superior court. Communications during marriage are privileged: Sn 122 . A spouse should not be compelled to disclose any communication made by the other spouse during the Marriage, i.e., during coverture. However, with the consent of the other spouse, or in suits between spouses or in criminal proceedings where one is accused of an offence against the other, the communications may be disclosed. This privilege is to protect the peace and solace of the families. The protection is during marriage, after marriage & even after dissolved by divorce or death of a spouse Official communications: Sn 123 A Public Officer should not be compelled to disclose official communications made to him in confidence. The public interest would suffer by such disclosure, and hence, this privilege. However, with the permission of the Depth head, he may disclose. A Magistrate or Public Officer or a Revenue Officer should not be compelled to disclose the source of information relating to the Commission of an offense. The section has reference to unpublished documents of State, Professional communications: Sn 125 A legal practitioner shall not at any time, be permitted to disclose: Any communication made by his client to him. Any advice tendered by him to the client during the course and for the purpose of his employment. Similarly, he shall not be permitted to state the contents or conditions of any document he has Become acquainted with. However, he may disclose any communication made in furtherance of any illegal the purpose or any fact observed by him in the course of his employment. Eg.: i) Accused 'A' discloses his forgery to this advocate and asks to defend. This is Privileged.
I wish to obtain possession of the property by forging a deed and I request you to act on it. This not privileged under this section. The legal adviser is prohibited from disclosing except with the permission of the accused. Similarly, interpreters, clerks, and servants of the legal practitioners are prohibited from disclosing. Sn 127 The principle is that this rule is made in the interest of justice, i.e., if such communications were not protected, then no man would resort to getting professional advice with a view to his Defence, or to enforce his right, and, no man could safely come into the court either to obtain redress or to defend himself. No client should be compelled to disclose any confidential communications between him and his Legal adviser. However, if the client is himself a witness before the court, then he maybe compelled to Answer questions which the court finds necessary to get an explanation but not any other question. Sn 129 Affairs of State: No person shall be compelled to give evidence derived from unpublished official records to any Affairs of state except with the permission of the head of the department. This is based on public policy. This should not be used as cloak to shield the truth from the court.