- Commenced on 21 January 1882
- [This is the version of this document at 1 December 2014.]
1. Short titleThis Act may be cited as the Evidence Act.
3. Oral evidence to prove occupation of immovable propertyIn any claim to rent or indemnity for the occupation of immovable property, oral evidence shall, when a lease is denied and is not completely established by writing, be admissible to prove or disprove the occupation and the amount or payment of the indemnity; and the party suing shall be entitled to such indemnity although it may result from the oral evidence given that the occupation existed under a lease:Provided that such claim for indemnity shall be barred by one year's prescription:Provided further that nothing in this section contained shall alter any law by virtue of which the possessor of immovable property is entitled to retain the fruits thereof, and to make them his own.
4. Examination on unsworn personal answersWhenever a party to a suit is called upon to give his unsworn personal answers, he may be examined as an adverse witness by the party calling him and afterwards examined on his own behalf, but only as to matters arising out of the examination made by the party calling him; and he may then be re examined touching any question put to him on his behalf.
5. Insufficiency of notices not to exclude evidenceWhenever the Republic or any other party to a trial is required by any law or rule of court in force in Seychelles to file a list of witnesses or give a notice of facts, if at the trial witnesses be tendered whose names have not been included in such list, or who have not been sufficiently described therein, or if evidence be tendered of a fact omitted from or not sufficiently set out in such notice of facts, or if such lists or notice shall not have been filed or given within the time fixed by law, it shall not be lawful for the court to reject the proof of such facts or refuse the witnesses offered merely on the ground that such notice of facts, list or description of witnesses has not been served in time, provided the court is satisfied that there has been no mala fides, but the court shall be at liberty to postpone the trial with such terms as to costs, if any, as to the court may seem just:Provided that the Republic shall not be condemned in costs in any criminal trial.
6. Republic need not file list of witnesses in replyIt shall not be necessary for the Republic to file any list of witnesses to be called in reply to witnesses for the defendant in any criminal trial; but when the Republic shall call any witnesses in reply it shall be lawful for the court to allow the defendant to produce further evidence to rebut the witnesses heard in reply.
7. Copies of public documents admissibleAt any trial the contents of any record, book, deed, map, plan or other document in the official custody of the Supreme Court, the Registrar of Mortgages, the Land Registrar, or any Government department, of any magistrate's or stipendiary court, or of any notary may be proved by means of a copy or extract certified under the hand of the Registrar of the Supreme Court, the Registrar of Mortgages, the Land Registrar, the chief clerk or head of such department, the magistrate's or stipendiary clerk, or of such notary as the case may be, to be a true copy or extract. Such copy shall be admissible in evidence at any trial to the same extent, and in the same manner as the original would but for this Act be admissible. Certificates that such copies or extracts are true and purporting to be signed by the Registrar of the Supreme Court or other person aforesaid shall in the absence of proof to the contrary be held to have been so signed.
8. Custodians of public documents not to be summoned as witnesses except in certain casesNo person having the official custody of such original documents as in section 7 mentioned shall be subpoenaed or summoned to produce the same, nor shall they be admissible in evidence at any trial except upon the order of a Judge of the Supreme Court. Such order shall only be made when it shall appear to the Judge that the authenticity of the document itself is in question, or that the proof sought to be given cannot be given by means of a copy or extract, and that the proof of such authenticity or such proof sought to be given is material to the matter at issue; and in every such case the same fee shall, in addition to the allowance to be paid for the attendance of the person so subpoenaed or summoned, be charged for the production of such document as would have been payable for a copy or extract:Provided always that any record of any court shall be admissible in evidence in the court to which its custody belongs to the same extent and in the same manner as it would have been had this section not been enacted.
9. Privilege not affectedNothing in this Act contained shall, except where there is an express provision to the contrary, be held in any way to affect any right to refuse to produce any document or to answer any question on the ground of privilege.
10. Cross-examination on written statements of witnessAny witness may be cross examined at any trial as to previous statements made by him in writing or reduced into writing relative to the subject matter of the trial, without such writing being shown to him, or read; but if it is intended to contradict such witness by the writing his attention must, before such contradictory proof can be given, be called to those parts of the writing which are to be used for the purpose of so contradicting him:Provided that it shall be competent for the court, at any time during the trial, to require the production of the writing to be used for the purposes of the trial in any way that to the court seem proper.
11. RogationThe Supreme Court may in any civil cause or matter, when a party or witness cannot attend before the court through illness or other lawful impediment and where it shall appear necessary for the purposes of justice, make an order for the examination on personal answers or upon oath or solemn affirmation before any person appointed to be examiner; and at any place, of any witness or person, and may make such order as may seem proper as to notices to be given to interested parties and as to the mode in which such examination is to be conducted, and may order any deposition so taken to be filed in the registry of the court, and the court may, at the hearing of such cause or matter, of the court, and the court may, at the hearing of such cause or matter, empower any party to any such cause or matter to give such deposition in evidence therein on such terms, if any, as the court may direct. Every examiner so appointed shall have power to administer an oath or solemn affirmation.
11A. Evidence of a childAt any trial the evidence of a child shall be received unless it a child appears to the court that the child is incapable of giving intelligible evidence.
11B. Evidence of vulnerable witness
11C. Evidence of witness from outside the courtroom
12. English law of evidence and practice to be followedExcept where it is otherwise provided in this Act or by special laws now in force in Seychelles or hereafter enacted, the English law of evidence for the time being shall prevail.
13. Evidence to prove unrecorded event did not happen
14. Evidence from documentary records
15. Documentary evidence from computer records
16. Provision supplementary to sections 13, 14 and 15
17. Expert opinion
Affirmation by Hindus and Mohammedans in lieu of oath
18. Affirmation by Hindus and MohammedansInstead of any oath now authorised or required by law, every person of the Hindu or Mohammedan religion shall make affirmation to the following effect:"I solemnly affirm in the presence of Almighty God that what I shall state shall be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth."
19. Penalty for false statementIf any person making such affirmation as aforesaid shall wilfully and falsely state any matter or thing which would amount to false evidence, every such offender shall be subject in all courts to the same punishment to which persons convicted of giving false evidence are subjected by the laws in force in Seychelles.
20. Procuring false statementAny person causing or procuring another to commit the offence defined in section 19 shall be subject in all courts to the same punishment to which persons convicted of subornation or perjury were subject before this Act came into operation.
Oaths, declarations and affidavits
21. When declaration may be made instead of an oathEvery person who shall object to being sworn, and shall state, as the ground of such objection, either that he has no religious belief, or that the taking of an oath is contrary to his religious belief, shall be permitted to make a declaration, instead of taking an oath, in all places and for all purposes where an oath is or shall be required by law, and such declaration shall be of the same force and effect as if he had taken the oath; and if any person making such declaration shall wilfully and falsely declare any matter or thing which, if stated on oath, would have amounted to false evidence, he shall be liable to prosecution and punishment in all respects as if he had given false evidence on oath.
22. Form of declarationEvery such declaration shall be as nearly as may be in the form following:"I, ______________ do solemnly, sincerely, and truly declare" and shall then proceed with the words of the oath prescribed by law, omitting any words of imprecation or calling to witness.
23. Validity of oath, etc., not affected by errorWhere an oath has been duly administered and taken, the fact that the person to whom the same was administered should have made a solemn affirmation under sections 18 and 19 or a declaration under section 21, or where a solemn affirmation or declaration has been made by a person who should have taken an oath, such error shall not affect the validity of the oath, solemn affirmation or declaration respectively, if no protest was made by the person sworn, solemnly affirmed, or making the declaration, at the time such oath, solemn affirmation, or declaration was made or taken.
24. Form of declaration in writingEvery declaration in writing shall commence"I do solemnly, sincerely, and truly declare"; and the form in lieu of jurat shall be "declared at ________ this ________ day of ___________ Before me _________________"
25. Penalty for swearing false affidavitAny person swearing or declaring a false affidavit, whenever an affidavit is required or may be used, shall be liable to imprisonment not exceeding three years and to a fine not exceeding one thousand rupees.
26. Swearing with uplifted handsIf any person to whom an oath is administered desires to swear with uplifted hand, he shall be permitted so to do, and the oath shall be administered to him in such form and manner without further question.
Admission in evidence of statutes passed by Legislatures of the United Kingdom and British possessions and protectorates
27. Proof of statutes of British possessions
Judicial recognition of documents sworn before diplomatic or consular officers in foreign countries or public documents executed in the territories of a Convention State
28. Admissibility of document sworn in foreign country without proof of seal or signature
Admissibility and effect of judgments given in criminal jurisdiction
29. Previous convictions as evidence
30. Finding of adultery or adjudications in affixation proceedings as evidence in civil proceedings
31. Copy of documentsWhere in a trial a statement contained in a document is admissible in evidence under section 14, section 15, section 29 or section 30 it may be proved
32. RulesThe Chief Justice may make rules providing for any matter in respect of which rules are required to be made under this Act and prescribing the procedures to be followed in the implementation of, and for the purpose of supplementing, the provisions of this Act.
History of this document
01 December 2014 this version
21 January 1882