As a general rule,the opinion or belief of a third person is irrelevant and therefore inadmissible.However, there are certain cases in which the court is not in a position to form a correct opinion,like when the question involved is beyond the range of common experience or common knowledge or when special study of a subject or experience is necessary.In these cases,the general rule is relaxed and expert evidence is admitted to enable the court to come to a proper decision.
SECTION 45 TO 51 OF INDIAN EVIDENCE ACT, deals with the opinion of third persons and makes them a Relevant Fact,which are discussed as under:-
- Opinion of Experts (Section 45)
- Opinion of Examiner of Electronic Evidence (Section 45A)
- Opinion as to handwriting (Section 47)
- Opinion as to electronic signature (Section 47A)
- Opinion as to existence of right or custom (Section 48)
- Opinion as to usages,tenets,etc (Section 49)
- Opinion on relationship (Section 50)
EXPERT OPINION MAY BE GIVEN:-
- Foreign law
- Science or art
- Hand writing
- Finger impressions
SECTION 46 OF INDIAN EVIDENCE ACT ,provides that facts,which are not otherwise relevant, are relevant if they support or are inconsistent with Expert Opinion under Section 45.
SECTION 51 OF INDIAN EVIDENCE ACT, provides that the ground on which such opinion’s of experts is based is also relevant.
EVIDENTIARY VALUE OF EXPERT OPINION :-
It is only a weak piece of evidence and cannot be taken as a substantial piece of evidence and bind the court unless corroborated by other evidence.
In conclusion, Expert Opinion plays a vital role in ensuring a comprehensive and informed evaluation of evidence, contributing to the fair and effective administration of justice within the Indian legal system.