Doctrine of Res Gestae and Section 6, Indian Evidence Act, 1872
Mr. Paramjeet Sangwan

Doctrine of Res Gestae and Section 6, Indian Evidence Act, 1872

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6. Relevancy of facts forming part of same transaction - Facts which, though not in issue are so connected with a fact in issue as to form part of the same transaction, are relevant, whether they occurred at the same time and place or at different times and places. 




  1. A is accused of the murder of B by beating him. Whatever was said or done by A or B or the by-standers at the beating, or so shortly before or after is as to from part of the transaction, is a relevant fact. 


  1. A is accused of waging war against the Government of India by taking part in an armed insurrection in which property is destroyed, troops are attacked and goals are broken open. The occurrence of these facts is relevant, as forming part of the general transaction, though A may not have been present at all of them. 


  1. A sues B for a libel contained in a letter forming part of a correspondence. Letters between the parties relating to the subject out of which the libel arose, and forming part of the correspondence in which it is contained, are relevant facts, though they do not contain the libel itself. 


  1. The question is whether certain goods ordered from B were delivered to A. the goods were delivered to several intermediate persons successively. Each delivery is a relevant fact. 




Section 6 embodies the rule of admission of evidence known as ‘res gestae’. Acts and declarations accompanying the transaction or the facts in issue are treated as res gestae and admitted in evidence. But the fact deposed must form part of the transaction and must be made contemporaneously with the act immediately after it. The res gestae may be defined as those circumstances which are the automatic and undersigned incidents of a particular litigated act and which are admissible when illustrative of such act. These incidents may be separated from the act by a lapse of time more or less appreciable. Declarations to be admissible must be made during the transactions. If made after its completion they are too late. For instance a person is seen running down a street in a wounded condition and calling out the name of his assailant and the circumstances under which the injuries were inflicted. Here what the person says and what he does may be taken together and proved as a whole. Statements accompanying acts are in fact part of the res gestae just as much as the acts themselves. They are often absolutely necessary to show the animus of the actor.  They have been styled verbal acts. The statements must really explain the acts and the declaration must relate to and can only be used to explain the fact it accompanies and not previous or subsequent facts unless the transaction be of a continuous nature.   


Important features: 


  1. It must be a part of the same transaction and 
  2. If there is any interval howsoever slight it may be which was sufficient enough for fabrication, then it is not part of res gestae. 3. Statement of deceased can be admitted under section 6 because of proximity of time. 


Few phrases in the law of evidence are more persistent than the Latin phrase Res Gestae. Its original meaning seems to have been a transaction, an event. 


The Latin words may be translated simply as ‘the events which happened’ and for legal purposes they are a term of art restricted to events which happened in the affair during the continuance of any factual situation which has been selected for the consideration of a Court of law in a trial. There are an infinite number of other events or facts which existed contemporaneously with this alleged fact in issue which has to be proved. Res gestae therefore comprises all relevant facts or events which are either in issue or which though not themselves in issue yet accompany some fact which is in issue so as to constitute circumstantial evidence which goes to explain or establish that fact. 


Res gestae is from the Latin meaning things done and includes the circumstances, fact and declaration incidental to the main fact of transaction necessary to illustrate its character and also includes acts, words, and declarations which are so closely connected therewith as to constitute a part of the transaction. The expression res gestae has applied to a crime means the complete criminal transaction from its beginning or starting point in the act of the accused until end is reached.     


All definitions insist that the res gestae shall be so connected with the main fact in issue as to form one transaction and that in contemplation of law, they are a part of the act itself and the test of admissibility is that the declaration and act must make up one transaction.   


The Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case titled as Javed Alam Vs. State of Chhattisgarh and Anr. decided on 8.5.2009 has held:     


“Section 6 of the Evidence Act is an exception to the rule of evidence that hearsay evidence is not admissible. The test for applying the rule of Res-Gestae is that the statement should be spontaneous and should form part of the same transaction ruling out any possibility of concoction. 


In Gentele Vijayavardhan Rao v. State of Andhra Pradesh (AIR 1996 SC 2791) it was held: 


"Section 6 of the Evidence Act and some of the succeeding Sections embody the rule of admission of evidence relating to what is commonly known as res-gestae. They are in the nature of exception to 'hearsay" rule. Section-6 permits proof of collateral statements which are so connected with the facts in issue as to form part of the same transaction. Whether the statement made by a witness was a part of the same transaction or not is to be considered in the light of the circumstances of each case. The principle is that it should be so intimately connected with the fact in issue as to be a spontaneous utterance inspired by the excitement of the occasion or a spontaneous reaction thereof, there being no opportunity for deliberately fabricating the statement. In other words, the statement which is a part of resgestae does not narrate a past event, but it is the event itself speaking through a person thus excluding the possibility of any design behind it." 

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