The learned counsel for the plaintiff submitted that since the defendanthad only pleaded that the premises in suit was constructed before theHousing and Town Improvement Ordinance came into operation, theaforesaid question put to the defendant by his counsel in examination-in-chief is not relevant to the fact in issue which is, whether the house wasbuilt before or after the Housing and Town Improvement Ordinance cameinto operation. Issue No. 10 has been raised on this question. It reads asfollows:
Amarasekera vs Mohamed
(Wimalachandra, J.)
connected”. Therefore, certain facts even though logically relevant areinadmissible. They are, hearsay, opinions of witness, character etc. Thefacts that a Court has to consider are either facts in issue or relevantfacts.
With regard to this appeal the fact in issue is whether the premises insuit was in existence before the Housing and Town Improvements Ordinancecame into operation. The fact that there had been tenants in the saidpremises before the said Ordinance came into operation is a relevant fact.In my mind these two facts are relevant to each other and it falls within theaforesaid Stephen’s definition of relevance.
Section 7 of the Evidence Ordinance states thus:
“Facts which are the occasion, cause, or effect,immediate or otherwise, of relevant facts, or facts in issue,or which constitute the state of things under which theyhappened or which afforded an opportunity for theiroccurrence or transaction, are relevant.’’
Section 7 of our Evidence Ordinance is identical to the section 7 of theIndian Evidence Act. Therefore I can refer to the Indian judgments andcommentaries of Indian jurists.
Ratnalal and Dhirajlal in ‘The Law of Evidence” 19th edition, 1997 atpage 38, referring to section 7 of the Evidence Act has made the followingcomment.
“This section admits very large class of facts connectedwith facts in issue or relevant facts, though not forming
part of the same transactionEvidence relating to
collateral facts is admissible when such facts will, ifestablished, establish reasonable presumption as to thematter in dispute and when such evidence is reasonablyconclusive.’’
Sri Lanka Law Reports
(2006) 2 Sri L R.
The subsequent fact is relevant and these two facts are related to oneanother and it falls within the aforesaid Stephen’s definition of relevance.
The fact in issue is the fact to be proved, which is called factumprobandum, while the relevant facts are the facts by which such proof is tobe adduced which are called facta probans. In the instant case the fact inissue is whether the premises in suit was constructed before the Housingand Town Improvement Ordinance came into operation. The fact intendedto prove the fact in issue is whether the tenants had been in the premisesin suit before the said Ordinance came into operation, which is relevant toprove the fact is issue.
Section 7 of the Evidence Ordinance admits facts connected with factsin issue or relevant facts. Evidence relating to relevant facts if established,establish reasonable presumption as to the matter in dispute, the fact inissue.
In the circumstances in order to prove the fact in issue in the aforesaidissue No. 10, that the premises had been constructed before the Housingand Town Improvement Ordinance came into operation, the evidence withregard to the former tenants is a relevant fact to prove the fact in issue.
For these reasons I set aside the said order of the Additional DistrictJudge dated 05.03.2002 and direct the learned Additional District Judge toallow the appellant to adduce evidence in respect of the previous tenantsof the premises in suit. Accordingly the appeal is allowed with costs.
Appeal allowed.
District Judge directed to allow the defendant to adduce evidence in respectof previous tenants.