• Notice under section 66 of Evidence Act

I resigned from service with effect from 1-8-2006 from up govt. undertaking due to personal problems at 54 years. In 2011 a case was filed that some file which I worked on in 1998 was missing. Now I have been served a notice under section 66 of the evidence act to present myself before the enquiry officer. I am 64 years and my wife is suffering from genetical problems. I have to cook food for her thereby restricting my movements. Is it mandatory  for me to present before the enquiry officer.
Asked 6 months ago in Labour from Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh
Religion: None
Section 66 in The Indian Evidence Act, 1872
66. Rules as to notice to produce.—Secondary evidence of the contents of the documents referred to in section 65, clause
(a) , shall not be given unless the party proposing to give such secondary evidence has previously given to the party in whose possession or power the document is, 1[or to his attorney or pleader,] such notice to produce it as is prescribed by law; and if no notice is prescribed by law, then such notice as the Court considers reasonable under the circumstances of the case:—Secondary evidence of the contents of the documents referred to in section 65, clause (a), shall not be given unless the party proposing to give such secondary evidence has previously given to the party in whose possession or power the document is, 1[or to his attorney or pleader,] such notice to produce it as is prescribed by law; and if no notice is prescribed by law, then such notice as the Court considers reasonable under the circumstances of the case\:" Provided that such notice shall not be required in order to render secondary evidence admissible in any of the following cases, or in any other case in which the Court thinks fit to dispense with it:—
(1) when the document to be proved is itself a notice;
(2) when, from the nature of the case, the adverse party must know that he will be required to produce it;
(3) when it appears or is proved that the adverse party has obtained possession of the original by fraud or force;
(4) when the adverse party or his agent has the original in Court;
(5) when the adverse party or his agent has admitted the loss of the document;
(6) when the person in possession of the document is out of reach of, or not subject to, the process of the Court.


If your department has served the notice to you then you should give a reply suitably to it and also better do not avoid attend the hearing before the enquiry officer.
Until you dont present yourself before the presiding  officer/enquiry  officer you will not come to know about the actual case and the proceedings that have been initiated and for what allegations  you have been impleaded on which basis  etc.
If you are not comfortable with the specified date, you may request for another date.
T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
14069 Answers
127 Consultations
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give your advice with full reference of acts and provisions.

The provision of law has already been given in my previous answer.  However without knowing what exactly the case is, it will be difficult or improper to give any opinion to the issue.
T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
14069 Answers
127 Consultations
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1) if you have been issued notice by the inquiry officer you must assist in investigations 

2) if it is not convenient to appear in the date mentioned n the notice you can seek short  adjournment and appear on the next date 

3) your statement would be recorded by the inquiry officer regarding the missing file
Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
23291 Answers
1220 Consultations
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What are the consequences if I do not present my- self. I get only a pension of rs. 1500/ out of contributions out of my pf deposits through EPFO.

If you do not present yourself and are considered to be avoiding it intentionally, then a decision will be taken agaisnt you in your absence without hearing you.  After the you may have to face the legal consequences whatever the authority decides.
T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
14069 Answers
127 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
As per the evidence act sec.66 notice is necessary to mark a photostat copy in a trial.

2) you have been asked  to produce the original. If  you  refuses to produce you copy of the document can be  marked in evidence 
Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
23291 Answers
1220 Consultations
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If the notice has been served then by abstaining yourself you will give an opportunity to the enquiry officer to pass an adverse order against you in your absence. So better appear before him personally or through a lawyer to answer the queries and also defend yourself. 
Ashish Davessar
Advocate, Jaipur
18158 Answers
449 Consultations
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The amount of pension that you receive is immaterial to the fate of enquiry.
Ashish Davessar
Advocate, Jaipur
18158 Answers
449 Consultations
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Not at all.
Ashish Davessar
Advocate, Jaipur
18158 Answers
449 Consultations
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1) no you should not aggravate the issue

2) it is in your interest to cooperate with the inquiry officer 
Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
23291 Answers
1220 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
It is your duty to present before the enquiry officer. 

This Section 66 of evidence act should be read along with O XI R 15 of the CPC which prescribes the kind of notice required to produce a document in civil cases. Further, Sections 94 to 98 of the Code of Criminal Procedure lays down the procedure to be followed in criminal cases and Section 175 of the Indian Penal Code says that it is an offence to for any person who is legally bound to produce a document to any public servant to intentionally omit to do so.
In Surendra Kriahnan Roy v. Mirza Mohd. Syed Ali Matwali, 1935, it was held that such notice may be dispensed with if the Court thinks that it is fit to dispense with it. However, a party was held not to be entitled to produce secondary evidence of a document which it had not required the other party (who was in possession of the original) to produce in the original in Oriental Fire and General Insurance Co. v. Chandrawali, 1989.Secondary evidence, as a general rule is admissible only in the absence of primary evidence. Secondary evidence is evidence which may be given in the absence of that better evidence which law requires to be given first, when a proper explanation of its absence is given.

If you  are not convenient to appear in the date mentioned in the notice, then  you may seek short  adjournment and appear on the next date.
Ajay N S
Advocate, Ernakulam
1916 Answers
19 Consultations
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The investigating officer is doing his duty, you can defend yourself instead of agitating the matter which will indicate that you are at wrong, so challenge it legally and try get out of the mess properly.
T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
14069 Answers
127 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0

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