CHARACTER WHEN RELEVANT – EVIDENCE ACT
52. In civil cases character to prove conduct imputed, irrelevant.
In civil cases, the fact that the character of any person concerned is such as to render probable or improbably any conduct imputed to him, is irrelevant except in so far as such character appears from facts otherwise relevant.
53. In criminal cases, previous good character relevant.
In criminal proceedings the fact that the person accused is of good character, is relevant.
53A. Evidence of character or previous sexual experience not relevant in certain cases.
In the prosecution for an offence under section 354, section 354A, section 354B, section 354C, section 354D, section 376, section 376A, section 376AB*, section 376B, section 376C, section 376D, section 376DA*, section 376DB* or section 376E of the Indian penal code or for attempt to commit any such offence where the question of consent is in issue, Evidence of the character of the victim or of such person’s previous sexual experience with any person shall not be relevant on the issue of such consent or the quality of consent.
*Here is the full 2018 Amendment that added these sections.
54. Previous bad character not relevant except in reply.
In criminal proceedings the fact that the accused person had a bad character is irrelevant, unless evidence has been given that he has a character in which case it becomes relevant.
This section does not apply to cases in which the bad character of any person is itself a fact in issue.
A previous conviction is relevant as evidence of bad character.
55. Character as affecting damages.
In civil cases, the fact that the character of any person is such as to affect the amount of damages which he ought to receive is relevant.
In Section 52, 53, 54 and 55, the word “character” includes both reputation and disposition; but except as provided in Section 54, evidence may be given only a general reputation and general disposition and not of particular acts by which reputation or disposition was shown.
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