Defence Act, 1954

Evidence at courts-martial.

201.—(1) The rules of evidence to be adopted in proceedings before courts-martial shall be the same as those which are for the time being followed in civil courts.

(2) (a) In this subsection, the expression “summary of evidence” means evidence in relation to a charge against an accused taken down in writing in accordance with rules of procedure in that behalf.

(b) Where a statement of evidence given on oath by a witness against an accused is contained in a summary of evidence—

(i) subject to subparagraph (ii) of this paragraph, the statement may be read as evidence at the trial of the accused by court-martial, if it is proved that—

(I) the witness is dead or insane or so ill as to be unable to attend the trial, and

(II) the statement was made in the presence of the accused, and

(III) the accused or his counsel or representative had an opportunity of cross-examining the witness,

(ii) if the witness is insane or so ill as to be unable to attend the trial, the statement shall not be read without the accused's consent.

(3) No person shall at any proceedings before a court-martial be required to answer any question or to produce any document which he could not be required to answer or produce in similar proceedings before a civil court.