Corroboration of Evidence u/s 157 of IEA

Corroborative evidence u/s 157 IEA

Corroboration means establishing or strengthening anything with any other evidence or facts, in the form of statements. The Section 157 of the Indian Evidence Act (IEA) deals with corroboration of evidence.

Statement can be either written or oral

Under Section 157 IEA, a statement means something that is stated. It can be  either in writing or in oral form. Tape recorded statement is also a statement which can be corroborated under this provision.

A former statement needs to be proved to corroborate the testimony

A former statement given by a witness before any authority legally competent to investigate the case at or about the time when the fact took place, needs to be proved to corroborate any later testimony (relating to the same fact or event) given by the witness in the court. Then the former statement is admitted as corroborative evidence when it is consistent with the later testimony.

Corroborative evidence stands on a sound proposition that one who is consistent deserves to be believed.

Two things are essential in corroboration u/s 157 IEA

To corroborate under Section 157 of the IEA, two things are necessary: One is that the witness should have given testimony with respect to a fact in the court and another is that he should have made a statement earlier with respect to the same fact at or about the time when the fact took place or before any authority legally competent to investigate the fact.

But to make the former statement admissible under Section 157 IEA it is not necessary that the witness need not say in his testimony in the court that he had made the former statement [ Ram Ratan v State of Rajasthan: AIR 1962 SC 424].

The term at or about the time u/s 157 means

The phrase at or about the time when the fact took place means that the statement must be made at once or at least shortly after a reasonable time of the occurrence of the event.

Former statement must have been by the same witness

In corroboration under Section 157 IEA, the previous statement should have been made by the same witness [Nassar Ali v State of Uttar Pradesh: AIR 1957 SC 366].

However, in Dhanabal v State of Tamil Nadu [ AIR 1980 SC 628], the Supreme Court (SC)  says the statement of one witness can be corroborated with that of another.

The contents of a letter would amount to a previous statement when the writer of the letter is being examined as a witness in a court to take his testimony.

FIS can be used for corroboration

First Information Statement (FIS) is not a substantive piece of evidence. It can only be used to corroborate the statement of the maker in the court.

When the FIS is corroborated, it will become a corroborative piece of evidence which the court can make use of. If not corroborated, the FIS remains as a mere statement which the court cannot rely on as evidence.

Section 164 statement can be used for corroboration

Similarly, a statement of a witness given under Section 164 of the CrPC can be corroborated under Section 157 of IEA.

However, the statement given by the witness under Section 161 of the CrPC cannot be used for corroboration.

Plaint in a previous suit is a previous statement

Plaint in a previous suit can be described as a previous statement when the plaintiff himself comes to give evidence in court in another matter.


In short, when a former statement of a person remains consistent with the testimony he has given in a judicial proceeding in a court, the former statement becomes corroborative one, which would make the statement believable as true.


The Indian Evidence Act, 1872