Evidence Act 1950 [Act 56]

50 Opinion on relationship when relevant

(1) When the court has to form an opinion as to the relationship of one person to another, the opinion expressed by conduct as to the existence of such relationship of any person who as a member of the family or otherwise has special means of knowledge on the subject, is a relevant fact.

(2) Such opinion shall not be sufficient to prove a marriage in prosecutions under section 494, 495 or 498 of the Penal Code [Act 574].


(a) The question is whether A and B were married.

The fact that they were usually received and treated by their friends as husband and wife is relevant.

(b) The question is whether A was a legitimate son of B.

The fact that A was always treated as such by members of the family is relevant.

51 Grounds of opinion when relevant

Whenever the opinion of any living person is relevant, the grounds on which his opinion is based are also relevant.


An expert may give an account of experiments performed by him for the purpose of forming his opinion.

Character when Relevant

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 improbable any conduct imputed to him is irrelevant, except so far as his 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 a good character is relevant.

54 Previous bad character not relevant except in reply

(1) In criminal proceedings the fact that the accused person has a bad character is irrelevant, unless evidence has been given that he has a good character, in which case it becomes relevant.

(2) A person charged and called as a witness shall not be asked, and if asked shall not be required to answer, any question tending to show that he has committed, or been convicted of or been charged with, any offence other than that wherewith he is then charged, or is of bad character, unless-

(a) the proof that he has committed or been convicted of that other offence is admissible evidence to show that he is guilty of the offence wherewith he is then charged;

(b) he has personally or by his advocate asked questions of the witnesses for the prosecution with a view to establish his own good character, or has given evidence of his good character, or the nature or conduct of the defence is such as to involve imputations on the character of the prosecutor or the witnesses for the prosecution; or

(c) he has given evidence against any other person charged with the same offence.

Explanation 1-This section does not apply to cases in which the bad character of any person is itself a fact in issue.

Explanation 2-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.

Explanation-In sections 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 of general reputation and general disposition, and not of particular acts by which reputation or disposition is shown.