Intricacies in Taking Judicial Notice, by Dr. V.R. Dinkar

The doctrine of judicial notice allows the adjudication of facts without formal evidentiary requirements. If a fact is judicially noticed it is presumed to be conclusive, which means the fact need not to be proved. The courts often take notice of a fact that is familiar and notorious. However, there are intricacies in deciding whether a particular fact is open to judicial notice since there are certain facts which concerning science, the personal knowledge of judges, public record of a court of law etc. Similarly, the history of the doctrine of judicial notice shows that there is confusion regarding the conclusiveness of the fact once judicially noticed by a superior court of law. This article explores the doctrine of judicial notice, in particular its application on scientific facts, and also attempts to resolve some of the confusion connected with its effect on the trial of facts.  The article also argues that it is not wise to consider the issues surrounding the application and effect of the doctrine of judicial notice in a perplexed manner and argues that there is no need to create a rule of law in considering judicially noticed facts as absolute proof; and instead reserve it for the application of judicial discretion whenever necessary, subjecting it to the review mechanism of the appellate courts.