When a civil relationship is established between two parties and when dispute arises, it is stipulated in our law the evidences that need to be brought to the attention of the court to demonstrate their points.
This means when a dispute arises in civil cases it is stipulated whether to attest with witnesses or if other means of demonstration is required.
Coming to Bailment of money, the kind of evidence that needs to be brought to court has been specified under Article 2782 of the civil code which states that the rules relating to loans of money will have to apply.
Article 2472(1) of the civil code specifies that where the sum lent exceeds 500.00 five hundred Ethiopian Birr the sum may only be proved in writing or by a confession or oath taken in court.
A judgment in the cassation bench was rendered regarding this on June 22, 2011. The matter was between the applicant Mr. Tadesse Demore and the respondent Mr. Getahun Leahamo. The respondent is claiming to have given 180,000 birr to the applicant in Bailment but the applicant is claiming to have not taken the money and that not sufficient evidence has been presented against him in court.
The lower court after analyzing the facts decided to render the applicant guilty and hence order the repayment of the money with interest.
The Matter reached the cassation bench. The bench while rendering its judgment stated that the amount of money in dispute is 180,000.00 which exceed the amount stated in Article 2472(1) of the Civil Code, i.e. 500 birr, and hence the sum may only be proved in writing or by a confession on oath taken in court and not by witnesses. Having said that, the bench dismissed the decision of lower courts.
What one infers from this is that the only evidence that is admissible in cases of money above the value of 500 birr is one that is in writing or by a confession or oath taken in court.
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