Question: ‘A’ an accused is prosecuted for the murder of B. The evidence adduced before the trial court shows that there are 75% chances of committing the murder of B by A but 25% chances of not committing the murder of B by A. Presuming yourself to be a Sessions Judge (trial court), what would be your Judgement?… Read More »

Question: ‘A’ an accused is prosecuted for the murder of B. The evidence adduced before the trial court shows that there are 75% chances of committing the murder of B by A but 25% chances of not committing the murder of B by A. Presuming yourself to be a Sessions Judge (trial court), what would be your Judgement? Whether the judgment will result in conviction or acquittal of the accused A? Give reasons and also refer to the case law, if any, on the point. Find the answer to the...

Question: ‘A’ an accused is prosecuted for the murder of B. The evidence adduced before the trial court shows that there are 75% chances of committing the murder of B by A but 25% chances of not committing the murder of B by A. Presuming yourself to be a Sessions Judge (trial court), what would be your Judgement? Whether the judgment will result in conviction or acquittal of the accused A? Give reasons and also refer to the case law, if any, on the point.

Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [‘A’ an accused is prosecuted for the murder of B. The evidence adduced before the trial court shows that there are 75% chances of committing the murder of B by A but 25% chances of not committing the murder of B by A. Presuming yourself to be a Sessions Judge (trial court), what would be your Judgement?]

Answer

The cardinal principle of criminal jurisprudence is that the accused is presumed to be innocent unless proved to be guilty by the prosecution and the accused is entitled to the benefit of every reasonable doubt.

Another golden thread that runs through the web of administration of criminal justice is that if two views are possible on the evidence – one pointing to the guilt and the other towards innocence, the view which is favourable to the accused should be accepted.

This principle of reasonability is offspring of another principle on which our entire Criminal Justice System is based- let 100 criminals go untouched, but one innocent should not be punished. That is the reason why the guilt of the accused is to be proved beyond any reasonable doubt.

As in England so also in India, the general burden of proof is upon the prosecution; and if, on the basis of the evidence adduced by the prosecution or by the accused, there is a reasonable doubt whether the accused committed the offence he is entitled to the benefit of the doubt. The Allahabad High court in Rishi Kesh Singh And Ors. v. State [AIR 1970 All 51] held that if the Judge has such reasonable doubt, he has to acquit the accused, for in that event the prosecution will have failed to prove conclusively the guilt of the accused.

Section 3 of the Indian Evidence Act defines the concepts ‘proved’, ‘disproved’, and ‘not proved’. This section mainly deals with the standard of proof statutorily prescribed to decide any dispute brought before any court of law. The standard of proof statutorily required as per section 3 is one of ‘preponderance of probability.’ It does not speak anything about ‘proof beyond reasonable doubt’ though the degree of proof required in a criminal case is higher than ‘preponderance of probability.’

It is true that one of the first elements of criminal jurisprudence is that even if a hundred guilty persons are let free, not even a single person should be punished. But at the same time, all efforts must be made by the court to find out the real guilty. Though the consequence of an erroneous conviction has a serious impact on the accused, letting out the real guilty will have a serious repercussion on society. As per Justice Malimath Committee, the motto of criminal justice is the quest for truth.

The Hon’ble SC in the case of State of UP v. Krishna Gopal and Anr [AIR 1988 SC] has explained the concept of ‘Reasonable Doubt succinctly and observed that though criminal courts insist on a higher degree of proof, it is not an absolute standard.

The same was subsequently followed by the court in State of MP v. [email protected] Singh & Ors. [2004 13 SCC] that doubts would be called reasonable if they are free from a zest of abstract speculation and that reasonable doubt is not an imaginary, trivial, or a merely possible doubt; but a fair doubt based on reason and common sense. Reasonable doubt thus must grow out of the evidence in the case or from the lack of it as opposed to mere vague apprehensions.

Thus, in the present case at hand, based on the above reasoning and judicial pronouncements given by the Apex Court it is safe to say that prosecution of the murder case against A when there are 75% chances of committing the murder of B by A but 25% chances of not committing the murder of B by A, the judgment will result in conviction of the accused A. Hence, A shall be prosecuted for the offence of murder of B unless the evidence is disproved by the accused.


Important Mains Questions Series for Judiciary, APO & University Exams

  1. Law of Evidence Mains Questions Series Part-I
  2. Law of Evidence Mains Questions Series Part-II
  3. Law of Evidence Mains Questions Series Part-III
  4. Law of Evidence Mains Questions Series Part-IV
  5. Law of Evidence Mains Questions Series Part-V
  6. Law of Evidence Mains Questions Series Part-VI
  7. Law of Evidence Mains Questions Series Part-VII
  8. Law of Evidence Mains Questions Series Part-VIII
  9. Law of Evidence Mains Questions Series Part-IX
  10. Law of Evidence Mains Questions Series Part-X
Updated On 2021-09-14T06:44:29+05:30
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