Question: ‘A’ an accused is prosecuted under Section 302, I.P.C. There is no direct evidence of the offence but there is circumstantial evidence against A. Can A be convicted only on the ground of circumstantial evidence? If so, when? Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [‘A’ an accused is prosecuted under Section 302,… Read More »

Question: ‘A’ an accused is prosecuted under Section 302, I.P.C. There is no direct evidence of the offence but there is circumstantial evidence against A. Can A be convicted only on the ground of circumstantial evidence? If so, when? Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [‘A’ an accused is prosecuted under Section 302, I.P.C. There is no direct evidence of the offence but there is circumstantial evidence against A. Can A be convicted only on the ground...

Question: ‘A’ an accused is prosecuted under Section 302, I.P.C. There is no direct evidence of the offence but there is circumstantial evidence against A. Can A be convicted only on the ground of circumstantial evidence? If so, when?

Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [‘A’ an accused is prosecuted under Section 302, I.P.C. There is no direct evidence of the offence but there is circumstantial evidence against A. Can A be convicted only on the ground of circumstantial evidence? If so, when?]

Answer

Circumstantial evidence is incident evidence. It does not prove the point in question directly but establishes it only by drawing inferences. Circumstantial evidence means that some fact has to be inferred from another fact. For example, A person who ran out of the room with blood on their hands could be murdered. Here, the inference is drawn on grounds of prudence, common sense.

But because ‘may’ is there to hold the person liable inference is said to have both the two aspects i.e. the alleged person has done or has not done the offence are possible. Only one inference is not sufficient by if [roved that knife used as a means to commit murder was recovered from such person or he has a rivalry with the deceased. However, if any reasonably prudent man could infer from all chain of circumstances that murder was omitted by that person only, then it is circumstantial evidence.

It is to be noted that when the chain of circumstances connects logically with the ‘fact in issue’ and then if it is put forth before any logical or prudent person who infers that yes A had committed the murder, then it becomes circumstantial evidence. Because the decision is not made based on one inference by after seeing entire inferences in totality then make a chain of circumstances which any prudent man will say there is no other hypothesis left or possibility left except the guilt of the person in question that is has committed the offence.

As the name suggests of circumstantial evidence; the circumstances connect together logically and make a chain that leads to no other conclusion but the guilt of the alleged person. In case, there are two conclusions that he may have or may not have done, then, in that case, the benefit will go to the accused.

So, only when the chain of circumstance is complete and it leads to no other conclusion but the guilt of the accused then the chain of circumstance is said to be complete and circumstantial evidence stands at par with direct evidence as terms of relevancy inadmissibility as evidence and then a conviction can be based on the circumstantial evidence alone.

As per Wadhwa, J. in State of Tamil Nadu v. Nalini [1999] case, the court observed the well-known rule governing circumstantial evidence is that each and every incriminating circumstance must be clearly established by reliable evidence and “the circumstances proved must form a chain of events from which the only irresistible conclusion about the guilt of the accused can be safely drawn and no other hypothesis against the guilt is possible.

Similarly, in the famous case of Bodh Raj v. State of Jammu & Kashmir 2002 Cr LJ 4664 (SC), Court held that circumstantial evidence can be a sole basis for conviction provided the conditions as stated below is fully satisfied. Conditions are:

  1. The circumstances from which guilt is established must be fully proved;
  2. That all the facts must be consistent with the hypothesis of the guilt of the accused;
  3. That the circumstances must be of a conclusive nature and tendency;
  4. That the circumstances should, to a moral certainty, actually exclude every hypothesis except the one proposed to be proved.

In Ramawati Devi v. State of Bihar [(1983)1 SCC 211], the has ruled the important role played by circumstantial evidence which can be held to become the sole basis of conviction of the accused, wherein it has been held as follows:-

“What evidentiary value or weight has to be attached to such statement, must necessarily depend on the facts and circumstances of each particular case. In a proper case, it may be permissible to convict a person only on the basis of a dying declaration in the light of the facts and circumstances of the case……..”

Further, as pointed out by Fazal Ali, J, in V.C. Shukla v. State [1980 AIR 1382] in most cases it will be difficult to get direct evidence of the agreement, but a conspiracy can be inferred even from circumstances giving rise to a conclusive or irresistible inference of an agreement between two or more persons to commit an offence.

So, in the present facts of the caseA’ an accused can be prosecuted under Section 302, I.P.C on the sole basis of circumstantial evidence against provided all chain of circumstances is complete leaving no hypothesis but the guilt of A.


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 2021-09-14T05:52:12+05:30
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