Question: What do you mean by the term burden of proof? [U.P.C.J. 2012, M.P.C.J. 2006, U.P.H.J.S. 2016] or II. Explain with reasons on whom the burden of proof lies in the mentioned cases: A desires the Court to give judgment that B shall be punished for a crime which A says B has committed. A desires the Court… Read More »

Question: What do you mean by the term burden of proof? [U.P.C.J. 2012, M.P.C.J. 2006, U.P.H.J.S. 2016] or II. Explain with reasons on whom the burden of proof lies in the mentioned cases: A desires the Court to give judgment that B shall be punished for a crime which A says B has committed. A desires the Court to give judgment that he is entitled to certain land in possession of B, A asserts and B denies. A, accused of murder, alleges that by reason of unsoundness of mind he did not...

Question: What do you mean by the term burden of proof? [U.P.C.J. 2012, M.P.C.J. 2006, U.P.H.J.S. 2016]

or

II. Explain with reasons on whom the burden of proof lies in the mentioned cases:

  1. A desires the Court to give judgment that B shall be punished for a crime which A says B has committed.

  2. A desires the Court to give judgment that he is entitled to certain land in possession of B, A asserts and B denies.

  3. A, accused of murder, alleges that by reason of unsoundness of mind he did not know the nature of the act.

Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [What do you mean by the term burden of proof? or Explain with reasons on whom the burden of proof lies..]

Answer

Sections 101 to 111 of the Indian Evidence Act lay down provisions regarding who is to lead evidence and prove the case. These rules are called rules relating to ‘Burden of Proof’.

The burden of proof means the obligation to prove a fact. Every party has to establish facts that go in his favour or against his opponent. And this is the burden of proof. The strict meaning of the term ‘burden of proof (onus probandi) is that if no evidence is given by the party on whom the burden is passed the issue must be found against him. The phrase “burden of proof” has two distinct meanings:

  1. The burden of proof as a matter of law and pleading- i.e., the burden of proving all the facts or establishing one’s case. This burden rests upon the party, whether plaintiff or defendant, who substantially asserts the affirmative of the issue. It is fixed, at the beginning of the trial, by the statements of pleadings, and it is settled as a question of law, remaining unchanged under any circumstances whatever (Section 101).
  2. The burden of proof as a matter of adducing evidence rests either at the beginning or at any particular stage of the case. It is always unstable and may shift constantly throughout the trial (Sections 102-103). It lies at first on the party who would be unsuccessful if no evidence at all was given on either side. The burden must shift as soon as he produces evidence which prima facie gives rise to a presumption in his favour. It may again shift back on him if the rebutting evidence produced by his opponent preponderates. This being the position, the question as to the onus of proof’s only a rule for deciding on whom the obligation rests of going further if he wishes to win.

I. On whom does the burden lie during the trial before the Court?

The term burden of proof is dealt with in part III, chapter VII, section 101 to 114A of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872. Following are the provisions under the Indian Evidence Act that deals with on whom does the burden of proof lies during the trial before the court.

1. Section 101 of the Indian Evidence Act talks about the Burden of Proof as it states

‘Whoever desires any court to give judgment as to any legal right or liability dependent on the existence of facts which he asserts, must prove that those facts exist. When a person is bound to prove, the existence of any fact, it is said that the burden of proof lies on that person.” In the case of Narbada Devi Gupta v. Birendra Kumar Jaiswal [(2003) 8 SCC 745], where a landlord seeks eviction on the ground of bona fide personal need, the burden lies upon him to establish that he is genuinely in need of accommodation.

2. Section 102

This section tries to locate the party on which the burden of proof lies. It says that the burden shall lie on the party which shall fail if no evidence were given from either side. Hence, this section focuses on the evidential burden or the ‘onus of proof,’

3. Section 103

This section states that the burden of proof, regarding any particular fact, shall lie on that person who wants the court to believe in its existence, unless, the law requires some particular person to prove that fact. This section broadly lays down that whoever asserts something in a court, has to prove it.

4. Section 104

This section states that when the admissibility of one fact depends on another fact, the party who wants to admit such fact must prove the other fact on which admissibility depends. Illustration (a) to this section makes it clear: ‘A’ wishes to prove a dying declaration by ‘B.’ A must prove B’s death.

5. Section 105

This section only applies to criminal cases. The preceding sections applied to civil, as well as criminal cases. If an accused has been established to be guilty of an offence and he takes the defence of any of the general exceptions mentioned in the Indian Penal Code, 1860 or any other defence provided in any act within which the offence committed comes under, he has to prove it.

In the leading case of KM Nanavati v. State of Maharashtra (AIR 1962 SC 605), a naval officer was held guilty of murdering his wife’s paramour. The accused could not prove that he fired the shots accidentally or in self-defence.

6. Section 106

It states if any fact is especially within the knowledge of any person, the burden of proving that fact is upon him. For example, when a person is charged with travelling without a ticket, the burden lies on him to prove it as the fact that he bought a ticket is only known to him. The principle behind this section is an application of the maxim, res ipsa loquitur.

II. Explain with reasons on whom the burden of proof lies in the mentioned cases

1. A desires the Court to give judgment that B shall be punished for a crime which A says B has committed

The facts of the present case are borrowed from Illustration (a) to section 101. In this illustration, ‘A’ desires a Court to give judgment that B shall be punished for a crime which ‘A’ says ‘B’ has committed. ‘A’ must prove that ‘B’ has committed the crime.”

In this case, the burden of establishing the case is on ‘A’ under section 101 and the burden of introducing the evidence is also on ‘A’ under section 103 because in Indian law a man is presumed to be innocent until he is proven guilty and by applying section 103 we do not find any law in force which says that any particular person has to prove the case.

2. A desires the Court to give judgment that he is entitled to certain land in possession of B, A asserts and B denies

The facts of the present case are borrowed from the Illustration (b) to section 101. in this illustration it is said that ‘A’ desires a Court to give judgment that he is entitled to certain land in the possession of ‘B’, by reason of facts which he asserts, and which ‘B’ denies, to be true. ‘A’ must prove the existence of those facts.”

From the facts of the case, we see that the ‘A’ will have the burden of establishing the case under section 101. Under section 102 he will have the burden to prove the case since he will fail if no evidence is adduced from either side since the presumption is that ‘B’ is the owner under section 110 of the evidence act, 1872.

Under section 103 ‘A’ will have the burden of proving that ‘B’ is not the owner since under section 110 of the evidence law it is specifically written that “When the question is whether any person is the owner since under section 110 of the evidence law it is specifically written that “When the question is whether any person is the owner of anything of which he is shown to be in possession, the burden of proving that he is not the owner is on the person who affirms that he is not the owner.”

3. A, accused of murder, alleges that by reason of unsoundness of mind he did not know the nature of the act

According to Section 102 says the burden of proof in a suit or proceeding lies on that person who would fail if no evidence at all were given on either side. For instance, in cases of insanity, the burden of proving that fact lies or the person who wants to rely on it.

Also, as per section when a person is accused of any offence, the burden of proving the existence of circumstances bringing the case within any of the General Exceptions in the IPC, or within any special exception or proviso contained in any other part of the same Code, or in any law defining the offence, is upon him, and the Court shall presume the absence of such circumstances.

Therefore, in the present case at hand, when A, accused of murder alleges that by reason of unsoundness of mind he did not know the nature of the act, the burden of proof lies on A to prove that he has committed the murder during unsoundness of mind as it he was not able to understand the nature and consequences of his act by reasons of unsoundness. Here ‘A’ is the accused so he will have the burden of proof that his case falls under the general exception of unsoundness of mind.

In Dayabhai v. State of Gujarat (AIR 1964 SC 1563), the Supreme Court held that it is the duty of the prosecution to establish, beyond reasonable doubt that the accused committed the offence. If the accused pleads insanity, it is his duty to prove so and his burden of proof is not as high as that of the prosecution. If the evidence provided by the accused does not create an absolute doubt, but even a reasonable one, regarding the ingredients of an offence, he could be acquitted.


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 2021-10-07T19:09:55+05:30
Admin LB

Admin LB

Next Story