Question: What is the Plea of alibi? Describe the nature and extension of its burden of proving? Explain the effect of its failure on the case of the prosecution. [U.P.H.J.S. 2018] Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [What is the Plea of alibi? Describe the nature and extension of its burden of proving?… Read More »

Question: What is the Plea of alibi? Describe the nature and extension of its burden of proving? Explain the effect of its failure on the case of the prosecution. [U.P.H.J.S. 2018] Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [What is the Plea of alibi? Describe the nature and extension of its burden of proving? Explain the effect of its failure on the case of the prosecution.] Answer The term “Alibi” is a Latin word that implies – elsewhere or some another...

Question: What is the Plea of alibi? Describe the nature and extension of its burden of proving? Explain the effect of its failure on the case of the prosecution. [U.P.H.J.S. 2018]

Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [What is the Plea of alibi? Describe the nature and extension of its burden of proving? Explain the effect of its failure on the case of the prosecution.]

Answer

The term “Alibi” is a Latin word that implies – elsewhere or some another place. The usual theory of essential inconsistency is that a certain fact cannot co-exist with the doing of the act in question, and, therefore, that if that fact is true of a person of whom the act is alleged, it is impossible that he should have done the act. Thus the fact of presence elsewhere is essentially inconsistent with the presence at the place and time alleged, and therefore with personal participation in the act is the basis of the theory of alibi.

The plea of “alibi” has to be weighed against the positive evidence led by the prosecution, i.e., not only the substantive evidence of the witness and the dying declarations but also against the scientific evidence, viz., the DNA analysis, fingerprint analysis and bite marks analysis, the accuracy of which is scientifically acclaimed.

Section 11 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 is expounded with the Plea of Alibi.

In Binay Kumar Singh v. The State of Bihar, (1997) 1 SCC 283, the court has ruled that Plea of alibi is not an exception (special or general) envisaged in the Indian Penal Code or any other law but is a rule of evidence recognized by Section 11 of the Evidence Act that facts inconsistent with fact in issue are relevant. However, it can’t be the only real link or sole circumstance to reveal conviction.

When one fact is critical to the hypothesis of the guilt of the accused, but strikingly absent within the chain of direct evidence, the prosecution case certainly will fail. Because of an alibi the relevancy of which is completely inconsistent with the hypothesis that the accused had committed an offence.

Illustration – A is accused of B’s murder on a specific date at Kanpur. Thereon day A was at Pune, has relevancy to prove the plea of Alibi. Now A will prove that it might be impossible for him to commit murder at Kanpur as he was in Pune.

The Supreme Court has observed that it is well settled that the plea of alibi must be proved with absolute certainty so as to completely exclude the possibility of the presence of the person concerned at the place of occurrence.

The court in the case of Dhananjoy Chatterjee v. State of West Bengal, (1994) 2 SCC 220, has held that the plea of alibi must be proved by cogent and satisfactory evidence completely excluding the possibility of the presence of the accused at the scene of occurrence at the relevant time. The court found that the belated and vague plea of alibi was only an afterthought.

Plea of Alibi relies on Roman principle, “ei qui non negat incumbite probation”. It means who claims needs to prove it not the party who negates. When the accused took the plea of alibi the burden of proof lies on him under section 103 of this Act. If a person is charged with murder he is to prove that he was elsewhere. The plea of alibi has to be taken at the earliest opportunity and it has to be proved to the satisfaction of the court.

It is to note that the mere inability of the accused to establish the plea does not infer that the accused was present at the place of the crime. When one fact is necessary to the hypothesis of the guilt of the accused but strikingly absent in the chain of circumstantial evidence, the prosecution case certainly will fail. Because of an alibi, the relevancy of which is totally inconsistent with the hypothesis that the accused had committed an offence.

The failure to prove the plea of alibi establishes on part of the accused that the accused takes a plea of alibi would not support the prosecution’s side because accused not be concluded that he was present at the place of the crime, the prosecution will have to show relative evidence that accused did not occur any crime.


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 2021-09-19T09:48:12+05:30
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