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evidence_law:alibi

Plea of Alibi

Section 11 of the Indian Evidence Act , “when facts not otherwise relevant become relevant”. It reads as follows Facts not otherwise relevant are relevant–

  1. If they are inconsistent with any fact in issue or relevant fact;
  2. If by themselves or in connection with other facts they make the existence or non-existence of any fact in issue or relevant fact highly probable or improbable relevant fact highly probable or improbable.

As stated above, Section 11 comprises of two clauses. First clause provides that the facts, which are inconsistent with the facts in issue or relevant facts, are relevant. The second clause provides that the facts, which by themselves or in connection with other facts make the existence or non-existence of any facts in issue or relevant fact highly probable or improbable, are relevant.

Clause 1 of Section 11 contains five common instances/ cases of inconsistent facts as stated below:

  1. Alibi;
  2. Absence or non-access of husband;
  3. Survival of the alleged deceased;
  4. Commission of an offence by a third person; and
  5. Self-infliction of harm alleged. Among the above, alibi is of great importance.

Alibi

The word ‘Alibi’ is derived from the Latin word, which means ‘elsewhere’. Section 11 of the Indian Evidence Acts explains the concept of ‘Facts not otherwise relevant become relevant’ and makes the provision as a defending ground for the accused. The simplest meaning of this section is a condition when the incident took place and the accused is charged for the incident then he may make defend him on explaining that at the time of the incident he was not present at the location. Although previously it was not relevant for the court to know that where he was as the investigation showed that he committed the crime but his explanation that he was not at the place of incident make the irrelevant facts a relevant fact. The important part of Section 11 of the Evidence Act is that this rule is only accepted in the course of admission of the evidence and no other statute provides such rule. The plea of alibi has to be taken on the very first stage of the trial and must be proved without any reasonable doubt as the burden of proof is on the person who is taking advantage of Section 10 i.e., Plea of Alibi.

Essentials of Plea of Alibi

  • There must be an offence punishable by the law.
  • The person taking the defence of Section 10 should be accused of that particular offence punishable by the law.
  • The defence must be satisfactory and beyond any reasonable doubt.
  • The defence must be backed by evidence.

Case Laws

Sahabuddin & Anr vs the State of Assam, Criminal Appeal No. 629 of 2010

Once the court is in doubt with respect to plea of alibi and the accused does not give any substantive explanation to support his statement under Section 313 CrPC then the Court is authorised to conclude a negative or not a positive inference against the accused.

Lakhan Singh @ Pappu v. The State of NCT of Delhi, Delhi HC Crl. Appeal No. 166/1999

A plea of alibi cannot be compared with a plea of self-defence although both the plea is to be taken on the very first instance of the court proceedings.

Jitender Kumar v. State of Haryana, (2012) 6 SSC 2014

The Court not believing the plea of alibi as the accused did not provide the sufficient supportive evidence for establishing the defence. And the Court supported the case from the prosecution side.

Absence or non-access of husband

Where legitimacy of a child is in question the absence or non-access of husband is a relevant fact because legitimacy of the offspring implies a begetting by the husband. (For detail see Section 112, Evidence Act).

Survival of the alleged deceased

Where A is alleged to have killed B on a particular date the fact that after that date B was seen alive is a relevant fact as being inconsistent with this being killed on that date. (See for details Section 107 and 108 of the Evidence Act).

Commission of an offence by a third person

Where A is charged with a crime committed by himself alone, any evidence which includes that B might have committed the crime may be received. Threats by a third person or motive of such third person are generally offered to prove that he and not the accused have committed the alleged crime.

Self-infliction of harm alleged

Where A is charged with murder of B, if it is proved that B has committed suicide A cannot be convicted for murder of B. Where a lover was charged with murder of a woman, whose body was found in a river the fact that during the week before her death she had actually attempted to down herself and had been prevented from doing so was held to be relevant to show that she might have made a second attempt.

About the Author

  • Adv. Abhishek Gupta (Natraj Legal Solutions)
  • Delhi High Court
  • Ph: 9999052336,8700521407


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Created on 2020/12/14 15:51 by Japhin Raj • Last modified on 2020/12/14 17:10 by LawPage