BLOG ON BURDEN OF PROOF
The rule of evidence is present in all stages of proceedings. They govern to prove the facts of the case. The provision of the burden of proof are provided under the Indian evidence act, 1872. The burden of proof lies in civil as well as in criminal cases. In criminal cases, it is a legal duty of the prosecutor to prove the fact of the case to an extent which is beyond the reasonable doubt. In civil cases, the Burden of Proof is a lighter only balance of probability can serve the purpose. The burden of proof lies when any person makes any claim.
Chapter VII of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 deals with the provisions related to the burden of proof. The expression Burden of Proof is not defined under the Indian evidence act.
PRINCIPLE OF THE BURDEN OF PROOF
The principle of the burden of proof has two components onus probandi (burden of proof) and factum probans (proving a fact).
In general cases, the burden of proof does not shift. It remains constant while the onus of proof shifts from one party to another, which is defined under Section 102. The fact which is required to be proved is an assertion and not self-evident. In the case of Jurnail Singh v. the State of Punjab[i], the prosecution failed to show the evidence in front of the court, but the accused showed evidence in favor in the front of the court.
''Whoever desires any court to give judgment as to any legal right or liability dependent on the existence to facts which he asserts, must prove that those facts exist.''[ii]
''When a person is bound to prove the existence of any fact, it is said that the burden of proof lies on that person ''[iii]
The concept of burden of proof is expressly defined under section 101 when any person has to prove any fact in the court of law related to the case whether approving or disapproving, the burden of proof belongs to that person. The burden of proof is always on the prosecution, which establishes the case.
According to the general rule: whoever desires any court to give judgment as to any legal right or liability dependent on the existence to facts which he asserts, must prove that those facts exist. A says that B has committed the murder, and B shall be punished for that crime; then A must prove in the court against B by way of evidence. In the above example burden of proof lies on the A to prove the existence of the fact. '
The burden of proof is on the prosecution, which remains constant because he establishes the case against the accused. The burden of proof applies to the matrimonial cases, also like in divorce; the party will have to prove the ground of divorce.
PRESUMPTION OF INNOCENCE
Under the doctrine of presumption of innocence, the accused is always innocent until proven guilty. In the case of M.S. Reddy v. State Inspector of Police, A.C.B., Nellore[iv], It was held that the burden of proof is on the prosecution who establishes the case. He must prove the facts and evidence which are related to the case.
''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.''[v]
This section says that when the burden of proof belongs to the party who would fail if the evidence is produced by another party. The onus of proof shifts from one person to another person. It merely says that when a person is trying to prove the case and wants the judge to decide in favor of that person, then the other party try to produce evidence in front of the court. The burden of proof lies on the party who asserts a fact. For example- A sues B to try to murder C. B has to prove in the court for their defence. If B proves that he has not committed the murder, then the burden of proof shifts to A.
If any person who is of unsound mind or insanity, the law presumes sanity until proven otherwise.
In the case of Special Development area v. Pooranlal[vi], the prosecution has to prove that the accused was doing unauthorized construction. The onus of proof is on the prosecution, who has to prove that the land belongs to it and was doing unauthorized construction.
''The burden of proof as to any particular fact lies on that person who wishes the court to believe in its existence unless it is provided by any law that the proof of that fact shall lie on any particular person''.[vii]
This section deals with a particular fact which lies in the court. It is the person's responsibility to prove the particular fact who wishes the court to believe in the existence the party will have to prove the particular fact. It is an exception to the general rule of section 101 of the Indian evidence act.
This section also termed as a plea of alibi. Alibi is a Latin word that means somewhere else. He has to make a plea and to prove his innocence in the court. It also implies that he was not present at the time of the commission of the offence.
For example- A sues B for murder and wishes the court to believe that B accepts the murder in front of the C. A has to prove the admission, and also B wishes the court to believe that he was not in existence at the time of the murder. He was somewhere else.
The burden of proving any fact necessary to be proved in order to enable any person to give evidence of any other fact is on the person who wishes to give such evidence.[ix]
This section states that when one person proves the fact, then he also needs to prove another fact that is relevant to that fact. It also means that he must also prove the facts that depend on an earlier fact. The dying declaration is one of the examples. A person wants to prove in the court that said statement taken by the B before dying; then, he must prove that B is dead. Another example is that A wants to prove the secondary evidence; he must prove that primary evidence is lost.
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 Indian penal code, (45 of 1860), or within any special exception or proviso contained in any part of the same code, or any law defining the offence, is upon him. The court shall presume the absence of such circumstances.[x]
This section mainly an exception which applies by the accused of the benefit of the general exception or the other special laws which are included under the Indian penal code. The court presumes that the accused is innocent until proven guilty. The burden of proof is on the prosecution. The prosecution has to prove the guilt of the accused. If the prosecution proves in the court, then the onus of proof shifts to the accused, and the accused take the benefit of the general exception in the IPC. This section applies only to criminal cases.
For example- A commit murder by sudden provocation, he must prove in the court that he was not in that situation and was lacking the power of self-control.
''When any fact is especially within the knowledge of any person, the burden of proving that fact is upon him.''[xi]
This section provides that any person who knows the particular fact he must prove that fact. The burden of proof of such facts lies upon him. The prosecution has to prove the case, which is based on the prima facie evidence. It is the exception of sec 101 of the Indian evidence act.
The burden of proof is vital in various aspects of the law. It lies in civil as well as criminal cases. A person has to prove that he is innocent in the eyes of the law to determine the person whether he is guilty or not. It is the responsibility to provide enough evidence for the argument. The general rule is that burden of proof is on the party who establishes the case and not on the party who denies it.
[i]AIR 1996 SC 755
[ii] Section 101 of Indian Evidence Act
[iii] Section 101 of Indian Evidence Act
[iv]1993 Cr LJ 558 (AP)
[v] Section 102 of Indian Evidence Act
[vi]1997 Cr LJ 3484 (MP)
[vii] Section 103 of Indian Evidence Act
[viii]AIR 1980 Ori 122
[ix] Section 104 of Indian Evidence Act
[x] Section 105 of Indian Evidence Act
[xi] Section 106 of Indian Evidence Act