Ravishankar Tandon vs State Of Chhattisgarh 2024 INSC 299 – S 27 Evidence Act- Circumstantial Evidence

Indian Evidence Act, 1872; Section 27 – For bringing the case under Section 27 of the Evidence Act, it will be necessary for the prosecution to establish that, based on the information given by the accused while in police custody, it had led to the discovery of the fact, which was distinctly within the knowledge of the maker of the said statement. It is only so much of the information as relates distinctly to the fact thereby discovered would be admissible – The rationale behind this provision is that, if a fact is actually discovered in consequence of the information supplied, it affords some guarantee that the information is true and it can therefore be safely allowed to be admitted in evidence as an incriminating factor against the accused – Referred to State (NCT of Delhi) v. Navjot Sandhu alias Afsan Guru (2005) 11 SCC 600 : 2005 INSC 333- The prosecution will have to establish that, before the information given by the accused persons on the basis of which the dead body was recovered, nobody had the knowledge about the existence of the dead body at the place from where it was recovered. (Para 12- 15)

Criminal Trial – Circumstantial Evidence – it is necessary for the prosecution that the circumstances from which the conclusion of the guilt is to be drawn should be fully established – Its a primary principle that the accused ‘must be’ and not merely ‘may be’ proved guilty before a court can convict the accused -There is not only a grammatical but a legal distinction between ‘may be proved’ and ‘must be or should be proved’.- The facts so established should be consistent only with the guilt of the accused, that is to say, they should not be explainable on any other hypothesis except that the accused is guilty- The circumstances should be such that they exclude every possible hypothesis except the one to be proved.- There must be a chain of evidence so complete as not to leave any reasonable ground for the conclusion consistent with the innocence of the accused and must show that in all human probabilities the act must have been done by the accused- Suspicion, however strong it may be, cannot take the place of proof beyond reasonable doubt. An accused cannot be convicted on the ground of suspicion, no matter how strong it is. An accused is presumed to be innocent unless proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt- Referred to Sharad Birdhichand Sarda v. State of Maharashtra (1984) 4 SCC 116 : 1984 INSC 121. (Para 8-10)

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