Evidence Act – Failure Of Accused To Discharge Burden U/S 106 Irrelevant If Prosecution Is Unable To Establish Chain Of Circumstances: Supreme Court

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Evidence Act – Failure Of Accused To Discharge Burden U/S 106 Irrelevant If Prosecution Is Unable To Establish Chain Of Circumstances

Case: Nagendra Sah v State of Bihar

Coram: Justices Ajay Rastogi and Abhay S Oka

Case No: Criminal Appeal No. 1903 Of 2019

Court Observation: “When a case is resting on circumstantial evidence, if the accused fails to offer a reasonable explanation in discharge of burden placed on him by virtue of Section 106 of the Evidence Act, such a failure may provide an additional link to the chain of circumstances. In a case governed by circumstantial evidence, if the chain of circumstances which is required to be established by the prosecution is not established, the failure of the accused to discharge the burden under Section 106 of the Evidence Act is not relevant at all. When the chain is not complete, the falsity of the defence is no ground to convict the accused,”

Burden of proving fact especially within knowledge – When any fact is especially within the knowledge of any person, the burden of proving that fact is upon him.

“Section 106 of the Evidence Act will apply to those cases where the prosecution has succeeded in establishing the facts from which a reasonable inference can be drawn regarding the existence of certain other facts which are within the special knowledge of the accused. When the accused fails to offer proper explanation about the existence of said other facts, the Court can always draw an appropriate inference.”

“The circumstances established by the prosecution do not lead to only one possible inference regarding the guilt of the appellant-accused.”

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