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Presumption of innocence & burdon of proof remains on prosecution

Presumption of innocence & burdon of proof remains on prosecution

Narendra Singh & Anr vs State of MP

Supreme Court


Appeal (crl.) 298 of 1997

About/from the judgment:



It is now well-settled that benefit of doubt belonged to the accused. It is further trite that suspicion, however, grave may be cannot take place of a proof. It is equally well-settled that there is a long distance between ’may be’ and ’must be’.


It is also well-known that even in a case where a plea of alibi is raised, the burden of proof remains on prosecution. Presumption of innocence is a human right. Such presumption gets stronger when a judgment of acquittal is passed. This Court in a number of decisions has set out the legal principle for reversing the judgment of acquittal by a higher Court. (See Dhanna Vs. State of M.P. (1996) 10 SCC 79, Mahabir Singh Vs. State of Haryana, (2001) 7 SCC 148 and Shailendra Pratap & Anr. Vs. State of U.P. (2003) 1 SCC 761), which had not been adhered to by the High Court.


The entire case is based on circumstantial evidence. Pieces of circumstances, however, strong may be, it is wellknown that all links in the chain must be proved. In this case a vital link in the chain, viz., possibility of the appellant No. 1 committing the offence, closing the door and then sneaking out of the room from one of the two places had not been proved by the prosecution.

Read the Judgment


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