Landmark judgment by a 3-judge bench of Supreme Court around circumstantial evidence (Sec 106 of Evidence Act 1872) basis which the accused were acquitted. The 5 golden principles postulated in this decision are as below.
Sharad Birdhi Chand Sarda Vs State of Maharashtra on 17 Jul 1984
153. A close analysis of this decision would show that the following conditions must be fulfilled before a case against an accused can be said to be fully established :
(1) the circumstances from which the conclusion of guilt is to be drawn should be fully established.
It may be noted here that this Court indicated that the circumstances concerned “must or should” and not “may be” established. There is not only a grammatical but a legal distinction between “may be proved” and “must be or should be proved” as was held by this Court in Shivaji Sahabrao Bobade and another Vs. State of Maharashtra 1973 2 SCC 793 where the observations were made :
(2) the facts so established should be consistent only with the hypothesis of the guilt of the accused, that is to say, they should not be explainable on any other hypothesis except that the accused is guilty,
(3) the circumstances should be of a conclusive nature and tendency,
(4) they should exclude every possible hypothesis except the one to be proved, and
(5) 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 probability the act must have been done by the accused.
154. These five golden principles, if we may say so, constitute the panchsheel of the proof of a case based on circumstantial evidence.
Casemine version:Sharad Birdhi Chand Sarda Vs State of Maharashtra on 17 Jul 1984 (Casemine)
Citations : [1984 SCC 4 116], [1984 AIR SC 1622], [1984 CRI LJ 1738], [1984 CRIMES 2 235], [1984 CAR 263], [1984 CRLJ 90 1738], [1984 SCALE 2 445], [1985 SCR 1 88], [1984 CRLR 296], [1985 BOMCR SC 1 208], [1984 CRIMES SC 2 853], [1984 SCC CRI 1 487], [1984 SCC CRI 487], [1984 CRLJ SC 1738], [1984 AIR 1622], [1984 CRIMES SC 2 235]
Other Sources :