Division bench of Apex Court held as follows in a case where in only circumstantial evidence is available.
From Para 6,
State of UP Vs Hari Mohan and Ors on 7 Nov 2000
6. Admittedly, there is no direct evidence connecting any of the accused with the commission of the crime. The case of the prosecution is based upon circumstantial evidence. It is often said that witnesses may lie but the circumstances cannot. To convict a person on the basis of circumstantial evidence all the circumstances relied upon by the prosecution must be clearly established. The proved circumstances must be such as would reasonably exclude the possibility of innocence of the accused. The circumstantial evidence should be consistent with the guilt of the accused and inconsistent with his innocence. The chain of circumstances, furnished by the prosecution, should be so complete as not to lead any reasonable ground for conclusion consistent with the innocence of the accused. Medical evidence in such a case may be an important circumstance giving assurance to the existence of the other circumstances alleged against the culprit. This Court has consistently held that when the evidence against the accused, particularly when he is charged with grave offence like murder consists of only circumstances, it must be qualitatively such that on every reasonable hypothesis the conclusion must be that the accused is guilty; not fantastic possibilities nor freak inferences but rational deductions which reasonable minds make from the probative force of facts and circumstances.
Citations: [2000 AIR SC 4012], [2000 SUPREME 7 516], [2001 AIR SC 142], [2000 SCALE 7 348], [2000 CRIMES SC 4 234], [2000 JT SUPP 2 467], [2001 CRLJ SC 170], [2000 SCC 8 598], [2001 UJ SC 1 293], [2001 SCC CRI 49], [2000 ACR SC 3 2730], [2001 ALD CRI 1 93], [2001 ALLMR CRI SC 170], [2001 CRILJ 170], [2000 JT SUPPL SC 2 467], [2001 PLJR 1 68], [2000 RCR CRIMINAL 4 667], [2000 SUPP SCR 4 440], [2000 AIR SCW 4012], [2001 UJ 1 293]
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