June 8, 2024

An alibi is a defence used by an accused person in criminal proceedings to prove that they were at a different location when the alleged crime was committed. In the Indian legal context, presenting an alibi involves providing evidence or witnesses who can testify that the accused was elsewhere, making it impossible for them to have committed the crime. The concept is rooted in the presumption of innocence, ensuring that no one is wrongfully convicted. The Indian Evidence Act, 1872, addresses the use of an alibi under Sections 103 and 105, which place the burden of proof on the accused to substantiate their claim. Evidence supporting an alibi must be credible and corroborative. If successfully proven, an alibi can lead to acquittal. However, the court scrutinises such claims rigorously to prevent misuse. In landmark judgments, like Binay Kumar Singh v. State of Bihar (1997), the Supreme Court of India emphasised that an alibi must be proved to the satisfaction of the court, and the failure to establish an alibi does not necessarily imply guilt. It remains a critical aspect of the defence strategy in criminal cases, upholding the principle that it is better to let the guilty escape than to punish an innocent.


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