BURDEN OF PROOF

In all litigations, there are certain issues that have to be decided For instance, in a murder case there may be facts-in-issues as to who committed murder, whether it was committed out of grave and sudden provocation and etc. Settlement of issues or points for determination forms the very fulcrum on the basis of which the entire case is supposed to rest is the proof or non-proof or disproof of the same that determines the liability of the litigants. Therefore, an important question arises as to on whom would the duty or the obligation prove these issues rest. In other words, the purpose of every judicial proceeding is to asume right or liability. These rights and liabilities arise out of facts which must be proved to the satisfaction of the court.

The expression burden of proof means the obligation to promo f In the case of State of Maharashtra v Wasudeo Ram Chandra Kaidahcar 1SC1981) tased that the expression burden of proof has two distinct meanings (1) legal birden and 2) evidential burden. 1. Burden of establishing a case (burdemof proof as a matter of late and pleadings)

Thus, the phrase burden of proof has two distinct meaning which are as follows:

It is relating to the general burden of prook, It refer to the burden or the legal obligation of establishing all the facts and circumstane orthoge either by preponderance of probability or beyond all reasonable doubts respon the person who asserts the affirmative of the issue, irrespective of the party’s standing fixed and never shifts under any circumstances. It arises from the pleadings and depends on the facts asserted or denied and is determined by the rules of substantive and statulry law or by presumption of law and fact. Section 101 deals with burden of proof under the category.

  1. Burden of roof as a matter of adducing evidence: dea det of proof is of an evidential burden of proof It is not dependent The second upon the party loures the affirmative of the case. It is that burden of proof that bes on the party, whether plaintiff or defendant, against whom the tribunal, at the time when the question is to be determined, would give its judgment, if no further evidence being introduced. is an evidential burden and relates to the burden of introducing evidence at the beginning ofalany particular stage of the case. It is not fixed and keeps vacillating throughout the trial bagween the parties. Section 102 and 103 deals with the burden of proof in this sense.

STANDARD OF PROOF/QUANTUM OF PROOF

Standard of proof/ quantum of proof is used to describe the degree of proof to which the proof must be established. The Indian Evidence Act, 1872, is applicable upon both the kinds of proceedings, civil and criminal. The Act of its own does not make any distinction between the standard or the quantum of proof between civil and criminal proceedings In fact, Section 101 or 102 only lay down as to the party upon whom the burden to prove the case or the fact would lie. It is the judiciary which has by way of interpretation laid down the various standard of proof required by the parties to prove their case in either civil or criminal proceedings. The Indian Courts have been following the principles applicable in UK with respect to the burden of proof in civil or criminal proceedings. While a civil case, the scales: of justice are held even between the plaintiff and the defendant in a criminal case the balance tilts in favour of the accused. The standard of proof in a civilsuit is preponderance of probabilities and in a criminal case is proof beyond reasonable doubt.

In a civil case, the plaintiff has the duty to prove its case by adducing evidence on the issues for which the burden lay upon him. The plaintiff of the right to begin the case unless where the defendant admits the case of the plaintiff and contends either in point of law or on some additional facts alleged by the defendant, that the plaintiff is not entitled to any part of the relief which he seeks, in which case, the defendant has the right to begin.

The balance of probabilities is the governing standard of proof in civil litigation. Balance of probabilities, simply means, that the Court would give its verdict in favour of that party whose case appears to be more probable. The Court has to strike the balance of probability. The plaintiff has to establish his case and he will not automatically succeed merely because of the failure of the defendant to establish his case.

In criminal cases, the burden rests upon the prosecution to prove the guilt of the accused or each and every ingredient of the offence beyond reasonable doubt. In all criminal cases, wherein the accused does not plead guilty, the burden is upon the prosecution to prove the case beyond all reasonable doubts. In criminal cases, the accused is presumed to be innocent until provel guilty beyond all reasonable doubts. The accused is not supposed to satisfy the court that he is inaptent. Though in a criminal case, there is always a requirement of a higher standard of proof, however, there is no absolute standard. What degree of probability amounts to proof is an exercise particular to each case. Doubts are called reasonable if they are free from a zest of abstract speculation. To constitute a reasonable doubt, it must be free from an over-emotional response. Doubts must be actual and substantial doubts as to the guilt of the accused persons arising from the evidence, or from lack of it, as opposed to mere vague apprehensions. A reasonable doubt is not an imaginary, trivial or a merely possible doubt, but a fair doubt based on reason and common sense. It must grow out of the evidence in the case.

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