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Report No. 180

At the same time, the following exceptions were accepted:

"Of course, an accused may have reason not to give other than that the evidence would not assist his or her case. The jury must bear in mind in determining whether the prosecution case is strengthened by the failure of the accused to give evidence. Ordinarily, it is appropriate for the trial judge to warn the jury accordingly."

Not every case calls for explanation or contradiction in the form of evidence from the accused. There may be no facts peculiarly within the accused's knowledge. Even if there are facts peculiarly within the accused's knowledge, the deficiencies in the prosecution case may be sufficient to account for the accused remaining silent and relying upon the burden of proof cast upon the prosecution. Much depends upon the circumstances of the particular case and a jury should not be invited to take into account the failure of the accused to give evidence unless that failure is clearly capable of assisting them in the evaluation of the evidence before them."

Report on Article 20(3) of the Constitution of India and the Right to Silence Back

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