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Report No. 185

Section 133

This Section deals with relevancy of 'accomplice' evidence. It reads as follows:

"133. An accomplice shall be a competent witness against an accused person; and a conviction is not illegal merely because it proceeds upon the uncorroborated testimony of an accomplice."

We have already dealt with this Section while dealing with Section 114(b). As stated there, this Section has to be and has been read always with the words of caution found in illustration (b) to Section 114 which reads thus:

Illustration (b) that an accomplice is unworthy of credit, unless he is corroborated in material particulars."

After an elaborate discussion, we have said in our discussion under Section 114 illustration (b) that instead of deleting Section 133 and amending the illustration (b) as recommended in the 69th Report, it is better if Section 133 is amended and Illustration (b) be deleted from Section 114 and this aspect be referred in this Section. We had also suggested deletion in the later part of Section 114, two paragraphs starting with the words "As to illustration (b)".

We recommended redrafting Section 133 as follows and also add some illustrations below Section 133:

"133. Accomplice.- An accomplice shall be a competent witness against an accused person but his evidence is unworthy of credit unless he is corroborated in material particulars:

Provided that where the accomplice is a person whose evidence, in the opinion of the Court, is highly creditworthy as not to require corroboration, a conviction is not illegal merely because it proceeds upon the uncorroborated testimony of an accomplice.

Illustrations

(a) A, a person of the highest character, is tried for causing a man's death by an act of negligence in arranging certain machinery. B, a person of equally of good character, who also took part in the arrangement, describes precisely what was done, and admits and explains the common carelessness of A and himself. The evidence of B shall have to be considered by the Court, while deciding on the negligence of A.

(b) A crime is committed by several persons. A, B and C, three of the criminals are captured on the spot and kept apart from each othe.- each gives an account of the crime implicating D, and the accounts corroborate each in such a manner as to render the previous concert highly improbable. The variance in the different accounts of facts given by A, B, C as to the part of D shall be taken into account by the Court while deciding if D was an accomplice."



Review of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 Back




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