Report No. 113
The Present Law and the Need for Reform
3.1. The present law.-
In order to facilitate a consideration of the question it is convenient to deal first with the present law. The law relating to burden of proof and connected matters is contained in a few short sections1 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872. It is unnecessary to go into detail, but the general principles deductible from these sections is that it is for the prosecution to prove the essential elements of the offence charged and if those essential elements are proved, it is for the accused to prove that the case falls within the general or special exceptions to criminal liability recognised by the criminal law.
In certain special situations, this position does undergo modifications. For example, where a particular fact is within the special knowledge of a person, it isfor him to prove it. Thus, a person charged with ticketless travel has the burden of proving that he had a ticket with him at the time of travelling. As the law stands at present, however, there is no special provision as to the burden of proof where the injuries were received by a person in police custody.
1. Sections 101 to 114, Indian Evidence Act, 1874.