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Diya Arvind   18 February 2022

legal maxim

What are the uses and exceptions that employ the use of the maxim "Actori Incumbit Onus Probandi"?


 1 Replies

Aarushi   18 February 2022

The Latin maxim “Actori Incumbit Onus Probandi” literally means that the burden of proof lies on the plaintiff. In other words, we can say that it is the person who claims compensation for damages or wrongs done against him, has to proof that the facts of the case are true and the case that he claims has value. This maxim is applicable in all the cases throughout India and is a rule of Law. It says that it is the plaintiff who has to justify their claim and prove before the Court that the accused must be convicted. In India, the Judiciary follows the phrase “innocent until proven guilty”, through this maxim, the law assumes that the person who has been accused of causing damages or doing wrong is not at fault and thus, it the plaintiff, in case of civil suits or the prosecutor in case of criminal suits, who should work and prove that their claims are right.

Sh. Kedar Nath Kohli v. Sh. Sardul Singh

The Court held that the claims of the plaintiff should stand their own grounds and just because the defendant’s case is a weak one does not mean that the plaintiff wins. The prosecutor has to prove beyond reasonable doubts that the offence has not only been committed, but it is the defendant only who has done it.

However, there are also certain exceptions to this, under Section 113 B of the Indian Evidence Act, we see that if the prosecutor is able to prove that the death caused to the victim is due to Dowry death, the Court assumes that it is the husband who has caused the death. In this case, once Dowry Death is proved, the burden of proof shifts from the prosecutor to the defendant.

Hem Chand v. State of Haryana

In this case, even though the prosecution proved that the case as of Dowry Death, they were unable to prove the involvement of the husband in the case. The Court applied Section 113B of the Indian Evidence Act and the husband was convicted under 304 B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

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