The law of evidence is a crucial part of legislature which supplements court’s proceedings. Evidence is the material that establishes a claim or an assertion and enables the court to come to a just decision. The Law of evidence is said to be the law of the forum or the Lex fori.
Onus probandi means burden of proof in Latin. It is the obligation of a party in a trial to produce an evidence that will prove the claims they have made against the other party. In a legal dispute, one party is initially presumed to be correct and gets the benefit of doubt whereas the other party bears the burden of proof. Burdens may be of different kinds for each party, in different phases of litigation. It is a minimal burden to produce at least enough evidence for a disputed claim.
The burden of proof is always on the person who brings a claim in a dispute. The Latin maxim semper necessitas probandi incumbit ei qui agit means the necessity of proof always lies with the person who lays charges. The party that does not carry the burden of proof but carries the benefit of assumption of being correct, they are presumed to be correct, until the burden shifts after presentation of evidence by the party bringing the action.
BURDEN OF PROOF UNDER THE INDIAN EVIDENCE ACT, 1872
Chapter VII, section 101 to section 114 of Indian Evidence Act,1872 deals with the provisions of “Burden of Proof.” It is explained in section101 of Indian Evidence Act as,” when a person is bound to prove the existence of any fact, it is said that the burden of proof lies on that person.” Onus probandi and Factum probans contains the principles related to Burden of Proof. Onus probandi means the burden of proof is generally on the person who alleges an affirmative position and Factum probans means proving the facts.
Initial burden of proof:
The principle remains same that the initial burden is on the prosecution to establish that the prosecution to establish that the accused has committed a crime and if he fails to do so, the accused is entitled to an acquittal.
Burden upon affirmation:
The burden of proof shifts onto a person who affirms a fact or assertion. The rationale behind the same is that if a person asserts something, he may also prove the same. These instances can be found in sections 107 to 110.
Presumption as to burden of proof:
Section 111 to 114 lays down conditions that define the party upon which the burden of proof lies.
Rangammal V. Kuppuswami and Ors. Civil Appeal No..562 (2003)
The take of the supreme Court on this case is that the burden of proof lies on the person who first asserts the fact and not on the one who denies facts to be true. The responsibility of the defendant to prove a fact to be true would start only when the authenticity of the fact is proved by the plaintiff.
The rule governing the burden of proof is that whoever claims must present evidence or proof. The accused can only be presumed guilty based on the fact established by the plaintiff to the court in accordance with the Burden of Proof.
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