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EVIDENCE OF AN ACCOMPLICE

Submitted to: Ms. Swati Sumbly


By: Umang Gupta, BBA LLB
Division C, PRN-11010224167
Introduction
An accomplice is a person who actively participates in the commission of a crime, even if they
take no part in the actual criminal offense. The term Accomplice has not been defined by the
Indian Evidence Act, 1872. An accomplice is one of the guilty associates or partners in the
commission of a crime or who in some way or the other is connected with the commission of
crime or who admits that he has a conscious hand in the commission of crime.
Recently, Ms. Jayalalitha, along with her three accomplices was sentenced to four years jail in
September this year for holding more than Rs.100 crore in unaccounted cash and property here
Ms. Jayalalitha was main accused and other three persons are accomplices.
The provisions dealing with the subject was Section 114 of the Indian Evidence Act provides that
the court may presume the existence of certain fact and Section 133 of the Indian Evidence Act
says that an accomplice shall be a competent witness as against the accused person.

Synopsis of the Project


In this research project topic I will be discussing about the evidence given by accomplice with
respect to Indian Law and which also includes Section 133 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872
which deals with the Accomplice Witness, Categories of Accomplice, Competency of
Accomplice as Witness, When Accomplice becomes a competent witness, concept of
corroboration and also put light on the combine effect of section 133 and 114.
This study is based on the qualitative conceptual research by collecting of secondary data like
articles, books and online legal internet resources (data base), which are used to find out the most
relevant and recent case laws related to this research topic.

Application of the Concept of Accomplice witness in various cases:


Sarwan Singh v. State of Punjab, AIR 1957 SC 637, provides the test for acceptance of an
approvers evidence.
Raghubir Singh v. State of Haryana (1974) 4 SCC 560 ,observed that To condemn roundly
every public official or man of the people as an accomplice or quasi accomplice for
participating in a raid is to harm the public cause.
Lachi Ram v. State of Punjab AIR 1967 SC 792. It was held by this Court in Sarwan Singh case
that an approvers evidence to be accepted must satisfy two tests.
State v. ocurli AIR 1953 All 53, held the term accomplice includes all Particeps Criminis.
C.M. sharma v. state of A P, AIR 2011 SC 608, observed that extortion of money by person
cannot be term as accomplice. Verner Reddy v. state of Hyderabad AIR 1956 SC 379 ,held that a
person seeing the offence being committed and not giving the information to any one is term as
accomplice.
Lal Chandra V. state of Haryana, AIR 1984 SC 226, test was given to examine an approver is
held to be competent witness if it satisfied reliable wetness and that approvers evidence must
receive sufficient corroboration.

Conclusion
In our country courts have harmonious reading Section 114(b) and 133 together laid down the
guiding principle with respect to accomplice evidence. It lays down the law without any
ambiguity. The guiding principle is although very clear but often faces with difficulties. While
implementing the principle different judges might have different levels of corroboration for
accomplice evidence. Thus with no hard and fast rules relating to the extent and nature of
corroboration an element of subjective creeps in which can result in injustice. Accomplice
witness can be a competent witness by fulfilling certain condition and he must be involved in the
crime. The Accomplice Evidence can be taken as strong evidence when it is subject to
corroboration.