The word “Alibi” is derived from Latin which means “elsewhere” or “somewhere else”. It is used as a defence by the person who is accused, in criminal proceedings. When the accused makes a plea of alibi, it means that the accused is trying to convey and convince the court that he is at some other place at the time when the crime happened. Generally, a plea of alibi states that the suspect was not there at the crime spot and time of the performance of a crime owing to the excuse that he was at some other place. According to criminal law, the burden of proving that he was absent at the crime spot, lies on the accused.
ILLUSTRATION : On a certain day A got murdered at Vijayawada. B was accused in this case but he is in Vizag when the crime had happened. Now B can make a plea of Alibi in the court. Here B must prove that he/she is in Vizag, at the time the crime was committed.
SECTIONS DEALING WITH PLEA OF ALIBI
Section 11 of the Indian Evidence Act
“When facts not otherwise relevant become relevant: Facts not otherwise relevant are relevant
1) If they are inconsistent with any fact in issue or relevant fact;
2) If by themselves or in connection with other facts they make the existence or non-existence of any fact in issue or relevant fact highly probable or improbable.”
Section 103 of the Indian Evidence Act
It states that “The burden of proof as to any particular fact lies on that person who wishes the Court to believe in its existence unless it is provided by any law that the proof of that fact shall lie on any particular person.”
WHO CAN MAKE PLEA OF ALIBI ?
The accused can make a plea of alibi. If he takes the plea of alibi at an earlier stage of judicial proceedings, its credibility increases. To make this plea the accused must be at a place that is far from the place of commission of the crime and they cannot be at the crime spot at that time. In court proceedings, the defence of an alibi is rarely accepted if it is not supported by evidence.
ESSENTIALS OF PLEA OF ALIBI
There should be a commission of a crime punishable by law.
To make a plea, the person should be accused of the said crime.
The accused must be absent at the crime spot at the time of the commission of the crime
The accused must be at a place that is far away from the crime spot, and it should be impossible to reach the crime spot at the time of the commission of the crime
The defence of alibi should be taken by the accused as soon as possible.
In Rajesh Kumar v. Dharamvi case, the accused claimed that at the time of the commission of the offence, he went to Panipat to meet an advocate for legal advice. The crime had happened in the Karnal district. But the advocate failed to provide evidence concerning the time and visit. This plea got rejected by the honourable apex court.
In the Hari Chand v State of Delhi case, the accused appealed the plea of alibi by stating that he was attended an examination at the time of the commission of the crime. But in the police investigation, it has been found that he attended the examination one day before the day on which the crime had happened and he had no scheduled exam on that day. The court found that the plea made by the accused is false in nature.