Section 106 and Section 101- Indian Evidence Act, 1872

In civil litigation, the burden of proof of the parties refers to the fact that the parties need to produce evidence to prove the existence of the facts they claim. Section 101 states that whoever desires any Court to give judgment as to any legal right or liability dependent on the existence of facts which he asserts, must prove that those facts exist. When a person is bound to prove the existence of any fact, it is said that the burden of proof lies on that person. It is clear from this section that the person who asserts a fact must prove such a fact which means that the burden to prove such a fact is on him. Further, according to principle in the Woolmington case, the prosecution is responsible to bear the burden to prove the guilt of the accused beyond a reasonable doubt.

Section 106 of the Indian Evidence Act states that when any fact is especially within the knowledge of any person, the burden of proving that fact is upon him. An example of this section would be that if a person is travelling without a ticket, the burden to prove that he’s purchased a ticket lies on him as he is in possession of the knowledge of whether or not he has purchased a ticket, i.e. he is the only one in possession of knowledge of this information. This section can be invoked only when there is a prima facie case against the accused which is proved beyond reasonable doubt by the prosecution. It was further discussed in the case of Shambhu Nath Mehra v State of Ajmer that Section 106 is an exception to Section 101 which is important for certain exceptional cases in which it would be extremely difficult or practically impossible to establish facts and produce evidence that is especially in the knowledge of the accused. It is also given that Section 106 cannot be used to undermine the well-established rule of law that, save in a very exceptional class of cases, the burden is on the prosecution and never shifts. Therefore, the case has given clarity to avoid loopholes to shift the burden of proof in cases that Section 106 cannot and should not apply to. It must also be noted that the section is applicable only to the parties of a suit. 

Unclear authenticity is a state, which refers to a state in which the parties have no evidence or have evidence but cannot prove it so that the judge can be sure of the existence of the fact to be proved. When the judge is unable to determine whether the fact that is the basis of the judgment exists or not, the judge must consider who should bear the unfavourable consequences caused by the unclear fact according to the law and can rely on the burden of proof to make a decision. Therefore, the burden of proof is a norm, and its role is to guide the court on how to make a judgment when the truth of the facts is unknown. Therefore, it can be held that the purpose of section 106 in the Indian Evidence Act is not to disrupt the initial burden of proof as given under section 101 which has given us the fixed concept of burden of proof, whereas Section 106 is a special case wherein the shift in the burden of proof is aimed to expressly assist the prosecution.

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.


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