Lawyersera: Section 8 of Indian Evidence Act 1872

Friday, November 6, 2020

Section 8 of Indian Evidence Act 1872

Motive, Preparation and Previous or Subsequent conduct.

Section 8 of Indian Evidence Act 1872, deals regarding  motive, preparation, and conduct, before interpretation of this section, we would like to explain why the language of the bare act is difficult to understand, because you do not pay attention on objective and purpose of act and section and that difficulties were also with me when I was in college. More students directly jump to the judgment having read the section.

Section 5 to 16 of Indian Evidence Act introduces only relevancy of fact and such relevant fact would be admitted in court. So the meaning of motive, preparation, and conduct must be aware to understand section 8 of the Indian Evidence Act 1872.


Let's explain each one


A Motive is that which moves a man to do a particular act, it lies in the mind of a man and it leads him to act. An action of man can be seen by eyes but his motive cannot be seen. A motive is something which prompts a person to do a certain illegal act or a legal act but with illegal means with a view to achieving that intention   


For example 

The common Inducement to acts is the desires of revenging some real or fancied wrong of getting rid of a rival, or an obnoxious connection or of escaping from the pressure of pecuniary or other obligation or burden, obtaining plunder or other coveted objects, of preserving reputation or of gratifying some other selfish or malignant passion.


Or we simplify more, Murder for revenge, Murder to disclose particular thing, like these are example motive, Previous threats, previous altercations, or previous litigations between parties are admitted to show motive


In any criminal proceeding, if the motive of the crime is known, but the question is that how motive is known so the answer is from the statement, or through any evidence, such statement and evidence shall be admitted in court.


The motive for commission of an offence is of particular importance only in cases of purely circumstantial evidence for, in such cases, motive itself would be a circumstance which the court would have to consider


The second part is Preparation, it means getting or making ready to something to achive aimed result, preparation signifies arranging or devising the means and measures necessary for the commission of offence, every offence consists of four stages 

  1. Intention and Motive

  2. Preparation

  3. Attempt 

  4. Actual Commission or Computed      


For Example,

Arranging or Buying poison for giving, Arranging or Buying Kirson oil for burning, arranging or buying the knife  to commit offence like those are example of preparation under section 8 of Indian Evidence Act

In any criminal proceeding, if the preparation is detected such preparation is a relevant fact and admissible in court.

Now the third and important part is Conduct, it is very technical to understand because it has not been defined in Evidence Act. The meaning of Conduct is the expression in outward behavior of a person of the quality, or condition operating to produce those effects.

For Example, 

The wife of a  person has suicided in the house and he is eating, it is the conduct of a person.

A person runs away after hearing the police vehicle, it is the conduct of a person.

So conduct is basically the external behavior of the person which is what is thought of a person by others.  

If the person behavior has changed from normal situation, and indicating his behaviour with fact in issue, it is conduct and admissible in court under section 8 of EA.


Interpretation of Section 8 of Indian Evidence Act 1872

Section 8 is in two parts 

  1. A fact which constitute “Motive” or “Preparation” and such fact inference to fact in issue, such facts are relevant, and admissible in court 

  2. Second Part is previous or subsequent conduct  of party or agent of party  is relevant, and admissible in court

The evidence of conduct of such parties are allowed if two conditions are fulfilled

  1. The conduct must be in reference to the fact in issue or relevant fact

  2. The conduct is such as influences or is influenced by the fact in issue or relevant fact


    The conduct of any party or his agent in reference to a suit or proceeding will be scanned under this section. A fact can be proved by conduct of a party and by surrounding circumstances.


For Example, The production of articles by an accused person is relevant as evidence of conduct


The word "party" includes the plaintiff and defendant in a civil suit as well as the accused in a criminal prosecution

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Case Law               



State of M.P vs Dhirendra Kumar 1997 SSC 318 

In this case, Munnibai was killed by respondent Dhirendra Kumar, he had an evil eye on her responded was tenant in the house of father in law of deceased Munnibai. Munnibai reported the matter to her mother-in-law who in turn told to her husband who asked the respondent to vacate the house this may be taken as a motive of nurder


Natha Singh vs Emperor, AIR 1946, PC 187 

In this case the privy Council pointed out that fact showing motive should be admitted even if it involves evidence of other crimes committed by the accused, which is ordinarily not allowed. The Lordship further pointed out, proof of motive or inducement for the commission of the offence is not necessary when there is clear evidence that a person has committed an offence. When evidence connecting the accused with the commission of the crime is weak, motive can hardly make up for the weakness of the prosecution case.  If a prosecution case is convincing beyond reasonable doubt, it is not necessary for the prosecution to prove motive or that motive was adequate.


A.N Venkatesh vs State of Karnataka 2005 AIR SCW 3914 

In this case  the dead body of the kidnapped boy was alleged to have been recovered on pointing out of the particulate spot by the accused person. The presence of the accused person at a place where the ransom demand was to be fulfilled and their action of fleeing on  Spotting police party and also their disclosure statement was held to be admissible under Section 8 but not under section 27 of the Indian Evidence Act.


Dr. AC Lagu vs State of Bombay, 1960 SCJ 779 


In this case the Bombay High Court held that,  Where the proof of the charge of murder by poisoning related principally on circumstantial evidence, the majority of Supreme Court Judges held that the evidence as to the conduct of the accused in a respect of property of the deceased before and after date was material link in the chain of evidence which the court could consider along with the other evidence in dittermining whether murder had in the fact been committed and committed by the accused.


RE Murgan AIR 1958 Mad 43

In this case, where the accused took the police to a spot and pointed out a place from where incriminating articles were recovered, the conduct of the accused in taking the police and showing the spot is admissible.


State of Madras vs Vaidyanath Iyyer (AIR 1958 SC 61)

 In this case,the accused was charged with the offence of bribery. Evidence to the effect that at the of raid by the police officer and trap witnesses, on the question “whether you have accepted bribe” the fact that accused was stunned and did not reply, he was confused and began to apologize, or that he  began to tremble 



Kuldeep Singh vs State of Punjab 1980 CLJ 71

In this case,  he was accused of murdering his wife. Burnt dead body of the wife of the accused was found in a closet. There was no direct evidence, the case depends on circumstantial evidence and accused stated that he had gone for a morning walk with Dharambir Mahajan and it was in his absence within short span of half an hour that his wife committed suicide. The facts that he had gone for a walk and that his wife committed suicide were found to be false. The statement of accused was held relevant  


     


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