Plea of alibi is that form of defense through which accused attempts to prove that he was in some other place at the time when alleged offense was committed. In fact, criminal’s laws have provided accused different defenses to prove his innocence against accusation. No-doubt, plea of alibi is one of such defenses. However, plea of alibi is considered different from all of other such defenses.
2. Relevant Provisions
Article 24 of Qanun-e-Shahadat Order 1984
3. Meaning of Plea Alibi
Alibi is Latin World, which means elsewhere. And plea of alibi means that accused was physically not present at time of scene of offence because he was present at another place. In fact, if accused suggests to court that he was some where else at time of commission of alleged offence, such suggestion is called plea of alibi.
4. Definition of Plea Alibi
“The plea of absence of a person accused from the place of occurrence, at the time of the commission of the offence is called the plea of Alibi.”
5. Essentials of Plea of Alibi
(a) Who may taken plea of Alibi
A person taking Plea of Alibi must be accused of an offence.
(b) Absence of accused at place where crime was committed
He must plead his presence elsewhere, at the time of the commission of alleged offence.
(c) Covering of Entire time
It should be impossible for him to reach the place of occurrence at the time of commission of offence. Therefore plea should be cover the whole time of the alleged offence.
(d) Raised at earliest opportunity
The plea of Alibi must be raised by accused at the earliest possible time.
6. Explanation of Plea of Alibi
Explain through following points
(a) Physical impossibility of accused
Plea of alibi can only be taken when such plea postulates physical impossibility of accused’s presence at scene of offence due to his presence at some other place.
(b) Time to raise Plea of Alibi
Plea of alibi should be raised at the earliest time.
(c) Evidence to prove Plea of Alibi
Plea of alibi is considered the weakest type of plea. Therefore, cogent, convincing and plausible evidence is needed to prove it. It reveals that plea of alibi should be supported by strong evidence.
(d) Burden of Proof
Under Article 119, it is established rule of of evidence that burden of prove plea of alibi is on the accused which is to be proved in accordance with law, and the plea fo alibi must be proved with absolute certainty so as to completely exclude the presence of the person concerned at the time when and the place where the incident took place.
(e) Quantum of Proof
The quantum of proof required to prove a plea of alibi various from case to case. Sometime the accuse taking plea of alibi need not to strictly prove meaning thereby more creation of doubt in the mind of court is sufficient. But most cases the accused has to strictly prove his plea.
(f) Absence and Presence
To prove his innocence against accusation, accused is required to raise reasonable question about his absence in place of offence at time of commission of offence and about his presence in some other place at such time. In this way, he is to raise reasonable doubt in mind of court about his participation in commission of offence to get benefit of such doubt against accusation.
(g) Non access of Husband
Since legitimacy of a child implies a begetting by the husband. In order to prove illegitimacy it would be relevant to prove, that the husband had no access to the wife at the probable time of begetting.
(h) Consideration of whole Evidence
In case of plea of alibi, court is considering the whole evidence to make any conclusion about guilt or innocence of that accused, which makes plea of alibi.
To conclude, that honorable Apex Courts have explained two important principles about plea of alibi. Among these principles, one principle is that guilt cannot be inferred from making of false plea of alibi. And other principle is that accused cannot take benefit through plea of alibi when reasonable doubt is not created in mind of court about accused’s participation in commission of offence.
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