Presumption of innocence

Every accused is presumed to be innocent unless the guilt is proved. The presumption of innocence is a human right.

However, subject to the statutory exceptions, the said principle forms the basis of criminal jurisprudence. For this purpose, the nature of the offence, its seriousness and gravity thereof has to be taken into consideration. The courts must be on guard to see that merely on the application of the presumption, the same may not lead to any injustice or mistaken conviction. Statutes like the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881; the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988; and the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, 1987, provide for presumption of guilt if the circumstances provided in those statutes are found to be fulfilled and shift the burden of proof of innocence on the accused. However, such a presumption can also be raised only when certain foundational facts are established by the prosecution. There may be difficulty in proving a negative fact.
Babu v. State of Kerala, (2010) 9 SCC 189

One thought on “Presumption of innocence

  1. Dear Ma’am

    I am a fourth year law student at Army Institute of Law, Mohali. You have mentioned a few statutes that presume guilt, do you think that the crimes against should also be considered in the similar manner, considering the rise in the crimes against women and the lack of strict and deterrent punishments?

    Thank you

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