Section 15: Facts bearing on question whether act was accidental or intentional

Section 15: Facts bearing on question whether act was accidental or intentional

When there is a question whether an act was accidental or intentional, [or done with a particular knowledge or intention] the fact that such act formed part of a series of similar occurrences, in each of which the person doing the act was concerned, is relevant.


  • A is accused of burning down his house in order to obtain money for which it is insured.

The facts that A lived in several houses successively, each of which he insured, in each of which a fire occurred, and after each of which fires A received payment from a different insurance office, are relevant, as tending to show that the fires were not accidental.

  • A is employed to receive money from the debtors of B, it is A’s duty to make entries in a book showing the amounts received by him. He makes an entry showing that on a particular occasion he received less than he really did receive.

The question is, whether this false entry was accidental or intentional.

The facts that other entries made by A in the same book are false, and that the false entry is in each case in favour of A, are relevant.

  • A is accused of fraudulently delivering to B a counterfeit rupee.

The question is, whether the delivery of the rupee was accidental.

The facts that, soon before or soon after the delivery to B, A delivered counterfeit rupees to C, D and E are relevant, as showing that the delivery to B was not accidental.


Where the evidence is of circumstantial nature, the circumstance from which the conclusion of guilt is to be drawn would in the first instance be fully established – Lakshmi Raj Shetty v. State of Tamil Nadu

Section 16: Existence of course of business when relevant

When there is a question whether a particular act was done, the existence of any course of business, according to which it naturally would have been done, is a relevant fact.


  • The question is, whether a particular letter was dispatched.

The facts that it was the ordinary course of business for all letters put in a certain place to be carried to the post, and that particular letter was put in that place, are relevant.

  • The question is, whether a particular letter reached A.

The facts that it was posted in due course, and was not returned through the Dead Letter Office, are relevant.


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