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.

Illustrations

  • 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.

COMMENTS

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.

Illustrations

  • 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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