top of page
  • Writer's pictureLLC

Plea of alibi- section 11

Facts not otherwise relevant are made relevant by Section 11. The effect of this section is, therefore, to clearly enlarge the classes of relevant facts. If a fact is relevant under this section, it would be relevant even if it is not relevant under any other section of the Act. At first sight, it would appear that this section would make every fact relevant because of the wording of clause (b) But care must be taken not to give this section an improperly wide scope by a liberal interpretation of the phrase “highly probable or improbable”.

Otherwise, this section might seem to supersede all the other provisions of the Act as to relevancy. Though the terms of section 11 are wide, they are controlled by the provisions regarding the relevancy contained in other sections of the Act. Further, the fact relied on must be proved according to the provisions of the Act.

The observations of West. J, in Reg. v. Prabhudas, (1874 11 B.H.C. 90) on S. 11 of the Act are :

“S. 11 of the Evidence Act is, no doubt, expressed in terms so extensive, that any fact which can, by a chain of ratiocination, be brought into connection with another, so as to have a bearing upon a point in issue, may possibly be held to be relevant within its meaning. But the connetions of human affairs are so infinitely various and far- reaching, that thus to take the section in its widest admissible sense, would be to complicate every trial with a mass of collateral inquiries limited only by the patience and the means of the parties.”

The words “highly probable or improbable” indicate that the connection between the facts in issue the collateral facts sought to be proved must be immediate so as to render the co-existence of the two highly probable. The relevant facts under this section either (i) exclude, or (ii) imply, more or less distinctly, the existence of the fact sought to be proved. (Jhabwala v. Emporer ., A.I.R. 1933 All. 690)

Khaver Sultan V. Rukha Sultan , (1904) 6 Bom LR 983

Collateral facts are admissible if :

1 - The collateral fact is established by a reasonably conclusive evidence

2 - That it must , when established , afford a reasonable presumption or inference as to the matter in dispute.

Kalu Mirza v. Emperor, 1909 37 Cal. 91

where the question was whether a person was a habitual cheat, the fact that he belonged to an organisation which was formed for the purpose of habitually cheating people was held to be relevant, and it was open to the prosecution to prove, against each person, that the members of the gang did cheat people.