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section 8



Supreme Court of India

Nathuni Yadav And Ors vs State Of Bihar And Anr on 20 December, 1996

Motive for doing a criminal act is generally a difficult area for prosecution. One cannot normally see into the mind of another. Motive is the emotion which impels a man to do a particular act. Such impelling cause need not necessarily be proportionally grave to do grave crimes. Many a murders have been committed without any known or prominent motive. It is quite possible that the aforesaid impelling factor would remain undiscoverable.

Lord Chief Justice Champbell struck a note of caution in Reg v. Palmer (Shorthand Report at page 308 SCC May 1850; thus: "But if there be any motive which can be assigned, I am bound to tell you that the adequacy of that motive is of little importance. We know, from experience of criminal courts that atrocious crimes of this sort have been committed from very slight motives; not merely from malice and revenge, but to gain a small pecuniary advantage, and to drive off for a time pressing difficulties". Though, it is a sound proposition that every criminal act is done with a motive, it is unsound to suggest that no such criminal act can be presumed unless motive is proved. After all motive is a psychological phenomenon. Mere fact that prosecution failed to translate that mental disposition of the accused into evidence does not mean that no such mental Condition existed in the mind of the assailant.


In Atley v. State of U.P., AIR (1955) SC 807 it was held "that is true, and where there is clear proof of motive for the crime, that lends additional support to the finding of the court that the accused was guilty but absence of clear proof of motive does not necessarily lead to the contrary conclusion," In .some cases, it may not be difficult to establish motive through direct evidence. While in some other cases inferences from circumstances may help in discerning the mental propensity of the person concerned. There may also be cases in which it is not possible to disinter the mental transaction of the accused which would have impelled him to act. No proof can be expected in all Cases as to now the mind of the accused worked in a particular situation. Sometimes, it may appear that the motive established is a weak one. That by itself is insufficient to lead to any inference adverse to the prosecution.


Difference between intention and motive :


In criminal law, the term intention is explained as the deliberate cause and known effort, to act in a particular manner which is not permitted by law. As against, the motive is defined as the implicit cause, which instigates a person to do or not to do something.


The intention of a person can be determined by the use of particular means and the circumstances, that resulted in the criminal offence. Conversely, the motive is the reason, that drives a person to do an act or refrain from acting in a specific manner.

Intention means to have in mind a fixed purpose to reach a desired objective , so it indicates that a man is consciously shaping his conduct to bring forth a specific event . Motive however is an emotion which impels a man to do a particular act.


While the intention is the expressly defined purpose of the crime, the motive is hidden or implied purpose although its relevant under section 8 of Indian evidence act , 1872.


When the intention of a person, is the element for affixing criminal liability, it must be proven beyond reasonable doubt. On the contrary, the motive is not the primary element for affixing culpability, so it need not be proven beyond reasonable doubt.


DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MOTIVE AND INTENTION :-

Motive is something which prompts a man to form an intention while intention is immediate mental condition . Intention relates to means while motive relates to end. Motive is not a sine qua non (an essential condition) for bringing the offence home as against the accused but its only relevant on question of intention.


EXISTENCE OF GOOD MOTIVE IS IRRELEVANT TO LAW :

If a man kills his starving family for want of food , believing that his family will move on to a better world . His intention is bad but motive is good. Law punishes intention not the motive.

A man who dishonestly steals a bread in order to get away from starvation , and motivates himself to pay later for bread when his circumstances are alright . Is guilty of theft notwithstanding the motive.


State of Himachal Pradesh vs. Jeet Singh {1999 (4 SCC 370}. Following passage can be quoted from the latter decision:


"No doubt it is a sound principle to remember that every criminal act was done with a motive but its corollary is not that no criminal offence would have been committed if the prosecution has failed to prove the precise motive of the accused to commit it. When the prosecution succeeded in showing the possibility of some ire for the accused towards the victim, the inability to further put on record the manner in which such ire would have swelled up in the mind of the offender to such a degree as to impel him to commit the offence cannot be construed as a fatal weakness of the prosecution. It is almost an impossibility for the prosecution to unravel the full dimension of the mental disposition of an offender towards the person whom he offended."


Yunis alias Kariya v. State of Madhya Pradesh, AIR 2003 SC 539. It is well settled that where the direct evidence regarding the assault is worthy of the credence and can be believed, the question of motive becomes more or less academic. Sometimes the motive is clear and can be proved and sometimes the motive is shrouded in the mystery and it is very difficult to locate the same. If, however, the evidence of eye witnesses is credit-worthy and is believed by the court which has placed implicit reliance on them, the question whether there is any motive or not becomes wholly irrelevant.


Raja v. State, (1972) 2 Crimes 175. Motive is a thing primarily known to the accused himself and it may not the possible for the prosecution in each and every case to find out the real motive behind the crime.




CONDUCT ::-


The conduct is the expression in outward behavior of the quality or conduct operating to produce those effects.


Section 8 deals with the relevancy of conduct it says that , " The conduct of any party, or of any agent to any party, to any suit or proceeding, in reference to such suit or proceeding, or in reference to any fact in issue therein or relevant thereto, and the conduct of any person an offense against whom is the subject of any proceeding, is relevant, if such conduct influences or is influenced by any fact in issue or relevant fact, and whether it was previous or subsequent thereto."




The conduct of the following persons are relevant under section 8 :-


I) Parties to the suit (or proceedings) and of their agents Or ;

II) Person, an offense against whom is the subject of a proceeding.





The conduct of any person, is relevant under section 8, is admissible only against himself and not against any other person. The conduct of an accused is not, therefore, Admissible, against a co-accused.





The conduct is admissible only if the following conditions are satisfied:


I) It must be in reference to the suit or proceeding or in reference to any fact in issue therein or relevant thereto OR;


II) It must directly influence or be influenced by any fact in issue or relevant fact.

The conduct remains inadmissible if any one of the other two conditions is not satisfied.





Allahabad High Court

Queen-Empress vs Abdullah on 27 February, 1885

When a witness is called who deposes to having put certain questions to a person, the cause of whose death is the subject-matter of the trial, which questions have been responded to by certain signs, can such questions and signs, taken together, be properly regarded as "verbal statements" under Section 32 of the Evidence Act, or are they admissible under any other sections of the same Act?

COURT BY MAJORITY HELD - "The next question is, whether mere signs can be regarded as "conduct" within the meaning of Section 8. Upon this point it must be remembered that the 2nd paragraph of that section makes relevant the conduct of any person who is a party to any suit or proceeding "in reference to such suit or proceeding, or in reference to any fact in issue therein or relevant thereto." And of course the conduct of a party interested in any proceeding at the time when the facts occurred out of which the proceeding arises, is extremely relevant, and therefore any conduct on the part of the deceased in this case, which had any bearing on the circumstances in which she met her death, would be relevant. But the state of things is this.

She, being in a dying state at the hospital, made, in the presence of certain persons, the signs which have been referred to. It is clear that, taking these signs alone, there is nothing to show that they are relevant, because there is nothing which connects them with the cause of death.

Then it is argued that since conduct is relevant under certain circumstances, you may with reference to Explanation 2 of Section 8, prove any statements made to the person whose conduct is in question. In order to decide this point the language of Section 8 must be carefully considered. It is to the following effect: "The conduct of any party or of any agent to any party to any suit or proceeding, in reference to such suit or proceeding, or in reference to any fact in issue therein or relevant thereto, and the conduct to any person an offence against whom is the subject of any proceedings, is relevant, if such conduct influences or is influenced by any fact in issue or relevant fact, and whether it was previous or subsequent thereto. Explanation 1.--The word 'conduct' in this section does not include statements, unless those statements accompany and explain acts other than statements; but this explanation is not to affect the relevancy of statements under any other section of this Act. Explanation 2.--When the conduct of any person is relevant, any statement made to him or in his presence or hearing, which affects such conduct, is relevant."

Now the question here in issue is--Did Abdullah kill the deceased by cutting her throat'? The only conduct which is alleged on the part of the deceased is, that she moved her hand in answer to questions put to her by some of the persons at the hospital. If we went no further than this, there would be nothing to show that her conduct in lifting her hand either influenced or was influenced by the fact in issue,--i.e., the cutting of her throat. Then Explanation 2 is brought in; but it is obvious that before you can let in the words of a third person, you must show that the conduct which they are alleged to affect is relevant. And in the present case it is clear that until you let in the words, the conduct is not relevant, and therefore the words cannot be let in because the condition precedent to their admissibility has not been satisfied, and that not having been done, their whole basis fails.


Explanation 1 of Section 8 points to a case in which a person whose conduct is in dispute mixes up together actions and statements; and in such a case those actions and statements may be proved as a whole. For instance, a person is seen running down a street in a wounded condition, and calling out the name of his assailant, and the circumstances under which the injuries were inflicted. Here what the injured person says and what he does may be taken together and proved as a whole. But the case would be very different if some passer-by stopped him and suggested some name, or asked some question regarding the transaction. If a person were found making such statements without any question first being asked, then his statements might be regarded as a part of his conduct. But where the statement is made merely in response to some question or suggestion, it shows a state of things introduced, not by the fact in issue, but by the interposition of something else. For these reasons I think that the signs made by the deceased cannot be admitted by way of "conduct" under Section 8 of the Evidence Act."


HOWEVER SUCH STATEMENT WOULD BE COVERED UNDER DYING DELCARATION .

FOR DYING DELCARATION - " In the first place, it is clear that Section 32 was intended by the framers of the Act to provide for cases of "dying declarations;" that is to say, where a person mortally injured makes certain statements regarding the cause and other circumstances of the injury, and then dies. These statements may be given in evidence under Section 32. If I had been compelled to hold that these signs were not admissible under Section 32, I should have regretted it, because I feel that they are admissible under a. 32 or not at all. I think that the Legislature intended that such evidence should be admitted only within the limits provided by that section, and that if they cannot be brought under that, we ought not to search too carefully for other provisions under which to admit them. The statement, assuming it to be such, was here made by a witness, that is, by one who was conscious, and who knew the truth, and whose evidence would have been the best possible if she had continued to live. The only question would then have been as to the truth of her evidence. Of her competency to speak the truth of the matter, there could, of course, be no doubt. But she is dead, and cannot be called as a witness, and the question then arises whether you can, as it were, make her a witness notwithstanding her death, and give in evidence the statements which she made. To make such a state of things possible, Section 32 of the Evidence Act was passed. That section says that the statement, whether written or verbal, must be a statement as to relevant facts. In the present case that condition is of course satisfied. The question then arises--Is the statement a "verbal" one? "Verbal" means by words. It is not necessary that the words should be spoken. If the term used in the section were "oral," it might be that the statement must be confined to words spoken by the mouth. But the meaning of "verbal" is something wider. From the earliest times it has been held that the words of another person may be so adopted by a witness as to be properly treated as the words of the witness himself. The same objection which is now made to the admission in evidence of these signs might equally be made to the assent given by a witness in an action to leading questions put by counsel. If, for example, counsel were to ask--"Is this place a thousand miles from Calcutta?" and the witness replied "Yes," it might be said that the witness made no statement as to the distance referred to. The objection to leading questions is not that they are absolutely illegal, but only that they are unfair. The only question here is, whether the deceased, by the signs of assent which she made, adopted the verbal statements employed by the questions? I think it must be held that she did so. I have felt some difficulty in arriving at this conclusion, because it is plain that evidence of this description requires strong safeguards before it can properly be accepted. But since the deceased might undoubtedly have adopted the words of the Deputy Magistrate by express words, such as "Yes," though even in that case the words in which the statement was actually made would not have been her own, I think she might equally adopt them by signs also. On these grounds, I would answer the reference in the amended form, which I indicated at the outset, in the affirmative."


INSTANCES OF CONDUCT : -

ABSCONDING AS CONDUCT :-

Supreme Court of India

Thimma Alias Thimma Raju vs State Of Mysore on 2 April, 1970


the appellant had absconded after September 1, 1967 when the police got suspicious of his complicity in this offence. It is true that the appellant did make himself scarce with effect from September 1, 1967 till he was arrested on September 5, 1967 and this conduct is relevant under s. 8 of. the Indian Evidence Act and might well be indicative to some extent of guilty mind. But this is not the only conclusion to which it must lead the court. Even innocent persons may, when suspected of grave crimes, be tempted to, evade arrest: such is the instinct of self- preservation in an average human being.


Supreme Court of India

Kartarey And Ors. vs The State Of Uttar Pradesh on 25 September, 1975

To be an 'absconder' in the eye of law, it is not necessary that a person should have run away from his home, it is sufficient if he hides himself to evade the process of law, even if the hiding place be his own home.


Lodging the FIR

Supreme Court of India

Bheru Singh vs State Of Rajasthan on 4 February, 1994

Where the first information report is given by an accused himself to a police officer and amounts to a confessional statement, proof of the confession is prohibited by Section 25 of the Evidence Act. No part of the confessional statement can be proved or received in evidence, except to the extent it is permitted by Section 27 of the Evidence Act. The first information report recorded under Section 154 CrPC is not a substantive piece of evidence. It may be used to corroborate the informant under Section 157 of the Evidence Act or to contradict him under Section 145 of the Evidence Act in case the informant appears as a witness at the trial. Where the accused himself lodges the first information report, the fact of his giving the information to the police is admissible against him as evidence of his conduct under Section 8 of the Evidence Act and to the extent it is non-confessional in nature, it would also be relevant under Section 21 of the Evidence Act but the confessional part of the first information report by the accused to the police officer cannot be used at all against him in view of the ban of Section 25 of the Evidence Act.


In Nagesha V. State of Bihar, AIR, 1996 SC119, it was held by the Apex Court if the first information is given by the accused himself, the fact of his giving information is admissible against him as an evidence of his conduct.


Supreme Court of India

Khalil Khan vs State Of Madhya Pradesh on 8 October, 2003

In our opinion, there is no sufficient material to hold the appellant guilty. Be that as it may, we may refer to the recovery part relied upon by the courts below. We notice that one of the witnesses to the recovery has not supported the prosecution case. That apart the incident in question had taken place on 6th April, 1986 and the accused was arrested only on 11th April, 1986, nearly four days thereafter. We find it extremely difficult to believe that a person who is involved in such a serious crime like murder would still be wearing clothes which are blood stained even four days after the murder which fact we find is opposed to normal human conduct. In this background, the evidence of the hostile witness that the recoveries were made at the police station assumes importance. We think it is not safe to place reliance on this part of the prosecution case also.


POINTING OUT THE PLACE :-

Kerala High Court

Vasudevan vs The State on 31 May, 1993

the action of the appellant in leading the Executive II Class Magistrate and pointing out the place where the dead body was buried was held to be admissible as a conduct under Section 8 of the Evidence Act .



Supreme Court of India

Prakash Chand vs State (Delhi Administration) 1979 SCR (2) 330

There is a clear distinction between The conduct of a person against whom an offence is alleged, which is admissible under Section 8 of the Evidence Act, if such conduct is influenced by any fact in issue or relevant fact and the statement made to a Police officer in the course of an investigating which is hit by Section 162 Criminal Procedure Code. What is excluded by Section 162 Criminal Procedure Code is the statement made to a Police officer in the course of investigation and not the evidence relating to the conduct of an accused person (not amounting to a statement) when confronted or questioned by a Police officer during the course of an investigation. For example, the evidence of the circumstance, simpliciter, that an accused person led a Police officer and pointed out the place where stolen articles or weapons which might have been used in the commission of the offence were found hidden, would be admissible as conduct, under Section 8 of the Evidence Act, irrespective of whether any statement by the accused contemporaneously with or antecedent to such conduct falls within the purview of Section 27 of the Evidence Act.


In Zwinglee Ariel v. State of Madhya Pradesh(A.I.R. 1954 S.C. 15), Apex Court appeared to be inclined to hold that evidence to the effect that the accused started trembling and showed signs of being frightened on being;, questioned by the Police officer, if proved, was admissible,


In Rao Shiv Bahadur Singh and Anr. v. State of Vindhya Pradesh(A.I.R. 1954 S.C. 322), and, State of Madras v. A. Vaidyanatha Iyer(A.I.R. 1958 S.C. 61),Apex Court actually relied on evidence relating to the conduct on the accused on being confronted by the Police officer with the allegation that he 'had received a bribe. In Rao Shiv Bahadur Singh case the evidence relating to conduct on which reliance was placed was to the effect that the accused was confused and could furnish no explanation when questioned by the Police officer. In Vaidyanatha Iyer's case also evidence to the effect that the accused was seen trembling and that he silently produced the notes from the folds of his dhoti was acted upon.



Supreme Court of India

State (N.C.T. Of Delhi) vs Navjot Sandhu@ Afsan Guru on 4 August, 2005

Hideouts and recoveries The other circumstances which prominently shed light on the involvement of the accused Afzal relate to the discovery of the abodes or hideouts of the deceased terrorists and the recovery of various incriminating articles therefrom as well as the identification of certain shops from where the appellant and one or the other deceased terrorist purchased various items used for preparation of explosives etc. These are spoken to by PW76Inspector Gill, the landlords of the concerned premises and the shopkeepers. The informations furnished to the Investigating Officers leading to the discovery of facts and the conduct of the accused in pointing out the places where the terrorists stayed are admissible either under Section 27 or Section 8 of the Evidence Act and they supplement the evidence furnished by the I.Os., the landlords and the shopkeepers. The evidence of the circumstance, simplicitor, that the accused pointed out to the police officer, the place where stolen articles or weapons used in the commission of the offence were hidden, would be admissible as 'conduct' under Section 8 irrespective of the fact whether the statement made by the accused contemporaneously with or antecedent to such conduct, falls within the purview of Section 27.


Supreme Court of India

A.N. Venkatesh And Anr vs State Of Karnataka on 8 August, 2005

By virtue of Section 8 of the Evidence Act, the conduct of the accused person is relevant, if such conduct influences or is influenced by any fact in issue or relevant fact. The evidence of the circumstance, simplicitor, that the accused pointed out to the police officer, the place where the dead body of the kidnapped boy was found and on their pointing out the body was exhumed, would be admissible as conduct under Section 8 irrespective of the fact whether the statement made by the accused contemporaneously with or antecedent to such conduct falls within the purview of Section 27 or not as held by this Court in Prakash Chand Vs. State (AIR 1979 SC 400). Even if we hold that the disclosure statement made by the accused appellants(Ex. P14 and P15) is not admissible under Section 27 of the Evidence Act, still it is relevant under Section 8. The evidence of the investigating officer and PWs 1, 2, 7 and PW4 the spot mazhar witness that the accused had taken them to the spot and pointed out the place where the dead body was buried, is an admissible piece of evidence under Section 8 as the conduct of the accused. Presence of A-1 and A-2 at a place where ransom demand was to be fulfilled and their action of fleeing on spotting the police party is a relevant circumstance and are admissible under Section 8 of the Evidence Act.



003. Section 8
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