Burden Of Proof In Criminal Law

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Traditionally and legally the burden of proof is on the prosecution because of the established principle that a person is innocent until proven guilty which is the fundamental principle of procedural farness is criminal law. It is considered fundamental because it is believed that it is better to allow an accused to go scot free than punish an innocent. The party who brings the case has the responsibility to produce before the judge all such necessary materials as are required to prove actus reus and mens rea behind a crime.The same is incorporated in section 101 of the evidence act which in its essence says that the person that desires a Court to give judgment as to any legal right or liability dependent on the existence of facts which he…show more content…
As a necessary corollary to this, it must be understood that the defense is only required to cast reasonable doubt on the prosecution’s case in order to secure acquittal. Now, in respect of heinous offences such as stalking and rape, it is understood that the burden of proof has been reversed in order to ensure a greater possibility of conviction. However, this cannot be allowed to negate the very basics of the trial itself. The standard of reasonable doubt exists for the protection of the accused. Implicit in it is the understanding that since it is the prosecution that brought the case, they must take the full responsibility of proving it in such a way as to leave no reasonable doubt that the accused did in fact commit the crime which they charged him…show more content…
The accused may know that he never had any mens rea but it is tough for him to prove the absence of the same. Taking the earlier example of a person being accused for stalking a woman through her facoobok profile, the accused may know he doesn’t have any mens rea but there is no way, guidelines or standards with the help of which he can prove there wasn’t any malicious intent.. Secondly the prosecution that has greater access to resources than the accused to prove both actus reus as well as mens rea to establish guilt of the former. Now in the case of a laws like voyeurism or stalking it is consent or the act of disinterest respectively which play a decisive role in terming an accused guilty. Both these acts are related to the actions of the victim i.e to show disinterest in case of being stalked and no consent of being viewed while carrying out an act of privacy. When these deciding factors are in the control of the victim then the onus to prove the presence of act also should be on them. Taking another example with reference to voyeurism if a women gives consent to a man to see her carrying out a private act and later on files a frivolous complaint, there is no way for the accused to prove the presence of any consent. The fact that the woman filed a case in the first place implies that she is not accepting to giving of any consent. It is therefore very necessary for the burden
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