Judicial Dictionary

Corroboration means

The word ‘corroboration’ means not mere evidence tending to confirm other evidence. In DPP vs. Hester (1972) 3 All ER 1056, Lord Morris said:

“The purpose of corroboration is not to give validity or credence to evidence which is deficient or suspect or incredible but only to confirm and support that which as evidence is sufficient and satisfactory and credible; and corroborative evidence will only fill its role if it itself is completely credible …..”

In D.P.P. vs. Kilbourne (1973) 1 All ER 440, it was observed thus :

“There is nothing technical in the idea of corroboration. When in the ordinary affairs of life one is doubtful whether or not to believe a particular statement one naturally looks to see whether it fits in with other statements or circumstances relating to the particular matter; the better it fits in the more one is inclined to believe it. The doubted statement is corroborated to a greater or lesser extent by the other statements or circumstances with which it fits in.”[AIR 2005 SC 128 ]

Sir Alfred Wills in his admirable book “Wills’ Circumstantial Evidence” (Chapter VI) lays down the following rules specially to be observed in the case of circumstantial evidence; (1) the facts alleged as the basis of any legal inference must be clearly proved and beyond reasonable doubt connected with the factum probandum; (2) the burden of proof is always on the party who asserts the existence of any fact, which infers legal accountability; (3) in all cases, whether of direct or circumstantial evidence the best evidence must be adduced which the nature of the case admits; (4) in order to justify the inference of guilt, the inculpatory facts must be incompatible with the innocence of the accused and incapable of explanation, upon any other reasonable hypothesis than that of his guilt; (5) if there be any reasonable doubt of the guilt of the accused, he is entitled as of right to be acquitted.”[AIR 2003 SC 3601]

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