Judicial Dictionary

Presumption of innocence

It is one of the fundamental principles of criminal jurisprudence that an accused is presumed to be innocent till he is proved to be guilty. It is equally well settled that suspicion howsoever strong can never take the place of proof. There is indeed a long distance between accused may have committed the offence and must have committed the offence? which must be traversed by the prosecution by adducing reliable and cogent evidence. Presumption of innocence has been recognised as a human right which cannot be wished away. See Narendra Singh and Anr. v. State of M.P., (2004) 10 SCC 699 and Ranjitsingh Brahmajeetsingh Sharma v. State of Mahsrashtra and Ors., (2005) 5 SCC 294. To the same effect is the decision of this Court in Ganesan v. Rama SRaghuraman and Ors., (2011) 2 SCC 83 where this Court observed:

Every accused is presumed to be innocent unless his guilt is proved. The Presumption of innocence is human right. Subject to the statutory exceptions, the said principle forms the basis of criminal jurisprudence in India.


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