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t is abt the�Admissibility of the statements made under section 10 of

Indian Evidence Act, 1872...


“Admissibility of the statements made under section 10 of Indian Evidence Act, 1872”
S.10 of Evidence Act:
Things said or done by conspirator in reference to common intention:-
Where there is reasonable ground to believe that two or more person have conspired together to
commit an offence or an actionable wrong, anything said, done, or written by any one of such person
in reference to their common intention, after the time when such intention was first entertained by
any one of them, is a relevant fact as against each of the person believed to be so conspiring, as
well for the purpose of proving the existence of the conspiracy as for the purpose of showing that
any such person was a party to it.

This section talks about the things said, done or written by the conspirator in reference to common
intention. In this section there are some expressions have been used as thins said, done or written,
in reference to their common intention. Each of the word has its own importance in the application of
this section and all these things must be properly taken into consider by the courts before applying
this section.

This section is based on the “theory of implied agency”. So the things said or done by one
conspirator are admissible against the other if they relate to the conspiracy.

Meaning of conspiracy:-
The term conspiracy means a secret plan by a group to do something unlawful and harmful or
something which is not unlawful but by unlawful means.

According to Stephen, “when two or more persons agree to commit any crime, they are guilty of
conspiracy whether the crime was committed or not”.

It is not necessary in order to constitute a conspiracy that the acts agreed to be done should be acts
which if done should be criminal. A conspiracy consists of unlawful combination of two or more
persons to do that which is contrary to law or to do that which is wrongful towards other persons. A
mere agreement to commit an offence becomes criminal conspiracy.[1]
In Indian penal code section 120A the term conspiracy has been defined as:

When two or more persons agree to do, or cause to be done, an illegal act or an act which is not
illegal but illegal by means, such an agreement amount to criminal conspiracy.

The Supreme Court also defined in bhagwant swarup v. State of Maharashtra, [2]conspiracy as two
or more corrupt persons agreeing together to do, by concerted action, something unlawful either as
a mean or as an end. Thus the conspiracy is a kind of agreement to do an unlawful act, or a lawful
act by lawful means. Being contrary to law the conspiracy is always hatched in secrecy, and
executed in darkness of the facts.

Principal and Scope:


Theory of agency:
The general principal is that no person can be made liable for the acts of another except in cases of
abetment in criminal proceeding and contract of agency in civil proceeding. But in conspiracy the
persons who take part in conspiracy are deemed to be the mutual agent or confederates for the
purpose of the executive of the joint purpose.[3]

In Badri Rai v. State[4], it has been held that section 10 of the evidence act has been deliberately in
order to make such acts or statements of the co-conspirator admissible against the whole body of
conspirators, because of the nature of the crime. A conspiracy is hatched in secrecy, and executed
in darkness. Naturally, therefore it is not feasible for the prosecution to connect each isolated act or
statement of one accused with the acts or statement of the others, unless there is common bound
linking all of them together.

In emperor v. Shafi ahmed[5] it has been held that if two or more persons conspire together to
commit an offence, each is regarded as the agent of the other, and just the principal is liable for the
acts of agent, so each conspirator is liable for what is done by his fellow conspirator, in furtherance
of the common intention entertained by both of them.

In Indian law the scope of this section is wider than the English law. As in English law the expression
is used is “in furtherance of their common intention” whereas in Indian law the expression is used is
“in reference to their common intention”. This expression in Indian law is only used to give wider
effect to this section than the English law.

Admissibility and Applicability:-


There are some essential elements which must be proved prima facie before the court to admit the
statements made under S.10 of Evidence Act.

Those are:
Existence of the conspiracy:
The operation of S10 is strictly conditional upon being reasonable ground to believe that two or more
persons have conspired together.[6]
In Government of NCT of Delhi v. Jaspal Singh[7], it has been held that once there is sufficient
material to reasonable believe that there was concert and connection between persons charged with
a common design, it is immaterial whether they were strangers to each other, or ignorant of actual
role of each of them or they did not perform any one or more of such acts by joint efforts. It is not
necessary that all should have joined in the scheme from the first; those who come in at later stage
are equally guilty, provided the agreement is proved.

Before bringing on record, anything said, done, or written by an alleged conspirator the court has to
bring on record some evidences which prima facie proves the existence of the conspiracy.[8]
In Gulab Singh v. Emperor[9], it has been observed that it is necessary in a prosecution for
conspiracy to prove that there were two or more persons agreeing for purpose of conspiracy and
that there could not be a conspiracy of one. This decision is based on the decision given in King v.
Plummer[10].

The person making statement must be a party to such conspiracy and the alleged person must
conspire together with other members:
All acts and statements of a conspirator can only be used for the purpose of proving the existence of
the conspiracy or that a particular person was party to it. It cannot be used in favour of the other
party or for the purpose of showing that such a person was not a party to it. [11]And there must be
reasonable ground to believe that they have conspired together.

It is true that the expression ‘reasonable ground to believe’ does not mean it is proved. It certainly
contemplates something short of actual proof and means that there should exists prima facie
evidence in support of the existence of the conspiracy between two or more accused persons, and it
is then only that anything said, done or written by one can be used against the other[12].

In Samundar Singh v. State[13], it has been held that the evidence is taken after a prima facie proof
of conspiracy but at a later stage of the trial that reasonable ground of belief or prima facie proof is
displaced by further evidence; the court must reject the evidence previously taken.
Things said, done, or written in reference to their common intention:
If the things are said, done, or written in reference to the common intention of the conspiracy then
only the things said, done, or written will be admissible in the court of law. But if anything said, done,
or written by any fellow conspirator after the conspiracy no longer exist and had ended or ceased to
exist, it will be inadmissible against other.[14]
‘Anything said’ would include the speeches, or declarations made by the person. Evidence of
communication between conspirators while the conspiracy is on is admissible. Anything written by a
conspirator will not bse admissible against him or others if it is not done in the reference to the
common intention of the conspiracy. The expression ‘written’ would include the manuscripts,
whether signed or unsigned, written or typewritten.[15]
The word in reference to their common intention mean in reference to what at the time of statement
was intended in the future.[16]
Every conspiracy is made in a great privacy due to that it is very difficult to gather evidences against
the conspiracy. Direct evidences cannot be taken because of that. It is only from the members of the
family or from the persons who are intimately connected with those persons or from their associates
the evidences can be collected.

Admissions of Evidences related to acts outside the period of conspiracy:


This is very clear with the bear text of S.10 that the things said, done, or written will be relevant only
then when such intention was first entertain by any one party to the conspiracy. Again the thing is
necessary to remember that the things said, done, or written is not relevant when the conspiracy is
over.

In the case State of Tamil Nadu v. Nalini[17], it has been held that once it is shown that a person
snapped out of conspiracy, any statement made subsequently thereto cannot be used against other
conspirator under section 10 of Evidence Act.

In the case of Mirza Akbar v. King emperor[18], the privy council held that correspondence between
the accused was relevant under section 10 as the substance of the latter were only consistent with
the conspiracy between the accused prisoners to procure the death of ali asghar, but the statement
of mehr laqa to the magistrate was not relevant under section 10 as it was made after the object of
conspiracy had already been carried out.

In the case of L.K.Advani v. CBI[19], Delhi high court held that there is no evidence on record except
the alleged entries in the diaries and no loose sheet to prove the clam of the conspiracy and also
there is no evidence to show that the entries were made in reference to common intention of the
conspirators after it was first entertained.

By above discussion we can say that there are some essentials which a court considers to be look
after it before admitting the statements under section 10 of Evidence Act.

In re: Raman Ratanan[20], the first accused agreed to supply to the second accused a packet of
explosive for the purpose of blowing up a railway bridge and the second accused along with
others used the explosive, but his attempt proved unsuccessful; later the second accused wrote a
letter to the first accused mentioning his unsuccessful attempt and ask him to supply some more
explosive substance. On those facts it has been held that the latter of second accused was not
admissible against the first accused as to the common intention had ceased to exist after the
attempt to blow up the bridge failed.
In different judgments of the court of law it has been held that the statements said, done, or
written in reference to their common intention must be made when the conspiracy is on. Neither
before it start nor after it end. In both the cases the statements will not be admissible.

Conclusion:
After going through section 10 of Evidence Act and many case related to this section thoroughly
I came to the conclusion that, there is no discretionary power given to the courts as to the
admissibility of the statements made under section 10 of the Act, but there are some essential
ingredients which has to be fulfilled in this regard. Those ingredients are stated in the case of
bhagwant Swaroop v. State of Maharashtra[21] are:

· There shall be prima facie evidence affording a reasonable ground for a court to believe that
two or more persons are member of a conspiracy;

· If the said condition is fulfilled then anything said, done or written by anyone of them in
reference to their common intention will be evidence against the others;

· anything said, done or written by him should have been said, done or written by him after the
intention was formed by any one of them;

· it would also be relevant for the said purpose against the another who entered the conspiracy,
whether it was said, done or written before he entered the conspiracy or after he left;

· And it can be used only against and not in his favour.

The time of the thing said, done or written is also a essential thing to look after before the
admissibility of the statement that on the time when the statement is made at that time the
conspiracy was on or not, a statement cannot be admissible under section 10 if the statement is
made before the time when the conspiracy was first entertained and after the conspiracy is end.

Hence it is clear that there is no discretionary power given to the court for the admission of the
statements made under section 10 of Evidence Act but there are some prima facie and
circumstantial evidences which must proved before any admission of the statement under this
section of the Act.

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