Plea of Alibi

The Plea of Alibi falls under section 11 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 which says as under:-

When facts are not otherwise relevant become relevant:-

  • If they are inconsistent with any fact in issue or relevant fact.
  • If by themselves or in connection with other facts they make the existence or non-existence of any fact in issue or relevant fact highly probable or improbable.

Illustration- I was charged with Murder of a person in Madras on 6th September 2020 at 10.00 AM. If I prove with any evidence authenticating my presence in New Delhi on 6th September, 2020 at 10.00 AM supports my charge which was otherwise not relevant. It supports my Plea of Alibi.


State Delhi (Administration) v. Laxman Kumar & Ors AIR 1986 SC 250. :- The Plea of Alibi postulates the physical impossibility of the presence of accused at the scene of offence by reason of his presence at another place at the same time.

Wigmore[1] has defined theory of Alibi. The theory of Alibi is fact of presence elsewhere is inconsistent with the presence at place & time alleged & hence with participation in the act. The two postulates of Alibi are:-

  1. Same place
  2. Same time

If I claim plea of Alibi and could not prove it, it may go against me. Alibi has to be beyond reasonable doubt. It almost falls touching shadow of doubt.

 The Plea of Alibi is not maintainable in:-

  1. Tort
  2. Defamation Suit
  • Cases of contributory negligence
  1. Matrimonial cases
  2. Divorce suit

Whereby, it is generally applied in criminal charges against the accused.

 Dharanjoy Chaterjee v. State of West Bengal 1994 SCR(1) 37, The plea of Alibi must completely exclude his possibility of presence at the place of occurrence.

Plea of Alibi with respect to Section 103, Indian Evidence Act says The burden of proof as to any particular fact lies on that person who wishes the Court to believe in its existence, unless it is provided by any law that the proof of that fact shall lie on any particular person.

Illustration:  A wishes the court to believe that he was in Mumbai on the date and time the crime took place in Chandigarh. He must prove it.

Therefore, the theory of Alibi is proved conclusively, then and there the case finishes against the accused.


[1] C. Fricke , Criminal Investigation 24 (1949)

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