Judicial Dictionary - A

Judicial Dictionary

Legislative Dictionary


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Abscondence of an accused does not automatically amount to evidence of guilty mind and abscondence is equally consistent with innocence and guilt. Abscondence cannot always be a circumstance to lead to inference of guilt of the accused and sometimes out of fear and self respect and to avoid unnecessary harassment a person indicted as an accused may remain in abscondence. Of course, abscondence of the accused in the fact and circumstances of a case, sometimes may furnish corroboration of the prosecution evidence. But it is established principle of administration of Criminal Justice that mere abscondence is no proof of guilt of an accused. Munir in his Law of Evidence (1974 Edition) observes at Page 61:

"The conduct of a person in absconding after the commission of the offence is evidence to show that he was concerned in the offence but it is usually a very small item in the evidence on which a conviction can be based. Absconding is equally consistent with innocence and guilt. It is a proper matter to be considered along with other facts of the case, whether they bear upon guilt or innocence. It is well known that different persons are differently constituted, and that some accused person, though, innocent, deliberately abscond rather than fear this ordeal of a Criminal Court". ……………Abscondence of convict-appellant did not furnish any corroboration of prosecution evidence and abscondence could not and cannot be an incriminating circumstance fastening convict-appellant in the commission of crime. 

( 13 MLR (HCD) (2008) 88 )

Absconsion immediately after the commission of the crime for long period of time is considered to be a confirma­tory and incriminating circumstances which adequately corroborates that the accused was the assailant. This view finds support for the decision of Pakistan Supreme Court in the case Gul Hassan and another Vs. State as reported in PLD 1969 SC 89. Failure to explain reason for absconding after occurrence favuors prosecu­tion. In this regard, it has been observed by the Hon'ble High Division in the case of Wasim Mia and others Vs. The State reported in 24 BCR 392 as below, "Act of abscondence is a relevant piece of evidence to be considered along with other evidence and it can be held as a determining link which admits of on other reasonable hypothesis than that of guilt of the accused appellant”. 

( 17 BLC (HCD) (2012) 54 )

Created OnMarch 8, 2014, 5:51 AM