What is a Burden of proof?


In the court of law, several clauses are put in place to protect the rights of both the plaintiff and the accused. One of these clauses includes the burden of proof. 

It is included in sections 101 and 114 A of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872

The burden of proof implies that the plaintiff is responsible for collecting all facts and evidence against the accused to prove that he or she has not made any false allegations against the defendant.

The legal provision says whoever desires any court to give judgment to any legal issue or liability dependent upon the existence of facts that the plaintiff asserts must prove that those facts exist.

According to section 101, when a person is bound to prove the existence of any fact, it is said that the burden of proof. The entire case depends upon the ability of the plaintiff to prove the existence of the facts which he proclaims, or which he asserts, or which he says that is available. 

Now, the burden is entirely on the plaintiff to prove that such facts exist. 

There are two illustrations under the section.

  • If X desires the court to give judgment that Y should be punished or held accountable for a crime that X says Y has committed, X has the liability to prove that Y has committed that crime which he is being accused of.

  • X desires the court to give judgment that he is entitled to certain land in possession of Y because he asserts that Y denies being true. 

Here X must prove that those facts (section 110 as to proof of the existence of facts)

SECTION 102- discusses on whom the burden of lies

This provision says the burden of proof in a suit or proceeding lies on that person who would fail if no evidence at all were given at all on either side. 

Illustration of this section are as follows- 

  •  X  sues Y for land, which is in possession of Y was left to X by the will of Z, his father. If either side of the party gave no evidence at all, Y would be entitled to retain his possession. 

Therefore, in this case, the burden of proof lies on X. In civil cases, if a person proves his side for more than 50%, the court is likely to make a decision in his favor. Getting a hundred percent proof in civil cases is not a crucial requirement for swaying the pendulum of justice in your favor.

  • X sues Y for money due on a bond. In this case, the execution of the bond is admitted by Y says that it was obtained by fraud, to which X denies

If either side gives no evidence, X will succeed as the bond is not disputed and the fraud is not proved. Therefore the burden of proof now lies on Y.