case by a prepared of probability and it is not necessary that he should establish his case by the test of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. The onus on an accused person may well be compared to the onus on a party in civil proceedings. [741 B] Woolmington v. Director of Public Prosecutions,  A.C. 462, Rex v. Carr-Briant,  1 K.B. 607 and Harbhajan Singh v. Stale of Punjab,  3 S.C.R. 235, referred to. In the present case the appellant had not proved his case even by the test of preponderance of probability. JUDGMENT: CRIMINAL'APPELLATE JURISDICTION : Criminal Appeal No. 157 of 1964. Appeal by special leave from the judgment and order dated March 20, 1964 of the Allahabad High Court (Lucknow Bench) at Lucknow in Criminal Appeal No. 20 of 1962. Jai Gopal Sethi, C. L. Sareen and R. L. Kohli, for the appe- llant. 737 S. T. Desai, R. L. Mehta and 0. P. Rana, for the respondent. The Judgment of the Court was delivered by Ramaswami, J. The appellant was tried for offences under s. 161, Indian Penal Code and s. 5(2) read with
of course, the test prescribed in deciding whether the prosecution has discharged its onus to prove the guilt of the accused; but the same test cannot be applied to an accused person who seeks to discharge the burden placed upon him under s. 4(1) of the Prevention of Corruption Act. It is sufficient if the accused person succeeds in proving a preponderance of probability in favour of his case. It is not necessary for the accused person to prove his case beyond a reasonable doubt or in default to incur a verdict of guilty. The onus of proof lying upon the accused person is to prove his case by a preponderance of probability. As soon as he succeeds in doing so, the burden is shifted to the prosecution which still has to discharge its original onus that never shifts i.e., that of establishing on the whole case the guilt of the accused beyond a reasonable doubt. It was observed by Viscount Sankey
probability of that which the accused is called on to establish. The ratio of this case was referred to with approval by this Court in Harbhajan Singh v. The State of Punjab.(1) We are accordingly of the opinion that the burden of proof lying upon the accused under s. 4(1) of the Prevention of Corruption Act will be satisfied if the accused person establishes his case by a preponderance of probability and it is not necessary that he should establish his case by the test of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. In other words, the onus on an accused person may well be compared to the onus on a party in civil proceedings, and just as in civil proceedings the court trying an issue makes its decision by adopting the test of probabilities, so must a criminal court hold that the' plea made by the accused is proved if a preponderance of probability is established by the evidence led by him.
have not been proved against him. It was argued by Mr. Sethi that the circumstances found by the High Court in their totality do not establish that the appellant accepted the amount of Rs. 10,000 as illegal gratification and not as a loan. It was also argued -for the appellant that he had adduced sufficient evidence to show that the amount was really given to him as a loan by Ram Lal Kapoor. Having examined the findings of both the lower courts, we are satisfied that the appellant has not proved his case by the test of preponderance of probability and the lower courts rightly reached the conclusion that the amount was taken by the appellant not as a loan but as illegal gratification. It has been found by the High Court that Ram. Lal Kapoor was not likely to lend a sum of Rs. 10,000 to the appellant without getting a formal document executed. It is not suggested by the appellant that he executed a hand-note in favour of Ram Lal Kapoor. There was a suggestion that he granted a receipt for Rs. 10,000 to Ram Lal Kapoor but the High Court rejected the case