What is Accomplice and what is the value of his statement?

(1) Introduction

The word “accomplice” has not been defined in Qanun-e-Shahadat Order 1984 and should therefore be presumed to have been used in its ordinary sense. An accomplice is a person who confesses himself a criminal who had been concerned in the commission of a crime, whether he is concerned in strict sense as principal in the first or second degree or merely as an accessory before or after the fact.Accomplice(2) Who is accomplice?

Means a guilty associates partner in any crime, or makes an confession that shows he had a conscious hand in the offence.

(3) Meaning:

Co-Accused

  • (Case law definition) It is a guilt who is associates in the crime
  • According to the Oxford dictionary:- Means a partner in the crime or an associates in the guilt.

(4) Waada Mauf Gawah:

It is a legal term which is commonly known as Wada Mauf Gawah or Sultani Gawah.

(5) Surety of pardon of accomplice:

An accomplice is a person who confesses his crime under surety of pardon from the prosecution and becomes a witness agains his co-accused in a criminal case.

(6) Relevant Provision:

Article 16 and 129(b) of Qanoon e Shahdat, 1984

Cross Sections:

Section 337,338,339 of CrPC.

(7) Accomplice competency as a witness:

It is a valid and competent witness in the eye of law. The evidence of an accomplice, through it is uncorroborated may form the basis for a conviction. The rule of law says that an It is competent to give evidence, and the rule of practice says that it is almost always safe to convict upon his testimony alone.

(8) Article 16 and 129(b) of QSO, 1984

According to the article of 16 of QSO, 1984. An accomplice is competent witness against the accused person, except in the case of an offence that  punishable with Hadd, and the Article 129(b) of QSO, 1984 the evidence of  must be corroborated.

(9) Legal value of Accomplice evidence:

Article 16 clearly says that an he shall be a competent witness against an accused person, and conviction is not illegal merely because it proceeds upon the uncorroborated testimony. At the same time the illustration (b) to a Article 129 says that the court may presume that an accomplice is unworthy of credit unless he is corroborated in material particulars. So though the conviction based upon the uncorroborated statement of an accomplice is not technically practice of the courts; not to convict on the testimony of an accomplice unless it is corroborated in material particulars.

(10) Reasons to make an accomplice:

The following are some reasons:

  • To get details about the offence committed
  • To highlight before the law the real culprits.
  • To obtain knowledge about the facts and events.
  • If there is no direct evidence, then it becomes necessary to create direct evidence.
  • In order to punish the principal accused in an exemplary manner, accomplice can be made.
  • To meet the ends of justice, sometimes it becomes necessary to make accomplice.
  • When the produced evidence is insufficient or weak and it seems that the real culprits shall be acquitted, hence to establish concrete evidence, becomes part and parcel of the proceedings to adequately punish the real culprit.

(11) Effect of Article 16 and 129(b):

Article 16 declares the testimony of an accomplice to be admissible and a conviction based on the uncorroborated testimony not to be illegal, but in considering whether the testimony of an accomplice should or should not be believed, illustration (b) to article 129 advises the court to bear in mind the presumption that an accomplice is not worthy of credit unless he is corroborated in material particulars. Article 16 lays down a rule of law and illustration (b) to article 129 lays down merely a rule of prudence.

(12) Conclusion:

To conclude that, it can be stated that an accomplice is a valid and competent witness to testify against the accused. It plays a vital role in bringing the culprit behind the bars. To meet the ends of justice it becomes necessary to make a accomplice. Article 16 and 129(b) of Q.S.O. are inter-related and explanatory to each other.

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8 thoughts on “What is Accomplice and what is the value of his statement?

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